The Executive Yuan yesterday said Taiwan will face electricity shortages, higher electricity rates and could invite international trade sanctions due to elevated carbon dioxide emissions if the incomplete Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) is scrapped.
Halting construction of the controversial plant could also lead to a slump in the stock market and political and economic instability, the Executive Yuan said in a brochure compiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday.
Written in a question-and-answer format, the brochure lists 25 arguments often raised by anti-nuclear activists to demand an immediate halt to the plant, followed by counterarguments.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
The pamphlet aims to convince the public that Taiwan needs to finish building the plant if it is to embark on a path to a low-carbon environment and a nuclear-free homeland.
According to the brochure, halting the project would put the nation at risk of having to ration electricity from 2015, when the unused capacity is estimated to be between 5 percent and 10 percent, with the risk intensifying to a real threat in 2018.
If the power plant does not become operational next year as scheduled, electricity prices will increase by 35 to 42 percent in 2016 and by 13 to 15 percent in 2018 compared with the rates recorded in October this year, the brochure says.
The Executive Yuan insisted that the plant is capable of producing the cheapest energy in Taiwan, at a price of less than NT$2 per kilowatt-hour, adding the costs of nuclear waste disposal and the decommissioning of the plant is included in the electricity price.
If the plant is abandoned, the nation would have to increase its reliance on fossil fuels — likely coal and gas — to meet electricity demand, the brochure says.
The problem of meeting the growing demand for energy cannot be immediately solved with alternative energy sources due to the various obstacles and difficulty of developing solar, wind or geothermal energy, the brochure says.
In that case, Taiwan wouid emit an additional of 7.51 million to 16.19 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, rendering it impossible for the country to reach its target of reducing emissions, the Executive Yuan said.
The brochure includes a section that seeks to address safety issues in which it rebutts an article published by Nature magazine in April 2011 that ranked two of Taiwan’s plants in a list of the world’s three most dangerous nuclear power plants.
The operational performance of Taiwan’s nuclear reactors have been rated above world standards by the International Atomic Energy Agency, it said.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
TOURIST HOTSPOT: The air charter services would drastically cut travel time to the world-renowned beach with its service to Caticlan, instead of Kalibo Royal Air Philippines is to launch next month direct flights between Taiwan and the Philippine city of Caticlan, a closer entry point to tourist hotspot Boracay. The airline will initially offer six charter flights between Dec. 26 and Jan. 15, with the flight frequency increasing to one per day during the Lunar New Year and winter holidays from Jan. 19 to Feb. 8, it announced at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. The charter flight services will drastically cut travel time to Boracay to about two hours and 45 minutes. Before the new route is launched, travelers from Taiwan who