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Taiwan scraps nuclear-free deadline in wake of referendum

2018/11/27 22:51

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) Taiwan will no longer aim to become nuclear- free by 2025, following the result of the recent referendum related to nuclear power, Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said Tuesday.

Last Saturday, Taiwanese voted in 10 referendums alongside local government elections, including one that pertained to the abolishment of nuclear energy-based power-generating facilities by 2025.

The referendum result showed that 59.5 percent of the nearly 10 million who voted are against abolishing nuclear power, according to Central Election Commission (CEC) figures.

The Executive Yuan respects the result and will work with relevant ministries to re-evaluate the country's energy policies, Kolas said.

As such, the government will no longer see 2025 as the deadline, she said.

The spokeswoman went on to explain that after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, public opinion took a strong turn against nuclear energy, leading the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to promise an end to nuclear power in Taiwan by 2025.

And although nuclear energy produces less air pollution, the problem of handling and storing nuclear waste will remain a serious issue for Taiwan, she said.

But as a response to the referendum outcome, Taiwan will drop 2025 as the deadline for closing all of its nuclear power plants, she said, although she added that the plan for a non-nuclear homeland will nevertheless remain the government's goal in the foreseeable future, Kolas said.

(By Ku Chuan and Ko Lin)Enditem/J