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Mothballed nuclear power plant can be activated anytime: president

Mothballed nuclear power plant can be activated anytime: president

Taipei, July 3 (CNA) Taiwan began to mothball its controversial fourth nuclear power plant on July 1, a process that will allow it to be activated at any time in the future, President Ma Ying-jeou said in an interview that was aired Friday. The nuclear power plant, situated along Taiwan's northeastern coast in Gongliao District in New Taipei, could be reopened after a few adjustments are made if it was decided to operate the facility in the future, Ma said in response to questions on nuclear energy. In the interview with Taipei-based Chinese Television System that was taped Thursday, Ma explained that the plant was being mothballed because of the strong wave of anti-nuclear voices. "No words related to nuclear energy can win support," he said. Ma said he was convinced, however, that the public would gradually discover that nuclear energy cannot be quickly replaced by renewable energy.
Coal and natural gas could be used as substitutes for nuclear power, he said, but warned that the additional carbon emissions generated could have serious consequences. The president said that the nations signing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will hold their 21st meeting in Paris in December, and a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change is expected to be achieved.
Such an agreement would pose a severe challenge to Taiwan, Ma said, even if his administration's performance in promotion energy conservation and the reduction of carbon emissions has "not been too bad." Three of the four energy-related bills submitted by the administration have been passed by the Legislative Yuan, Ma said, with only an Energy Tax bill still pending before the lawmaking body. An amendment to the Energy Administration Act and the proposal to introduce the Renewable Energy Development Act were passed in 2009, and lawmakers approved the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act on June 16 this year. Built at a cost to date of NT$283.8 billion yuan (US$9.15 billion), the fourth nuclear power plant was nearly completed when work on the project was suspended in late April 2014 amid protests reflecting concerns over the safety of nuclear power that had been growing since Japan's nuclear disaster in March 2011. To preserve the plant as a possible energy option for future generations, preparations to mothball the nuclear power plant were completed by June 30, and the storage phase officially began on July 1. (By Kelvin Huang and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-20 05:16 GMT+08:00