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Abolishing nuclear power harms Taiwan: Wall Street Journal Asia

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Giving up nuclear power would make Taiwan more vulnerable both economically and strategically, the Wall Street Journal Asia said in an opinion piece published yesterday.

The newspaper named Taiwan as the exception in East Asia for exacerbating its “own economic and strategic vulnerabilities by abandoning domestic nuclear-power production,” pointing out that Japan and South Korea continued to invest in nuclear power even amid voter concerns about safety.

The newspaper said that Taiwan's public aversion to nuclear power seems to be far stronger than Japan's despite the trauma of Japan's 2011 Fukushima meltdown. Tokyo responded to the nuclear disaster, the second worst in history after Chernobyl, by idling its 50 reactors and giving in to public demands to replace nuclear power, which contributes to 30 percent of the nation's energy.

Yet the Japanese public changed their minds after they “found themselves spending an extra 9.2 trillion yen (more than US$100 billion) on energy imports in the first two years without nuclear,” the newspaper said. Meanwhile, South Korea “plans to increase its reliance on nuclear to as much as 45 percent by 2035 from about 33 percent today.”

Citing government estimates often contested by anti-nuclear activists in Taiwan, the newspaper pointed out that if Taiwan goes nuclear power free now, it would see a 40-percent electricity price hike. The nation's state-run utility corporation, Taipower, will go bankrupt if Taiwan's Four Nuclear Power Plant, which is under construction, does not open, the article quoted Taipower as saying.

“A post-nuclear Taiwan would also be worse-equipped to withstand coercive pressure from China, such as a ban on cross-Strait coal exports or a blockade in the event of war,” the newspaper observed. “The island currently holds about two weeks' worth of strategic energy reserves.”

“While Tokyo and Seoul are pursuing regulatory reform and a balanced energy mix, Taipei is moving toward increasingly radicalized street politics and nuclear zero. That's risky territory for any nation, let alone one stuck in China's shadow,” the article concluded.

May 8, 2014    billparkhurst@
Wall Street is bankers who suck China [...]...giving up nukes is smart money by all standards...roof top panels will change the course of history
power will go to the people who should have it
May 9, 2014    ntcmtlpeterlee@
Giving up nuclear power would NEVER make Taiwan more vulnerable both economically and strategically, but, on the contrary, stronger economically, strategically and ethically; if only nuclear energy can be smoothly substituted with RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR ELECTRICAL POWER.
I have been looking for information about Taiwan's renewable energy potential since about 2 weeks ago when I started commenting on Nuke 4 issue. I am lucky and happy that I have read an article in which the renewable energy potential of Taiwan was disclosed. This article is posted in the English website of 'Thinking Taiwan' and I'd like to urge everybody, who is concerned about the solution of Nuke 4 issue, to visit that website and read the mentioned article. The piece of data quoted in that article was titled as 'Table 2: Taiwan's renewable energy potential' and was once publicized in a 2006 paper. Although it is outdated and, as many might think, sort of obsolete, my personal opinion is: the numbers and figures given in that table are, to a considerable extent say roughly 85%, still applicable in today's situation. Therefore, I am going to adopt the data given in that table and present a model process which can be used as an example illustrating how to calculate the available resources of renewable energy in contrast to the total required consumption as the substitute for nuclear energy.
Before we go further, I'd like to first emphasize that coal should never be considered as a substitute in any reasonable proposal for the sake of pollution and global warming. Our goal should rather be focused on minimizing Taiwan's reliance on fossil fuel. We don't need to worry about the ban on cross-Strait coal exports or a blockade by communist China in the event of war. The Wall Street Journal Asia might be more proficient in economic and financial affairs but not in technology and technical affairs, so we don't need to bother with their gossips which were based on their imagination. Their focus is always on the monetary benefit or profit, especially for the short-sighted capitalists who are their subscribers and potential customers. We should listen more, as far as Nuke 4 issue is concerned, to the local technical professionals who are rooted in Taiwan and therefore are really concerned about the future and benefit of Taiwan/all Taiwanese.
......To be continued......
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