Taipei, March 11 (CNA) Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) reiterated on Saturday that the government's goal of phasing out nuclear power in Taiwan by 2025 remains unchanged, as protesters held anti-nuclear power rallies around the country.
Hsu said the government will brief the public about its plans later this month, including ways to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources nationwide to 20 percent by 2025.
Other issues such as handling nuclear waste, upgrading to more efficient thermal power plants and steps to decommission the country's three active nuclear power plants will also be addressed, added state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) in a statement.
Hsu made the remarks as demonstrations were held in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taitung against the continued use of nuclear power in Taiwan on the sixth anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan that resulted in a nuclear incident that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the region around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The protesters demanded that the government move faster on its pledge to create a "nuclear power free homeland,” including the announcement of more concrete plans and a timetable.
In addition, the problem of air pollution should also be included as part of anti-nuclear policy as it has become a pressing health issue, said one of the rally organizers, the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform.
The Atomic Energy Council said it will complete its review by June of Taipower's plan to phase out the No. 1 nuclear Power plant.
The council is also demanding Taipower too put forth its plans to decommission the second and third nuclear plower plants by 2018 and 2021, respectively.
(By Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin)