Tue, Aug 13, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Scrapping nuclear power could hurt GDP: report

Staff writer, with CNA

Putting an end to the nation’s nuclear power plant operations could have economic repercussions, including on GDP and employment rates, a report released yesterday by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) says.

The report shows that halting construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮) in New Taipei City (新北市) and allowing the three other plants to be decommissioned as scheduled would cause real GDP to contract by NT$94 billion (US$3.1 billion) while 19,464 jobs would disappear.

The economic damage would be the end result of a rise in electricity prices and the subsequent impact on local industries, the report says.

If the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is completed, it will cost about NT$2 per degree of electricity generated, including operating fees, the report says.

That is lower than the NT$2.5-per-degree cost that a coal power plant would incur and much lower than the NT$4.7-per-degree cost of natural gas power generation.

If the plant is not completed, the cost of electricity from extra coal plant production could rise NT$0.04 per degree, assuming that electricity sales reach 230.6 billion degrees in the year 2018, the report says.

The cost would surge by NT$0.23 per degree if extra natural gas plants were used instead.

By the year 2025, this could cause national income to contract by NT$134.5 billion, while economic growth would drop by 0.58 percentage points, it adds.

Other potential consequences of scrapping the plant include higher risk of electricity shortages, lowered industrial production value and investor interest, and higher levels of carbon dioxide emissions, the report says.

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