Slamming a proposal by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to revive the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, opponents of nuclear power yesterday urged the government to expedite the nation’s transition to renewable energy.
Ma on Wednesday told the Chinese-language Apple Daily that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy of phasing out nuclear power facilities by 2025, which was written into the Electricity Act (電業法) last year, is a hasty decision that is impossible to achieve.
Nuclear power is sufficient, stable, cheap and clean, while renewable energy’s sole merit is clean power, Ma said, adding that the nation’s foreign investment has been declining due to an energy crisis.
The Tsai administration should consider reviving the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and extend the operations of the nation’s three existing nuclear power plants, he said.
Construction of the fourth power plant was suspended for three years by the Ma administration on July 1, 2015.
Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) has decided to transport the plant’s 1,744 fuel rods back to the US supplier within three years to seek foreign buyers starting this month.
The state-run company in 2013 estimated that it would require another NT$47.8 billion (US$1.57 billion at the current exchange rate) to finish the plant’s construction, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan consultant Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳) said yesterday.
Disposing of the plant’s assets soon is the right decision to prevent further losses, he added.
The nation’s power supply has indeed been tighter over the past two years, but with more new power generators and those under repair becoming operational this month, the operating reserve margin has stayed above 6 percent this month, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) said.
The nation does not face a power shortage as some nuclear power proponents have claimed; rather, the operating reserve margin should reach 14.9 percent by 2025 and keep rising, even after all nuclear facilities have been phased out, Hung said, adding the estimates were based on Taipower data.
Ma is misleading the public, especially when he says that foreign investment in Taiwan is declining, publisher and former national policy adviser Rex How (郝明義) said.
Foreign direct investment totaled US$7.5 billion last year, the third highest in 10 years, better than during Ma’s time in office, he said.
The government should be more decisive in promoting energy transformation, instead of resorting to nuclear power, which would produce more nuclear waste that it is unable to handle, he added.
AGGRESSION: China’s latest intrusions set a new benchmark for its ‘gray zone’ tactics and possibly a new pattern that it would attempt to normalize, a researcher said China’s latest military exercises represent a new challenge to Taiwan’s legal authority to demarcate its borders in the Taiwan Strait, a defense expert said, adding that the fleets in the latest exercises were likely the most powerful the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ever assembled. The PLA conducted military exercises from Sunday last week to 6am on Friday, which encompassed large swathes of the western Pacific, including the Taiwan Strait and waters off the Philippines and Guam, National Policy Foundation associate research fellow Chieh Chung (揭仲) said on Friday. The Ministry of National Defense said that it detected 70 warship and 162 aircraft
DOMESTIC MARKET: To protect the livelihoods of local egg farmers, the government adopted a new method for releasing imported eggs, the agriculture minister said More than 54 million imported eggs will be disposed, as their expiration date has passed, Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday. Chen made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei, explaining the flow of imported eggs following recent controversies regarding the products. The ministry introduced a special egg import program to address a nationwide egg shortage earlier this year. However, controversies have risen in recent weeks. These included an accusation that the government helped some egg importing companies over others, eggs imported from Brazil that had an incorrect expiration date, and egg shipments from Brazil that were found
PACIFIC OCEAN: Defense experts have warned that the ‘Shandong,’ China’s second largest aircraft carrier, poses a serious threat to eastern Taiwan’s defenses The drills conducted by the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific last week were more aimed at showcasing China’s military capabilities to the US rather than toward Taiwan, a Taiwanese defense expert said yesterday. Lin Yin-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the drills which involved dozens of warplanes sought to test China’s anti-access and area denial capabilities should the US and its allies attempt to interfere in a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the latest Chinese drills coincided with a joint maritime exercise conducted by the US, South Korea
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from