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Taiwanese vote to keep nuclear in energy mix

In a referendum, the Taiwanese people voted against the government’s policy to phase out the use of nuclear energy by 2025.

The referendum proposal (Case 16) asked if voters agreed to repeal Article 95 paragraph 1 of The Electricity Act: “The nuclear-energy-based power-generating facilities shall wholly stop running by 2025”? 5,895,560 votes were cast in favor of dropping the clause from the Electricity Act, while 4,014,215 voted to retain it. A minimum of 5,000,000 votes were required to pass the referendum. As a result, the referendum is officially adopted.

Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was elected to government in January 2016 having a policy of creating a “nuclear-free homeland” by 2025. Shortly after taking office, the DPP government passed an amendment to the Electricity Act, passing its phase-out policy into law.

Taiwan has four operable nuclear power reactors—two each at the Kuosheng and Maanshan plants—which account for around 15% of electricity generation.

Voters also approved proposals to stop the construction or expansion of coal-fired power stations and to reduce “by 1% year by year” the output of coal-fired power plants.

World Nuclear News reported that state-owned Taipower said that while it respects the referendum results related to energy, it will still follow the policies of the government.



Taiwan currently has 3719 MW(e) of nuclear plants operating.

Taiwan has 2 prematurely shut down reactors at Chinshan totalling 1272 MW(e) (both cleared for 20 year license extensions, shut down by government fiat), and a suspended project at Lungmen for 2 new ABWRs at 1300 MW(e) net each.  Restarting the Chinshan reactors and finishing Lungmen would more than double Taiwan's secure, emissions-free electric generation.  Since the alternative is to burn dirty coal or expensive imported LNG, the advantages are obvious.

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