Nuclear reactors a last resort for stable power supply: minister

2017/09/10 20:06:03 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Shen (center)

Shen (center)

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) The two nuclear reactors in Taiwan that have been sitting idle will not be reactivated unless all other means of providing a stable power supply have been exhausted, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Sunday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), Shen said that on the supply side, the government will make sure all power generators are operating normally and that the construction of new power plants is proceeding on schedule.

On the demand side, he said, his ministry is making efforts to improve load management and is encouraging consumers to adopt energy saving measures.

Meanwhile, Shen said, his ministry is also focusing on transforming the nation's energy structure by means such as increasing the ratio of green energy in the overall supply.

"If after all these efforts, we're still encountering difficulties, then we'll start thinking about reactivating" the No. 1 reactor at the First Nuclear Power Plant and the No. 2 reactor at the Second Nuclear Power Plant, he said.

If it comes to that, Shen said, the government will first have to ensure that the two reactors are safe and then it will have to seek public support for such a move.

He said it would require not just public support but also legislative approval to reactivate the two nuclear reactors, which have been repaired but are not in service.

President Tsai Ing-wen's administration has vowed to make Taiwan a "nuclear free homeland" by phasing out the existing three nuclear power plants -- which together supply about 17 percent of Taiwan's energy needs -- by 2025.

To make up the shortfall, the government is planning to increase the number of natural gas-powered plants and is hoping that supply from alternative sources will also increase to meet the overall demand.

(By Yang Shu-min and S.C. Chang)

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