Academia Sinica officials yesterday said they would propose an energy policy package next year aimed at reducing greenhouse gases emissions and developing nuclear-free energy amid controversy over nuclear waste management.
In a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) questioned Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) over the status of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (溫室氣體減量及管理法) and relevant energy policies following the enactment of the legislation in June.
Citing an energy policy report released by the Academia Sinica in 2008 that promoted the use of nuclear energy as a means of reducing carbon emissions, Cheng asked if the institution still maintains that position, given that no acceptable way has been found to dispose of radioactive waste, and the cost of nuclear energy turned out to be higher than had been estimated.
Wong said that the new policy proposals would be based on the development of renewable energy, and include assessments of the potential viability of solar power, wind energy, geothermal power and tidal power.
Academica Sinica Research Center for Environmental Changes director Wang Pao-kuan (王寶貫) said that the development of nuclear energy has safety implications and the package would likely not propose nuclear energy as a way to combat greenhouse gas emissions.
The package would take into account the decommissioning of the nation’s three operating nuclear plants and the sealing of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), which has not yet been completed, Wang said.
Wong said the carbon emission reduction goals to be reached at the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Paris in December could well affect Taiwan, even though the nation is not a member of the UN.
Taiwan’s competitors could impose trade restrictions should the nation fail to commit to emission reductions, Wong said.
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