TAIPEI -- The application of Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) to restart the second reactor at its No 2 nuclear plant has been approved by the island"s atomic energy authority.
Taiwan"s legislative body has the final say on the restart.
Taipower applied to the atomic energy authority on Feb 5 to restart the reactor which was shut down in May 2016, when it had a short circuit during maintenance.
Taipower said if the reactor is restarted, the No. 2 nuclear power plant would increase its operating power reserve margin by three percent, and would alleviate the shortage of power supply in Taiwan.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has pushed a nuclear-free policy to phase out all existing nuclear power plants in Taiwan by 2025.
Taiwan has four nuclear plants. The fourth has never been put into use. There are a total of six reactors in the first three nuclear power plants, but only half of them are operating.
The reduction in nuclear power and increase in fossil energy has caused air pollution in Taiwan, and strong protests from the public.
Taiwan"s atomic energy authority has organized a group to conduct a one-month investigation into nuclear safety and waste management at the reactor.
It is not clear whether the reactor will be restarted before the summer power demand peak which starts in May.
The DPP insists that its aim of a nuclear-free Taiwan by 2025 will not be changed.