World has insufficient power without nuclear: forum

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Sep 27, 2013 - Page 3

The use of nuclear energy is necessary in order to meet global demand for electricity, experts said yesterday at a forum in Taipei on nuclear safety and power consumption.

It is difficult for any country to generate sufficient energy without the use of nuclear power, said Agneta Rising, director-general of the World Nuclear Association (WNA), which promotes that form of energy.

At the one-day forum, organized by the state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), nuclear experts from Sweden, Japan, the US and the UK held discussions on nuclear power issues, at a time when Taiwan is dealing with controversy over the fate of its nearly completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市).

Nuclear energy use is forecast to grow by 3 percent a year until 2030 to meet future electricity demand, Rising said, citing a WNA report.

It remains a challenge to replace nuclear energy with alternatives such as solar and wind power since they are dependent on weather conditions, she said.

The experts at the forum said it is important to inform the public about nuclear power, which accounts for 15 percent of the total energy supply across the world. At present, 69 nuclear power plants are being built in 13 countries, they said.

Transparency is key to promoting nuclear energy, said Walter Hill, an official from the US-based Nuclear Energy Institute.

A framework for discussion between the government and the public should be established to help build mutual trust, he said.