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A clarification about China and Taiwan

Norman Realname, 5 Aug 22,

I’m grateful to a reader for providing this explanation.

I still think that it’s a pretty bad idea for USA and Australia to start a probable World War 3 over Taiwan.

The Republic of China (ROC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are NOT synonyms and should not be used as such. The ROC has NO control over Hong Kong; it’s a semi-autonomous territory ruled by the PRC under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, as per treaty. Thus, grumbling about democratic subversion aside, there was no question of the PRC’s sovereignty over it.

The ROC, however, DOES have control over Taiwan, and the PRC does NOT. As to why this is the case, the most oversimplified answer is that the Chinese Civil War never fully ended and both governments claim to rule the territory of the other, but since the PRC has the de facto control of almost all of it, it’s recognized as the “real” China. The more complicated answer is that since democratization the ROC government no longer wants to rule the mainland and sees itself as a separate Taiwanese nation but is forbidden to relinquish its territorial claims (under threat of invasion) by the PRC who view Taiwan as integral Chinese territory and would interpret any movement away from them as secession (even though the PRC has never actually ruled over Taiwan).

The US and China differ over their interpretation of the situation. The PRC’s One China PRINCIPLE states that there is only one China, and Taiwan is a part of China. The US’s One China POLICY states that they *acknowledge* the PRC’s position on the matter, without actually saying whether or not they agree that Taiwan is part of China. In other words: the US generally agrees there is only one China, but they’re not sure (read: deliberately ambiguous) whether Taiwan is part of it.

Fundamentally, while the PRC has been successful in preventing international recognition of the ROC (Taiwan), they do not control the territory and cannot control the territory without:

1. The ROC (Taiwanese) government agreeing to hand over power peacefully to the PRC.
2. A full-scale military invasion of Taiwan aimed at the surrender and/or destruction of the ROC (Taiwanese) government.

To compare the situation to Hong Kong, – the crucial difference is the People’s Republic of China did not need to roll in their military to fight some theoretical Hong Kong military in order to be able to tell Hong Kong what to do.


August 4, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Reference, Taiwan | 2 Comments

Is Taiwan’s Independence Worth War? by Patrick J. Buchanan 

When a man knows he is about to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully, said Dr. Samuel Johnson.

If there is any benefit to be realized from the collision between China and the U.S. over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposed trip to Taiwan, it is this: America needs to reflect long and hard upon what it is we will fight China to defend in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

China, after all, is a nuclear-weapons nation with a manufacturing base larger than our own, an economy equal to our own, a population four times ours and fleets of warships larger in number than the US Navy.

An air-naval-and-missile war in the Western Pacific and East Asia would be no cakewalk.

A massive barrage of anti-ship and hypersonic missiles launched by China could cripple and conceivably sink the US carrier Ronald Reagan now in the South China Sea. The Reagan carries a crew of thousands of sailors almost as numerous as the US casualty lists from both Pearl Harbor and 9/11, the worst attacks in and on the US outside of such Civil War battles as Gettysburg and Antietam.

What in East Asia or the Western Pacific would justify such losses?

What would justify such risks?

Since President Richard Nixon’s trip to China, and President Jimmy Carter’s abrogation of the mutual defense treaty with the Republic of China on Taiwan in 1979, the US is not obligated to come to the defense of Taiwan against China, which claims that island the size of Maryland as “part of China.”

Our military posture has been one of “strategic ambiguity.” We will not commit to go to war to defend Taiwan, nor will we take the war option off the table if Taiwan is attacked.

But if the US went to war to defend Taiwan, what would it mean?

We would be risking our own security and possible survival to prevent from being imposed on the island of Taiwan the same regime lately imposed on Hong Kong without any US military resistance.

If Hong Kong, a city of 7 million, can be transferred to the custody and control of Beijing without resistance from the US, why should it be worth a major US war with China to prevent that same fate and future from befalling 23 million Taiwanese?

The retort comes instantly.

Allow China to take Taiwan without US resistance, and our treaties to fight for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand become suspect.

Belief in the US commitment to fight for the nations of East Asia and the Western Pacific would dissipate. The entire architecture of Asian defense against Communist China could disintegrate and collapse.

If we allowed Taiwan to be taken by China without intervening, it is argued, the value of US commitments to fight to defend scores of allies in Europe and Asia would visibly depreciate. US credibility would suffer a blow as substantial as the loss of South Vietnam in 1975.

The fall of Saigon was followed by the loss of Laos and Cambodia to communism, the overthrow of the shah, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the strategic transfer of Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Grenada to the Soviet bloc, and the rise of Euro-communism on the Old Continent.

Pelosi’s prospective visit to Taiwan, and the bellicose reaction of Beijing, should raise other relevant questions.

If this should lead to a U.S.-China war, what would we be fighting for? And what would victory look like?

A restoration of the status quo ante? Permanent independence for Taiwan, which would require a new and permanent war guarantee by the US and a new U.S.-Taiwan defense pact?

Would a permanent commitment to fight to defend Taiwan from China be acceptable to an American people weary of commitments and wars?

Again, why would we risk our own peace and security for Taiwan’s freedom and independence, when we would not risk our own peace and security for the freedom or independence of Hong Kong?

And after our victory in the Taiwan Strait, how would we secure indefinitely the independence of that nation of 23 million from a defeated power of 1.4 billion, bitter and bristling at its loss?

Consider: China, in this 21st century, has grown massively, both militarily and economically, and in both real and relative terms, at the expense of the United States.

Nor are the growth trends for China, with four times as many people as there are Americans, favorable to the USA.

What guarantees are there that 2025 or 2030 will not bring a more favorable balance of power for China in what is, after all, their continent, not ours?

Unlike in the Cold War, time is not necessarily on the side of the United States and its allies when all three of the nuclear powers in East Asia – China, Russia, North Korea – are hostile to the USA.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at

August 1, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Taiwan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Are Americans Prepared To Fight A Nuclear War Over Taiwan?

1945, By Doug Bandow, 25 May 22,

The consequences of a U.S.-China war over Taiwan need to be understood: A president suffering from an occasional case of verbal diarrhea about political infighting is an embarrassment. A president repeating loose comments about international affairs is dangerous.

For the third timePresident Joe Biden declared a new U.S. policy toward Taiwan, only to have his officials insist that nothing has changed. That might mollify the public, but other nations, especially the People’s Republic of China, aren’t fooled.

On his trip to East Asia, intended to convince friends and allies that Uncle Sam can walk and chew gum at the same time, the president’s statement roiled the region. When asked if he would defend Taiwan, he responded “yes,” adding that “it’s a commitment we made.” His words circled the globe at warp speed, appearing to yet again repudiate the policy of “strategic ambiguity,” by which Washington refused to clarify its position toward a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

Since the Carter administration dropped diplomatic ties with Taiwan, legally the Republic of China, and recognized the PRC, America’s defense ties with Taipei have been ambiguous. Washington retains unofficial diplomatic ties with the island state and is committed by law to sell the latter defensive weapons. However, Taiwan enjoys neither a defense treaty, as possessed by Japan and South Korea, nor any other formal military commitment. Making U.S. policy a straightforward “maybe.”

The Strategy of Strategic Ambiguity 

In theory, the uncertainty and possibility of forfeiting U.S. support are supposed to deter Taipei from recklessly challenging Beijing. At the same time, the PRC is supposed to avoid taking military action, lest Washington decides to intervene. Voila, America achieves the best of both worlds. However, the opposite result also is possible. The Taiwanese might believe eight decades of cooperation in war and peace mean the U.S. would intervene on the former’s behalf. And the Chinese might decide that no rational American president would risk Los Angeles for Taipei.

In fact, strategic ambiguity looks like an excuse to avoid deciding. As long as policymakers need not give a clear yes or no, they need not clearly decide yes or no. And they can simply hope the contingency never arises.

China is Not Ambiguous About Reunification

However, this strategy is becoming increasingly untenable. There is no sign of an imminent Chinese military action, but noted by the Quincy Institute’s Michael Swaine: “this possibility cannot be discounted over the longer term if present trends continue.” Beijing’s patience appears to be diminishing:……………….

of the many possible lessons of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the most important for Xi might be the importance of a quick victory.

…………………….   Is America Ready for Strategic Clarity?

However, the American people should be consulted, starting now, Admitted Rep. Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “I don’t know how many Americans would want to go to war over a tiny island they know nothing about,” he said. And if they fully understood the cost of defending Taiwan from China – the possibility of conventional defeat and nuclear disaster – they might firmly oppose doing so.

………………………….  Alas, fighting the PRC over Taiwan would be nothing like America’s recent military experience. Iraq and Afghanistan were cakewalks compared to high-intensity war against the well-armed and highly motivated People’s Liberation Army, generously stocked with missiles and an expanding nuclear arsenal. At its worst, air and naval combat between the U.S. and PRC would take Americans back to World War II’s Pacific war, which surely no one wants to relive, with a possible nuclear twist if such weapons were used against America.

And Beijing appears ready for war, if necessary, though that certainly is not its preference. …………………………………

In short, the American people could find themselves risking national bankruptcy and destruction to confront this one contingency: defending Taiwan from China.

The more than 23 million people of Taiwan deserve to set their own destinies. They have created a democratic policy, market economy, and vibrant society. However, risking their homeland is a high price for Americans to pay, too high. War with China means personnel killed, planes downed, ships sunk, and bases bombed. War with China also means the possibility of nuclear-tipped missiles hitting American cities. And even a U.S. victory likely would be transitory, as China could retreat and prepare for another round, rather like Germany between World Wars I and II.

Better to seek a regional modus vivendi, which ensures that Taipei eschews claims of independence and military relationships with other nations, while Beijing reduces military threats and affirms peaceful reunification. 

Washington also should consider the lessons of Ukraine: arming and training Taiwanese forces, preparing global sanctions in response to an attack, and developing asymmetric military responses. The goal should be to put the greatest responsibility on Taiwan while raising the price more for China than for America.

The president’s inability to control his mouth is dangerous. Failing to consider the full consequences of war with China over Taiwan is worse. And expecting Americans to accept without debate the costs and risks of full-scale combat with the PRC is a political crime. The Biden administration should address all three issues before the Taiwan Strait becomes the world’s latest crisis.

May 26, 2022 Posted by | Taiwan, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Taiwan rejects nuclear power in referendum

REFERENDUMS 2021 /4th Nuclear Power Plant referendum defeated, Focus Taiwan ,     By Wang Hung-kuo, Chang Hsiung-feng and Lee Hsin-Yin   Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) A referendum seeking to unseal and restart work on Taiwan’s Fourth Nuclear Power Plant failed to pass Saturday, the first time people have been allowed to directly vote on the facility that has been debated and under construction for more than two decades.

A total of 4,262,451 people (52.3 percent) voted “no” in the referendum that asked if they agreed that the power plant should be unsealed and operated commercially to generate electricity, while 3,804,755 people (46.7 percent) voted “yes.”

But even if the totals had been reversed, the referendum still would not have passed because it did not meet the turnout threshold.

Under Taiwan’s Referendum Act, the referendum question would have needed at least 4,956,367 “yes” votes to pass, or at least one-quarter of all eligible voters, and the “yes” votes to exceed the “no” votes.

Among the four referendum questions, which also covered trade, algae reef conservation and future referendums, that were rejected in Saturday’s vote, the 5.7 percent margin by which “no” votes outnumbered “yes” votes (52.84-47.16 percent) was the highest.

The government has argued that unsealing the power plant would be unfeasible due to cost and safety issues and require years before it could actually generate power……..

Rejection of the referendum, initiated by nuclear advocate Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), means that the same referendum question cannot be proposed again for another two years.

December 20, 2021 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Residents on Taiwan’s Orchid Island hope that the nuclear waste storage facility will now be closed

For decades, Taiwan has been storing barrels of radioactive waste on
Orchid Island, home to some 5,000 — mostly Indigenous people. DW’s Joyce
Lee met residents who hope that the facility will be finally closed after
all those years.

 Deutsche Welle 16th Dec 2021

December 18, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan, wastes | Leave a comment

Taiwanese Group walks for 30 hours to protest nuclear power

SYMBOLIC MARCH: The demonstrators represented the number of boroughs that would be evacuated if there were a disaster at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

  • By Yang Mian-chieh / Staff reporter, with CNA   A group of 21 people demonstrating against nuclear power completed their march in Taipei yesterday after beginning it in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) the day before.

They were joined by supporters as they reached their destination on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building after nearly 30 hours of walking.

Organized by the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform, the event was aimed at encouraging people to vote “no” in a referendum on Dec. 18 that asks whether the government should restart construction on the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District.

The 21 demonstrators represented the 21 boroughs within an 8km radius of the power plant that would be required to evacuate in the event of a nuclear disaster: 11 boroughs in Gongliao District, eight in New Taipei City’s Shuangsi District (雙溪) and two in Yilan County’s Toucheng Township (頭城), the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform said.

Separately yesterday, a group rallied in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, urging people to vote “yes” for the referendum question on whether a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project should be relocated to protect algal reefs off Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音).

They called for the government to review the nation’s energy policy rather than resort to “emotionally blackmailing the public with fears of a power shortage.”

Environmentalists have said that the algal reef took at least 5,000 years to form and is the largest of its kind in the world.

It also has rich biodiversity, and is home to the endangered coral species Polycyathus chaishanensis and hammerhead sharks that are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, they said…….

…….. The Democratic Progressive Party has launched a promotional campaign urging people to vote “no” on all four items,….

December 6, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s referendum about unsealing nuclear power plant: but safety risks persist

Yes’ vote will unseal nuclear plant: premier, Taipei Times, 10 Nov 21, By Chien Hui-ju and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

  • The Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would be unsealed if people vote in favor of its activation in a referendum next month, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday, although one of his ministers earlier said that nuclear power is not an answer to Taiwan’s energy challenges.
  • Provisions of the Referendum Act (公民投票法) stipulate that the plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) — which has lain dormant since 2015, when it was mothballed by then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — must be unsealed if enough people vote that way on Dec. 18.Launched by nuclear power advocate Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), referendum No. 17 — one of four referendums to be voted on — asks: “Do you agree that the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant should be unsealed and operated commercially to generate electricity?”

A possible start of the plant has worried people in the area, Su said at the legislature in Taipei, citing feedback from Yilan County.

The plant was sealed by Ma after public opposition rose due to perceived safety risks at the nearly completed facility.

However, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) told reporters before the legislative session that anyone who understands the safety concerns and related problems at the plant would know that activation “is not an option.”

Responding to a comment by Huang that Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power restarted a reactor late last year, despite earthquake and volcano concerns, Wang said that every plant is different.

  • Taiwan has its own set of circumstances that it must consider, for instance a geological survey after it was built found that the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is in a fault zone, she said, adding that it has operational problems with its No. 1 generator, which has not passed inspections.
  • Activation of the plant would take more than 10 years, she said, citing evaluations from the Atomic Energy Council.All professional decisions on the matter are in the hands of the council, she said.There would be many issues to work through before the facility could generate power were the vote to succeed, including new construction contracts, as well as fixing outdated equipment and interface integration issues, she said.The Democratic Progressive Party is intent on phasing out nuclear power by 2025, and Taiwan’s dependence on such energy has fallen significantly from more than 50 percent in 1985 to only 12.7 percent last year, Taiwan Power Co data showed………

November 11, 2021 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Nuclear has no place in Taiwan


While aiming for this ambitious goal, it is also paramount that the government considers national security, energy autonomy and the development of sustainable energy sources.

As a result, we need to focus our energies on developing renewables to achieve a green transition, and nuclear energy has no part in this., By Pan Wei-yiu 潘威佑 Translated by Paul Cooper The public must be confused about the issue of whether it is appropriate to restart construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). The site has been sealed up for a long time, and the fuel rods have been shipped overseas. So why is a referendum needed on whether to restart construction of the mothballed plant?

The truth is that the plant has become something of a political ATM. If a political party wants to make it an issue for its own political benefit, it resurrects the debate.

However, not only is restarting construction of the plant inappropriate, it is imperative that the government remain committed to its policy of achieving a “nuclear-free homeland.”

There are three reasons that it is not appropriate to restart construction

First, with the development of any energy source, the protection of lives and property is paramount.

For Taiwan, a densely populated nation in an earthquake zone, if there were to be a nuclear accident, people would have to evacuate quickly. The harm and fear such an event would bring is difficult to imagine.

Second, from a purely economic point of view, construction of the plant, which commenced in 1999, has already cost more than NT$283.8 billion (US$10.2 billion) and the facilities that have been added are up to two decades old. Many of the components have degraded and no longer work.

If construction is to be restarted, those components would need to be replaced, a process that would take a lot of time and money — as a rough estimate, at least a decade and NT$80 billion.

It is questionable whether this process would be sufficient to provide the energy requirements for the rapid development in Taiwan.

Third, there is the question of environmental justice. Where is the nuclear waste to be stored? Nobody has proposed a satisfactory answer to this question. No one would accept having the waste near their home.

In the past, environmental justice was not taken seriously, but that does not mean this state of affairs should continue.

Restarting construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would be unsafe, uneconomical and unjust.

Would Taiwan suffer from electricity shortages if it continues to progress to a non-nuclear homeland? This is the unfounded argument pushed by pro-nuclear groups.

According to electricity generation figures in a Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) report this year, the proportion of electricity generated from nuclear sources has fallen over the years, providing only 12.7 percent of the nation’s electricity last year.

If Taiwan could increase the percentage of renewable energy sources to 20 percent of the total energy mix by 2025, nuclear power would be a nonissue.

Additionally, if the percentage of renewable energy sources continues to increase, as is planned, Taiwan would no longer require nuclear power

The world has reached a consensus that the way to mitigate climate change is by reducing carbon emissions. Countries the world over are calling for net-zero emissions by 2050, and Taiwan has also committed to this target.

While aiming for this ambitious goal, it is also paramount that the government considers national security, energy autonomy and the development of sustainable energy sources.

As a result, we need to focus our energies on developing renewables to achieve a green transition, and nuclear energy has no part in this.

In the interests of achieving environmental sustainability, many Taiwanese companies have joined the RE100 global initiative to achieve 100 percent of power from renewable sources by 2050. Again, nuclear power is not part of the plan.

In response to the rapid changes and challenges of international political and economic trends, and the energy environment, the world is going through a crucial period of energy transformation.

Green energy technologies and energy conservation development are the major drivers of this transition around the world. Even though the development of renewable energy sources is difficult, it is incumbent that nations rise to the challenge and meet the responsibility to later generations.

It is also the way for Taiwan to truly become a “green island” nation.

Pan Wei-yiu is secretary-general of the Northern Taiwan Society.

October 30, 2021 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan not to get nuclear submarines, calls on Australia for help against China

Taiwanese Foreign Minister warns his country is preparing for war with China, asks Australia for help, ABC,  by defence correspondent Andrew Greene and Stan Grant 4 Oct 21,  Taiwan’s Foreign Minister warns his nation is preparing for war with China and urges Australia to increase intelligence sharing and security cooperation as Beijing intensifies a campaign of military intimidation.

Key points:

  • Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warns of looming war with China and urges closer cooperation with Australia
  • Dozens of Chinese military aircraft have flown into Taiwanese airspace in recent days
  • Mr Wu has also thanked Australia for supporting Taiwan’s bid to join a new trade pact

Dozens of aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have flown sorties into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) since Friday, prompting the self-ruled island to scramble its own military jets.

Speaking to the ABC’s China Tonight program, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu declared that if the PLA were to launch an actual strike, his democratic state would be ready to repel it……………

Australia does not formally recognise Taiwan diplomatically, but the federal government regularly calls for a “peaceful resolution” of differences between China and the small independent nation through dialogue and without the threat or use of force or coercion.

A communique issued after last month’s AUSMIN meetings between Australia and the United States declared that “both sides stated their intent to strengthen ties with Taiwan, which is a leading democracy and a critical partner for both countries”.

Taiwan endorses new AUKUS pact, won’t seek its own nuclear submarines

Taiwan has also welcomed the recent establishment of the AUKUS strategic partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the growing activity between the Quad allies, the US, India, Australia and Japan.
……………….The Taiwanese Foreign Minister said that unlike Australia, his nation would not be trying to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, because it has a “different war strategy”.

Defence analyst Professor Clinton Fernandes from the University of New South Wales warns it would be difficult for the US and allies to prevent any invasion attempt by China………..

October 5, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Taiwan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Taiwan says 19 Chinese aircraft including nuclear-capable bombers have invaded its airspace

Taiwan says 19 Chinese aircraft including nuclear-capable bombers have invaded its airspace, Independent, 6 Sept 21,

Taiwan dispatched combat aircraft to warn the Chinese planes and deployed the missile defence system to monitor them
Namita Singh  Taiwan has accused China of a huge military incursion in its air defence identification zone (ADIZ), saying that at least 19 chinese military aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers were detected on Sunday.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said they issued radio warnings to the crews after they tracked the 19 planes including ten J-16 and four Su-30 fighters,……. (Subscribers only)

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Taiwan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Taiwan Shuts Another Reactor as Part of Nuclear-Free Goal,

Taiwan Shuts Another Reactor as Part of Nuclear-Free Goal, Jul 7, 2021, Power, by Darrell Proctor

Taiwan’s move to end the country’s use of nuclear power continues, with Unit 1 of the Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant being shut down. The reactor was taken offline at the end of June, six months ahead of its scheduled Dec. 27 retirement, with officials saying spent fuel-storage capacity constraints meant the unit could not be refueled…..

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has made closing the country’s nuclear power plants a goal of her administration, saying the three remaining reactors will go offline by mid-2025. The 985-MW Kuosheng unit, which officials said generated about 3% of the nation’s total electricity, is the third of what were six operating reactors to be shuttered……

Decommissioning Plan

Taipower first proposed its decommissioning plan for Kuosheng Unit 1 in 2018, and it was approved by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in October 2020. The plan included construction of a dry storage facility for used fuel, but a dispute between the city of New Taipei and Taipower has delayed the project.

Officials in New Taipei have yet to issue a permit for the storage facility, which would house the used fuel rods from Unit 1. The New Taipeil government has said it does not want a permanent spent nuclear fuel storage facility within the city……..

Tsai, who took over as Taiwan’s first female president in 2016, is the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The DPP has championed a “nuclear-free homeland.” The president in her opening remarks at the renewable energy-focused EnergyTaiwan event in October 2020 called on Taiwan to be “a leading center of green energy in the Asia-Pacific region.”

New policy initiatives have supported that goal, including amendments to the country’s Electricity Act that mandated nuclear power generation be ended no later than 2025. The government has said it expects moving away from coal-fired and nuclear power, and support of gas-fired generation and renewable energy, will generate about $36 billion in investment in the country’s energy sector by 2025, along with creating 20,000 jobs………..

Voters also on Aug. 28 will be asked about a plan to restart construction of the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant 4. That plant, designed with two General Electric advanced BWR reactors and generation capacity of 2,700 MW, was expected to be completed in 2004 after construction began in 1999. Numerous delays, cost overruns, and government opposition put the project on hold in 2014. Even if voters approve a restart, analysts have said it’s unlikely the project would resume under the current administration.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan on its path toward denuclearization

Taiwan on its path toward denuclearization. The Taiwanese government shut
down the No. 1 generator at its Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli
District, New Taipei City, on Thursday (July 1) to prepare for the unit’s
full closure.

The nuclear generator went online on Dec. 28, 1981. A General
Electric Boiling Water Reactors Type-6 model, the unit was licensed to run
for 40 years, which will expire on Dec. 27, 2021. It has produced more than
270 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity for the past 40 years as
well as 800 tons of radioactive waste, according to the Environment
Information Center.

The generator is being decommissioned early because the
spent fuel pool is nearly at capacity. If the generator keeps operating,
there will be not be enough space to store nuclear waste, the Taiwan Power
Company (TPC) explained.

 Taiwan News 4th July 2021

July 6, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s strategy to phaseout nuclear energy and move to renewables

The Taiwan Government have plans to phase out nuclear power generation by
2025. Nuclear power installed capacity decreased from 4.9GW to 3.8GW, at a
negative CAGR 1.2%. The capacity will reach zero by 2025 as per government

Taiwan was prompted to rethink its nuclear power program in 2011, in
the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. This led to the government
placing one of its upcoming nuclear reactors on standby and postponing the
construction of the other indefinitely.

Existing reactors are set to be
decommissioned after their useful life is over. Taiwan intends to fill the
gap created by the retirement of its nuclear power plants with renewable
power capacity. To support the development of renewable energy, the
government passed the Renewable Energy Development Act in 2009 (further
amended in 2019) which set a target of 27GW of installed capacity coming
from renewables by 2025.


Power Technology 28th June 2021

July 1, 2021 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

United States considered nuclear strike on China over Taiwan in 1958, classified documents reveal  

United States considered nuclear strike on China over Taiwan in 1958, classified documents reveal

The US also assumed that the Soviet Union would aid China and retaliate with nuclear weapons, according to the documents

Former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg is famous for his 1971 leak to US media of a top-secret Pentagon study on the Vietnam war known as the Pentagon Papers

US military planners pushed for nuclear strikes on mainland China in 1958 to protect Taiwan from an invasion by Communist forces, classified documents posted online by Daniel Ellsberg of The Pentagon Papers television show.

US planners also assumed that the Soviet Union would aid China and retaliate with nuclear weapons – a price they deemed worth paying to protect Taiwan, according to the document, first reported by The New York Times.

Former military analyst Ellsberg posted online the classified portion of a top-secret document on the crisis that had been only partially declassified in 1975.

Ellsberg, now 90, is famous for his 1971 leak to US media of a top-secret Pentagon study on the Vietnam war known as the Pentagon Papers.

llsberg told the Times that he copied the top-secret Taiwan crisis study in the early 1970s, and is releasing it as tensions mount between the United States and China over Taiwan.

Had an invasion taken place, General Nathan Twining, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, “made it clear that the United States would have used nuclear weapons against Chinese airbases to prevent a successful air interdiction campaign,” the document’s authors wrote.

If this did not stop an invasion, then there was “no alternative but to conduct nuclear strikes deep into China as far north as Shanghai,” the document said, paraphrasing Twining.

In the event, US president Dwight D Eisenhower decided to rely initially on conventional weapons.

The 1958 crisis ended when Communist forces halted artillery strikes on islands controlled by Taiwan, leaving the area under the control of Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-shek.

China considers Taiwan to be a rebel province that will one day return to the mainland’s fold, by force if necessary.

Washington has recognised Beijing since 1979, but maintains relations with Taipei and is its most important military ally.

In recent months the Chinese air force has increased incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.

The 1958 crisis ended when Communist forces halted artillery strikes on islands controlled by Taiwan, leaving the area under the control of Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-shek.

China considers Taiwan to be a rebel province that will one day return to the mainland’s fold, by force if necessary.

Washington has recognised Beijing since 1979, but maintains relations with Taipei and is its most important military ally.

In recent months the Chinese air force has increased incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.

May 24, 2021 Posted by | history, politics international, Taiwan, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear plants a big security risk

Nuclear plants a big security risk, By Henry Sokolski   

As Taiwan’s August referendum on completing its Fourth Nuclear Power Plant approaches, one question that has not yet been fully considered is to what extent this and Taiwan’s other three plants are military liabilities — radioactive targets that China aims to attack. At best, a threatened strike or an intentional near-miss against one plant would likely force the government to shut the other nuclear plants down as a precaution. At worst, a strike could produce Chernobyl-like contamination, forcing the evacuation of millions.

Some partial, temporary defenses are possible and should be pursued, but ultimately, the smart money is on substituting non-nuclear alternatives for these reactors as soon as possible.

As Ian Easton noted last month in these pages, Beijing released a 2013 internal course book on Taiwan’s military geography that spotlighted a potential amphibious landing area at Fulong Beach where Taiwan’s fourth incomplete nuclear plant sits (“Ian Easton On Taiwan: Are Taiwan’s nuclear plants safe from Beijing?” April 12, page 6).The military handbook also highlighted Xialiao Beach, which hosts Taiwan’s Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli District (萬里).

In a separate 2014 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) field manual, Easton noted, Taiwan’s reactors were described as high-value targets that should be temporarily knocked out (for subsequent reopening) with precision weapons fired from helicopters. That is the optimistic plan. However, the PLA appeared uncertain about how surgical its attacks might be

Yet another 2015 PLA guidebook, Easton notes, warned PLA troops that they must be prepared to fight through nuclear “contamination,” and they may need to “wash” themselves off as they complete their invasion.Since these military guidebooks were written, the PLA has acquired thousands of additional highly accurate ballistic and cruise missiles and drones, which make highly precise attacks against Taiwan’s reactors much easier.

What might the consequences of such precision attacks be? Bad to catastrophic. The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, which I run, recently commissioned a radiological analysis of several Chinese strikes against Taiwan’s nuclear plants. In the least destructive case, the Chinese target one of their missiles just near the reactor — perhaps the plant employees’ parking lot. While the Chinese missile might not kill anyone, Taiwan’s government would likely pull all of their reactors off the grid as a precautionary measure.

That is roughly 10 percent of Taiwan’s electrical production. In addition, residents near the reactors would likely hit the road in massive numbers to evade possible follow-on attacks. These attacks might target the reactors’ grid connection or its emergency diesel generators. This, again, would not necessarily lead to a core meltdown (unless both were hit simultaneously), but would definitely put the population on edge.

That is the best case. Much worse would be a missile or drone strike against the reactor’s control room or reactor core. In these cases, a loss of necessary coolant and radiological release are likely. What the consequences might be depends on the prevailing winds. Here are maps of an attack on the Maanshan plant at Kenting in June and in December. The orange and red areas describe irradiated regions the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would recommend populations be evacuated from.

In either case, the evacuation of many thousands to several million is likely.

Of course, if China hit Taiwan’s spent reactor fuel ponds, the contaminating radiation released would be far greater.

None of this is welcome news. All of it recommends shutting down Taiwan’s nuclear plants as soon as is practical and replacing them with non-nuclear alternatives. At a minimum, completing Taiwan’s fourth reactor should be a nonstarter.

In the interim, Taiwan should remove as much radioactive waste from its spent reactor fuel ponds as possible and place it in hardened, concrete dry storage casks. The US, Euratom nations, and Japan are already doing this; so should Taiwan.

Taiwan should also build emergency spent fuel pond sprinkler and cooling water monitoring systems to reduce the likelihood of spent fuel fires if these pools are hit and water levels become dangerously low. Taiwan also should consider building remote control rooms for its three operating plants, as Japan has done in at least one case.

Finally, it should consider hardening certain structures and actively defending at least against local drone attacks.

As urgent as these steps are, none, however, should be taken with an eye to extending these reactors’ operations. Just the opposite. If Taiwan is serious about its national security, it will replace all of these potential radiological targets with non-nuclear generators as soon as possible.

Henry Sokolski is the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center in Arlington, Virginia, and author of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future. He served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the office of the US secretary of defense during former US president George H.W. Bush’s administration.

May 10, 2021 Posted by | safety, Taiwan | Leave a comment