Thu, Nov 14, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han vows to review nuclear phaseout

‘REAL NEEDS’:The KMT’s presidential candidate said that he would reduce renewable energy, but added that it would be increased as the technology matures and prices fall

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, right, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, listens as former president Ma Ying-jeou speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday said that if elected president, he would review President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy to phase out the use of nuclear power by 2025, to ensure that people are free from fears of pollution and power shortages.

“If elected president, I would immediately review the erroneous policy of a ‘nuclear-free homeland by 2025’ and, based on a referendum on keeping nuclear power passed last year, propose a more reasonable and pragmatic goal and approach for the nation’s energy plan,” the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate told a news conference in Taipei.

He added that he “would make the fears over power shortages and having to wear a mask — which people have experienced over the past three-and-a-half years — completely disappear.”

While most people might not understand energy policies due to their complexity, all they need is affordable electricity prices, clean air and reliable power, Han said.

To achieve those goals, Han said that he would reduce the use of coal-fired power, use more nuclear power and less renewable energy sources.

Renewable energy is more expensive and less stable, he said, adding: “We can gradually increase the use of renewable energy after the technologies mature and prices drop.”

While Tsai has denied that her policy would lead to power shortages and increased electricity prices, “that is a complete lie and utterly impossible as far as we know,” Han said.

“It is very regrettable that President Tsai would completely ignore people’s real needs at the expense of her political interests,” he said.

Asked if he would resume construction of the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), Han said that he would to ensure its safety, of which the public would approve.

Asked about his plan to handle radioactive waste, Han said that his government would deal with it cautiously, adding that the technologies to process radioactive waste have improved significantly over the past few years.

“Taiwan is not the first nation to use nuclear power, nor does it have the most nuclear power plants,” Han said.

There are about 500 nuclear power plants worldwide, including several that are close to Taiwan, but outside the nation in Japan and China, he said, adding: “People just do not pay attention to them.”

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that “we support developing renewable energy, but we are against reckless policies.”

The Tsai administration’s plan to phase out nuclear power by 2025 is not only impossible, but would drastically increase the nation’s energy costs, causing great burdens for the public, he said.

On Nov. 24 last year, Referendum No. 16, which sought to scrap the Tsai administration’s goal of abolishing nuclear power by 2025, was passed with 5,895,560 votes for and 4,014,215 against.

The proposal, initiated by Nuclear Myth Busters founder Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), asked: “Do you agree that subparagraph 1, Article 95 of the Electricity Act (電業法), which reads: ‘Nuclear-energy-based power-generating facilities shall wholly stop running by 2025,’ should be abolished?”

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