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Sun, May 07, 2000 - Page 3 News List

DPP shows nuke plant not needed

ENERGY A DPP task force says the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is unnecessary, if simple changes to thermal power plants are made to improve efficiency

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A DPP energy policy task force said yesterday its research showed the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant could be replaced if the government shifted its focus toward improving Taiwan's thermal power plants.

"The makeover could improve the efficiency of electric power supply by 40 percent and provide seven times more power than the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant," said Lai Chin-lin (賴勁麟), a DPP lawmaker and head of the DPP's Energy Policy Task Force.

Lai stressed the results of their research would be presented to the new president for his evaluation.

National Taiwan University professor Chang Kuo-lung (張國龍), also a member of the task force, said that current thermal power plants only functioned at about 30 percent of their possible efficiency and produced too much carbon dioxide because they use outdated processes and mechanisms.

"The new government only needs to upgrade its thermal power plants' mechanisms and use combined cycle gas turbine (複式機組) technology,"Chang said.

"Then the power capacity generated can adequately supply Taiwan's electric power to meet and reduce carbon dioxide levels.

Other professors confirmed this optimistic opinion, saying the new government would find Taipower has misled residents by revealing false information.

"Taipower said the co-generation system was not appropriate for Taiwan's situation because it can not produce enough electric power for Taiwan's power demands," said Wang To-far (王塗發), chairman of the Department of Economics at National Taipei University.

"However, after the Legislative Yuan passed the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant bill, the Executive Yuan announced a new policy to encourage the co-generation system. This measure now provides over 10 percent of Taiwan's total demand. A capacity which is larger than that of the nuclear power plant."

The only detail the task force has not finished discussing are the possible "legal problems," which includes compensation to a foreign company for violating contracts.

Responding to the DPP's suggestion, officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs said that resources and replacements should take into account the time factor.

"To makeover all thermal power plants' mechanisms it is necessary to improve the efficiency to about 30 to 40 percent," said Chen Chao-yih (陳昭義), Executive Secretary of Energy Commission at the ministry economics ministry.

"But a question remains," Chen added, "as combined cycle gas turbine technology has yet to be used widely."

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