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Taiwan phasing out nuclear power

 Taiwan is buying more LNG for delivery over the next year as it closed a
nuclear reactor and is set to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025.
Taiwan’s CPC Corp bought via a tender this week at least 10 cargoes of
LNG to be delivered between May this year and March next year, traders
familiar with the deals told Bloomberg on Friday. The LNG purchases are
also part of Taiwan’s strategy to procure more gas to offset the decline
in nuclear power generation, according to the traders.

This week, Unit 2 of
Taiwan’s Kuosheng nuclear power plant was taken offline and will be
decommissioned following the expiry of its 40-year operating license. There
are now two remaining nuclear reactors operating in Taiwan at the Maanshan
nuclear power plant. Those reactors are expected to be shut down in 2024
and 2025.

 Oil Price 17th March 2023


March 20, 2023 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

In Taiwan, strong opposition to extending life of nuclear reactor

Proposed 20-year nuclear plant extension opposed

NO WASTE STORAGE: Renewable energy last year contributed more than the output of nuclear sources, but the nation risks moving backward, critics said

By Chen Chia-yi and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer 10 Mar 23

The National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform yesterday criticized calls by politicians to extend the service of the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant’s No. 2 reactor, saying it disregards public sentiment and does not address problems with waste storage.

Some lawmakers have suggested a 20-year extension of the No. 2 reactor at the plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里), which is set to reach the end of its lifespan on Tuesday, the groups told a news conference in Taipei.

More than 12 years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, issues with contamination and wastewater have yet to be resolved, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.

The disaster occurred just as the plant turned 40 years old, said Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅), an attorney with the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association.

Although the main cause was a tsunami triggered by an earthquake, an underlying weakness that exacerbated the disaster was the age of its facilities, Tsai said.

The second reactor at the Guosheng plant is about to turn 40 next week and should be decommissioned, she said.

Without locations identified to store nuclear waste, there is no basis for discussing continued use of the reactor, Environmental Jurists Association researcher Hsieh Pei-yi (謝蓓宜) said.

Politicians and corporate leaders — including Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) and Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) — have been using “false, one-sided information” to call for its extension, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan executive director Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳) said.

They have not addressed the issue of waste storage sites at the plant being filled to capacity, he said, adding that they have evading the question whenever asked.

They are not only disregarding public concern about nuclear waste, but also ignoring legal provisions that require extension requests to be made at least five years before a nuclear plant’s decommission date, Tsai said.

Japan’s experience with restarting its nuclear plants was much different than perceived, the groups said.

In 2011, Japan had 54 nuclear generating units, 24 of which had been decommissioned, they said.

In the years since, seven have been restarted, and more planned restarts were canceled due to public opposition, the groups said.

Last year, renewables contributed close to that of nuclear in the nation’s power mix, at 8.3 percent, the groups said, adding that Taiwan should not to “move backward” on energy transition.

Renewable energy should be made a more viable long-term goal, Homemakers United Foundation director Wu Hsin-ping (吳心萍) said.

Solar and small-scale hydropower are being used in many communities, Wu said.

For example, one small 20-kilowatt solar installation in Taipei, despite frequent overcast weather in the capital, is able to produce a month of power in a year for about 70 households, she said.

March 12, 2023 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Indigenous Taiwanese kept in the dark as a massive nuclear waste dump was imposed on their island

No one bothered to inform the residents why the southern tip of their island home was suddenly no longer accessible. All they knew was that the place where women for generations had scoured the craggy tide pools for crabs and where farmers had long tended fields of taro and millet had suddenly been turned into a large construction site.

Rumors began to fly. It was a pineapple cannery. No, it was a cannery for fish. Whatever it was, the locals decided, it would mean more jobs for the islanders.

It was not until years later, in 1980, when a local pastor saw an article buried in the back of a newspaper, that the islanders found out what the site actually was: a massive nuclear waste dump.

New York Times 5th Jan 2023

January 7, 2023 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Taiwan, wastes | Leave a comment

Objections to nuclear power in Taiwan By Chen Yi-nan 陳逸南 12 Dec 22

An article published by the Liberty Times on Thursday reported that Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in the legislative by-election in Taipei’s third electoral district, has proposed that the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) and the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County not be decommissioned.

Environmental organizations criticized Wang’s proposal as being “legally baseless and practically infeasible,” to which she has yet to respond.

Instead, she asked her rival in the by-election, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Enoch Wu (吳怡農), to answer the question, and invited him to a public policy debate.

Wu said that Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) had already deemed Wang’s proposal unrealistic and it is “highly irresponsible” to discuss national energy plans by striking a bargain.

Wu added that the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union had also released a statement opposing Wang’s proposal.

While Wang advocates keeping the nation’s nuclear power plants operational, the union believes that the goal should be to achieve a nuclear-free homeland.

Without responding to the union, Wang wished to hear Wu’s opinions on public policy.

Spent nuclear fuel rods at the Guosheng and the Ma-anshan plants are high-level radioactive waste that cannot be processed or safely disposed of in Taiwan.

The spent fuel rods are kept in the power plants’ spent fuel pools.

The dry-cask storage method was once employed in an attempt to dispose of the radioactive waste, but a long-term solution to the issue has never been developed.

If the Guosheng and the Ma-anshan plants continue to operate, how can the nation take care of high-level radioactive waste?

Where would the used fuel rods be stored?

This is an extremely serious problem, and all parties involved should think about it seriously.

Politicians should not appropriate the issue to win votes. If radioactive waste is not handled carefully, future generations would pay the price.

Former US president Abraham Lincoln once said: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”

People in Taiwan should take heed of and reflect upon Lincoln’s words, especially Taiwanese politicians.

Whether the Guosheng and the Ma-anshan plants should be decommissioned is a highly technical issue requiring scientific expertise.

It is not necessarily a problem concerning laws and politics, nor is it public policy open to debate. The candidates for a legislative by-election need not concern themselves with it.

A candidate’s irresponsible proposal is likely a trick to win votes, which is nothing more than fraud.

Candidates should not toy with the issue of nuclear power plants and radioactive waste, while voters should be sensible, smart and alert.

Chen Yi-nan is an arbitrator.

Translated by Yi-hung Liu

December 12, 2022 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

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