Taiwan plans to double its capacity to generate electricity from coal as it phases out nuclear power because of public opposition that may prevent a billion plant with two reactors from ever operating
Taiwan plans to double its capacity to generate electricity from coal as
it phases out nuclear power because of public opposition that may prevent
a $7 billion plant with two reactors from ever operating, a government minister
said.

 

‘Taiwan will eventually become nuclear free,’ Minister of Economic Affairs
Ho Mei-yueh said in Taipei last week at an energy planning conference. Taiwan
generated 21 percent of its power from nuclear reactors last year.

 

At a time when the United States and some European countries have indicated
that they may build more reactors, Taiwan is ruling out nuclear power as
a way to limit emissions of harmful gases. The decision frees Taiwan Power
to embark on a $13 billion expansion of its coal-fired plants and may increase
the island’s coal imports from miners including Anglo American and BHP Billiton.

 

‘The government is abandoning nuclear power,’ Jeffrey Bor, a research
fellow in Taipei at the Chung-hua Institution for Economic Research, said
in a June 23 phone interview. ‘We will have to use more coal.’

 

Taiwan imported all of the 57.1 million metric tons of coal it used last
year, with 75 percent of the fuel burned to generate electricity, government
figures show.

 

Public concern about the safety of nuclear power stations is heightened
by the 200 earthquakes that strike the island in an average year. Taiwan
sits along faults between the Philippine Sea and the Eurasian Continental
tectonic plates, where quakes occur as the plates push together. On Sept.
21, 1999, Taiwan’s worst earthquake on record, centered 150 kilometers, or
93 miles, from Taipei, killed 2,500 people.

 

‘Taiwan can’t afford to have nuclear plants,’ said Chen Jiauhua, chairwoman
of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union and generate electricity, government
figures show.

 

Public concern about the safety of nuclear power stations is heightened
by the 200 earthquakes that strike the island in an average year. Taiwan
sits along faults between the Philippine Sea and the Eurasian Continental
tectonic plates, where quakes occur as the plates push together. On Sept.
21, 1999, Taiwan’s worst earthquake on record, centered 150 kilometers, or
93 miles, from Taipei, killed 2,500 people.

 

‘Taiwan can’t afford to have nuclear plants,’ said Chen Jiauhua, chairwoman
of the Taiwan ‘Taiwan can’t afford to have nuclear plants,’ said Chen
Jiauhua, chairwoman of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union and a delegate
at the energy policy planning conference held in Taipei last week. Earthquakes
are common in Taiwan and the island ‘could one day have a nuclear catastrophe,’
she said in a June 24 phone interview.

 

The government may not allow the state-run Taiwan Power, known as Taipower,
to start operating the island’s fourth nuclear power plant should concerns
about the project’s safety persist, Ho said during the conference. The policy
meeting, Taiwan’s first on energy in seven years, involved about 300 government
officials, scholars, environmentalists and executives.

 

Nuclear reactors may account for as little as 5 percent of the island’s
installed power capacity by 2025, down from 15 percent now, according to
a Ministry of Economic Affairs statement issued at the end of the conference.
Nuclear capacity may fall to zero if the government blocks the fourth power
plant, originally set to start operating next year.

 

The ministry said on June 21 that it wanted power plants fueled by coal
to account for as much as 50 percent of Taiwan’s installed capacity by 2025,
compared with 32 percent last year.

Source : www.iht.com