Taiwan revises law to become nuclear-free society by 2025

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Operations of two reactors at the No. 4 nuclear power plant in New Taipei City have been put on hold.

 

TAIPEI–Taiwan enacted a revised law on Jan. 11 to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025 and increase renewables, a considerable challenge for this resource-poor island.

Departure from nuclear power was a campaign pledge of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who assumed office in May.

The bill met with no strong opposition during deliberations at the Legislative Yuan, or the Taiwanese parliament.

The legislation aims to raise the share of renewables, such as solar or wind power, from the current 4 percent to 20 percent of total output in 2025 by liberalizing the renewable energy market.

Electricity generated at three nuclear power stations account for about 14 percent of Taiwan’s electricity output. Operations have been frozen at a fourth nuclear power plant because of public outcry against nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The industrial sector and others have raised concerns about possible fluctuations in the power supply or a spike in utility rates in the coming years.

Another focal point of debate was disposal of radioactive waste kept at a facility in an outlying island.

The Executive Yuan, the equivalent of Japan’s Cabinet, sponsored the bill to revise the electricity utilities industry law to pave the way for a nuclear-free society.

Under the revised law, Taiwan Power Co., operator of all nuclear power plants in Taiwan, will be spun off into two companies: one in charge of power generation and the other overseeing electricity distribution.

All six reactors in Taiwan will reach their 40-year operation limit by May 2025. The No. 1 reactor at the No. 1 nuclear power plant will be the first to hit the limit, in December 2018.

The revised law ruled out the possibility of extending the lives of the reactors, stating that all reactors will end their operations by 2025.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201701120036.html

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