The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Thursday backed a proposal by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) to build small nuclear fission reactors in every administrative region of Taiwan.
The proposal to build small modular reactors (SMR) is forward-looking and has broad international vision, as many countries are developing SMRs to meet industrial and residential power demand, KMT spokesman Alfred Lin (林家興) told reporters.
Moreover, the plan would allow Taiwan to reach its goal of being energy self-sufficient, Lin said.
Photo: Liu Pin-chuan, Taipei Times
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s “misdirected” energy policy has resulted in shortages and impeded economic growth, the KMT said, adding that people’s health has been harmed by the expansion of coal-derived power.
“The KMT in 2021 presented a national energy policy to enable Taiwan to have clean, stable and affordable electricity from a variety of sources while meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets to adapt to long-term climate change,” Lin said. “Only the KMT’s policy can achieve the aims of low-carbon emissions and a homeland that does not burn coal.”
Gou — who is seeking the KMT’s presidential nomination — on Tuesday told an event in Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District (左營) that he backed SMRs.
SMRs are a proposed class of nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of less than 300 megawatts per unit.
Gou’s proposal to put SMRs in “each municipality and county” has sparked heated debate.
The National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform said in a news release on Thursday that Gou’s energy policy was “totally irresponsible.”
“SMRs and conventional nuclear power plants use nuclear fission, but SMRs produce 20 to 30 times more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants,” it said.
Gou is likely confusing SMRs with nuclear fusion and is misleading the public by packaging his proposal in technical terms, the group said.
“Nuclear fusion is still in the research stage after many years,” it said.
“While it is expected to be much safer — as it would not generate radioactive waste — there has not been a commercial breakthrough, as it requires more energy to run than it can generate,” it said. “There is no timetable for fusion technology to be viable in the near future.”
“We oppose nuclear energy, because we have no way to treat radioactive waste,” it said.
The Green Citizens’ Action Alliance also slammed Gou’s proposal.
“Taiwan must not become an experimental site for the nuclear power industry, and energy policy requires professional evaluation and monitoring,” it said.
“Nuclear issues should not be politicized for campaign purposes,” it added.
“Building SMRs would not help the electricity situation much, nor would it improve Taiwan’s competitiveness,” it said. “Taiwan has no place to permanently store the spent nuclear fuel it has now, so it is delusional to suggest constructing SMRs, which could generate up to 30 times as much waste.”
“Has Gou asked local government heads whether they would be willing to allow nuclear waste storage sites in their regions?” it asked.
“Nuclear power can be destructive if it is mishandled,” DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said, adding that electricity supply must be stable, but disasters can hit nuclear power plants and there is no technology to deal with a nuclear disaster.
“Gou’s outrageous proposals have led to anxiety and panic in society,” DPP spokesman Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) said. “He is promoting himself by presenting bizarre ideas. It is regretable that he has such disregard for the lives of our citizens and their property.”
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of