Nuke 4 scrapping would hurt economy: CEPD
By John Liu,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The country will sacrifice economic growth and job opportunities as well as power shortages if the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is scrapped, according to a report released yesterday by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD, 經建會).
August 13, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
The CEPD has studied the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant's economic impact on Taiwan, and produced an evaluation report which warns on its very first page that without an operational Nuke 4, there will be no way to avoid electricity use restrictions.
The report outlines five areas of impact. The first is power shortages and accompanying constraints on electricity use. The second is increased electricity prices. The third is a lower real GDP and worse unemployment. The fourth is decreased output in local industries and less investment. The fifth is more carbon dioxide emissions.
Without any operational nuclear power plants in Taiwan, real GDP would drop by NT$94 billion in 2019, a 0.52-percent fall in the economic growth rate, the report says. Less output will also affect employment. The CEPD estimates that 19,464 people would be out of work as a result.
Without an operational Nuke 4 and with the scheduled decommissioning of the first, second and third nuclear power plants, the nation's economy will bear a loss of NT$134.5 billion, a 0.58-percent drop in economic growth, and would see 22,000 people put out of work.
The real GDP would drop by NT$506.2 billion between 2018 and 2025, the council estimates, and a total of 86,692 people would lose their jobs over the same period.
Power Price Rises, Carbon Emissions
If the generation reserve margin drops to 10 percent or below in 2015, there will probably be a power shortage and, according to Taiwan Power Co., power rationing will have to be carried out.
Without operational nuclear plants, Taipower would ultimately use more costly fuels such as coal and natural gas, which in turn would contribute to 14.19-percent higher utility prices. Consequently, the price of consumer goods would also increase, lifting inflation by 0.21 percent, the report says.
An additional 7.51 million tons of carbon dioxide would be generated annually if natural gas was used in a fossil-fuel powered station. Using coal instead would generate 16.19 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. This works against the nation's carbon emission goal, and could ultimately result in a price tag of NT$19 million for international carbon trade, consequently hurting Taiwan's competitiveness, the report claims.
Former Nuclear Consultant's Opinion
Lin Tsung-yao (林宗堯), a former consultant for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, said that the government must take the blame for the facility's delay in operation.
The government has not done a good job in monitoring the power plant's construction, which was contracted to General Electric, Lin said. GE is paid by the hour. “It was like interns working for Taipower,” and if anything goes wrong, GE cannot be held responsible, Lin said.
Lin said that the government has only seen the “surface” of the nuclear power plant. The government claimed that everything is moving smoothly and progressing as planned, but it is not the whole truth, he said.