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CPC's blackout mistake is a lesson about getting the basics right

The problem is not going to be solved in the short term. Even if the government acknowledges the hole in its energy strategy, it would take time to build new facilities and to find new resources. For now, the government does not even regard low reserve capacity as the key problem and instead has named changes to the power distribution system as the priority. When meeting with a business delegation last month, President Tsai Ing-wen attributed the power crisis last week to "mistakes" and "natural disasters."

Some might see Tuesday's outage as an evidence of Taiwan's need for nuclear power. But that's not necessarily the case. Talks about restarting the suspended nuclear generators in Taiwan were in fact beside the point in Tuesday's case. The Tatan plant's failure took 11 percent of output off-grid -- the suspended nuclear generators would not have been able to fill that gap.

Tuesday's event can even be used as an argument against nuclear power. As many have pointed out, how can people trust state-run firms to run nuclear reactors if they can't even handle a few gas valves?

Governments under both political parties have been failing to handle the hot potato that is nuclear power in Taiwan. The two major parties have taken opposite sides on the issue but have achieved the same thing: they have failed to truly tackle the issue and have instead deferred it again and again, letting the white elephant take up all the space for discussion of Taiwan's energy strategies.

It is time to change that.

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