Power supply and nuclear-free homeland both important: Duh
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The deputy minister of economic affairs said yesterday that securing a stable power supply is as important for Taiwan as achieving nuclear-free status.
January 10, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Duh Tyzz-jiun made the remarks at a joint session of the Education & Culture Committee and the Economics & Energy Committee of the Legislative Yuan. The session was designed to screen a draft law on the promotion of a nuclear-free homeland proposed by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
As many as 60 ruling and opposition lawmakers registered to question Duh and Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Chairman Tsai Chuen-horng on issues ranging from securing safe nuclear power generation, reducing nuclear power generation, achieving a low-carbon environment and gradually moving toward nuclear-free status.
Lawmakers focused their questions on whether the No. 4 Nuclear Power Plant, a controversial project that is yet to be commissioned, can carry out commercial operation safely. Lawmakers also asked about alternative energies and surplus power prospects.
Duh said the Ministry of Economic Affairs has set a timetable concerning the decommissioning of the existing Nos. 1, 2 and 3 nuclear power plants, under which the operation of the three plants won't be extended once they are decommissioned.
Duh said No. 4 Nuclear Power Plant won't be put into operation until after it satisfies all necessary conditions for safe functioning.
The deputy economics minister stressed that if the No. 4 nuclear plant fails to become operational, then the current level of surplus power will drop sharply to 7.4 percent in 2015 from the existing 15 percent. This will lead to an increase in the potential for recurrent power outages and the need for power rationing as experienced between 1990 and 1996, he stressed.
Nuclear-free Homeland Impossible Before 2025
The AEC's Tsai told lawmakers that it is impossible to accomplish the goal of building a nuclear-free homeland in Taiwan by the end of 2025, based on an internal study report worked out by the Cabinet. The study is based on three key factors: maintaining reasonable power rates, securing stable power supply and achieving low carbon emissions.
As a guest speaker at the session, Liang Chi-yuan, chairman of the China Institution for Economic Research, said developing large-scale wind-driven power in Taiwan would be difficult due to the country's geographic limitations. He added that Taiwan now relies on imports for up to 97 percent of the natural gas needed for power generation and other uses, and maintaining the storage facilities and transmission systems is costly.