Taiwan's goal to become nuclear free remains unchanged: President Tsai

11/29/2018 04:51 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, front center)
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, front center)

Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Thursday that her administration's goal of making Taiwan a nuclear-free homeland remains unchanged, despite the passage of a referendum against the 2025 deadline for realizing the policy.

In her first public comments since Nov. 24 when Taiwanese voted on 10 referendums and elected local government officials, Tsai said the goal of phasing out nuclear power in Taiwan is part of the Basic Environment Act.

"Therefore, that goal remains unchanged," she said.

The passage of a referendum on Nov. 24 against closing all nuclear power facilities by the 2025 deadline does not mean the goal of creating a nuclear-free homeland must be abandoned, Tsai said.

In dealing with the nuclear power issue, she said, many factors must be taken into account, including the availability of other energy sources and the disposal of nuclear waste.

Local governments will have to decide how to manage radioactive waste if the country's nuclear power plants remain in operation in the long term, Tsai said.

She said her administration will have to make further evaluations and hold discussions with the local governments on the issue of nuclear waste disposal.

In keeping with one of Tsai's election promises of phasing out nuclear energy in Taiwan by 2025, her administration has been proposing to achieve an energy mix consisting of 20 percent renewable energy, 50 percent natural gas and 30 percent fossil fuels by the set deadline.

However, the Cabinet said Tuesday that with the passage of the referendum on nuclear power, Taiwan will no longer stick to the goal of becoming nuclear-free by 2025.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao)


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