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Government seeking to reduce nuclear reliance

2012/08/18 21:19:59

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) A comprehensive review of Taiwan's energy supply structure is underway to comply with the nation’s policy of reducing its dependence on nuclear power, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said Saturday.

Finding ways to use alternative energy sources is of great importance because the country's three existing nuclear power plants will be taken offline once their licenses expire, Shih noted.

However, he acknowledged that the task will not be easy.

Energy structure is linked to security, price and the environment, he said at a press conference after a meeting held at the Executive Yuan to discuss energy policies.

In the three-hour closed door meeting, Premier Sean Chen exchanged views with some 20 industry representatives about how to develop renewable energy and cut down on carbon emissions.

One of 10 conclusions reached at the meeting is that the government will continue to push for “a reduction of nuclear energy use in a stable manner,” according to a statement released by the Cabinet.

Besides listening to opinions from business leaders and industry experts on how to work out a balance between the various energy sources, Shih said his ministry is also planning on seeking suggestions from foreign institutions.

Abandoning nuclear power requires careful deliberation, said Hsu Sheng-hsiung, chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries, one of the meeting participants.

The high cost of a nuclear-free society will not only influence business operations but also individuals, he added.

Meanwhile, Chang Pen-tsao, chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, urged the government to accelerate the inauguration of the under-construction fourth nuclear plant to pave way for the decommission of the existing plants.

The two reactors in the first nuclear power plant, both built in the 1970s, are due to expire in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

(By Nancy Liu)
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