Thu, Dec 24, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Nuclear power still a viable alternative for Taiwan: experts

ANTI-SCIENCE?Nuclear power is vital to maintain stable power supply and should be part of the nation’s energy policy, nuclear advocates said

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Nuclear experts yesterday said that the nation’s presidential candidates are misinformed if they believe that nuclear-free development is the best path for Taiwan’s energy sector, with Atomic Energy Council Minister Tsai Chuen-horng (蔡春鴻) saying that most anti-nuclear narratives are anti-science.

At an annual convention of the Chung Hwa Nuclear Society, Tsai said that nuclear energy has long been misunderstood and public sentiment has forced the government to implement anti-nuclear measures, such as sealing up the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City, leaving the plant’s activation or termination to a referendum and postponing the designation of a nuclear waste repository.

“We are engaging in a debate between science and anti-science, which is also a fight between science and populism. We should keep on fighting for the next generations and Taiwan’s future,” Tsai said.

Association chairman Pan Chin (潘欽) urged the presidential candidates to include nuclear development in their national energy policies, because giving up nuclear power risks the stability of the nation’s power supply.

About 98 percent of Taiwan’s energy is sourced from abroad, making energy self-sufficiency a critical issue, Pan said, adding that nuclear power could strengthen the nation’s energy security as the supply and price of nuclear fuel are stable.

“Power shortage is a major uncertainty that would prevent businesses from investing in Taiwan, and presidential candidates should ease investors’ fear by proposing a viable energy policy,” he said.

Taiwan Power Co vice president Chai Fu-feng (蔡富豐) said the nation should face the issue of nuclear waste management, and while there is no technical difficulty in building a safe nuclear waste repository, delaying the construction of a facility would only incur generational injustice by leaving the problem to later generations.

Citizen of the Earth office director Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳) said the council’s preference for nuclear energy would jeopardize an unbiased management of nuclear facilities and the possibility of a balanced scientific discussion.

Anti-nuclear groups have based their narratives on scientific research, while Tsai Chuen-horng’s snub to those narratives was a true example of anti-science, he said.

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