Taiwan reconsiders decommissioning of nuclear plants

Government still aims for nuclear-free homeland, but not in 2025

The No.3 nuclear power plant in Pingtung County.

The No.3 nuclear power plant in Pingtung County. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is reconsidering its energy policies, including the dates for decommissioning the country’s second and third nuclear power plants, reports said Wednesday

On Tuesday, the government announced it was abandoning its deadline of 2025 for turning Taiwan into a nuclear-free homeland, one of its key promises during the 2016 presidential election campaign. The change followed last Saturday’s referendums, when a question about continuing nuclear energy received a positive majority.

Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Wednesday that within two months he would come up with a new policy based on saving energy, green energy, and nuclear energy, the Central News Agency reported.

He will ask the state utility Taiwan Power Corporation to evaluate the need for postponing the decommissioning of the No.3 nuclear plant in Pingtung County, a matter which. according to the law. should be submitted to the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) by next July.

The Pingtung County Government has opposed the continuation of nuclear energy production near the beach resort of Kenting, but Shen emphasized that the issue was of national importance, requiring further communication between central and local government.

Whether or not the No.2 nuclear power plant in New Taipei City should also continue longer than originally planned could also be discussed, Shen said. The plant’s two reactors were scheduled for decommissioning in December 2021 and March 2023 respectively, CNA reported.

The AEC said that the government’s target of a nuclear-free homeland had not been dropped; only the date of 2025 as a deadline is being revised.