Nuclear Referendum in Taiwan

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Kirk Sorensen
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Nuclear Referendum in Taiwan

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Nov 29, 2018 12:08 pm

Voters Back Nuclear Power, Phaseout by 2025 Nixed
In a referendum held alongside local elections, the Taiwanese electorate voted overwhelmingly to abolish a stipulation in the country’s Electricity Act that called for all nuclear energy-based power-generating facilities to completely cease operations by 2025. Many experts considered it a surprising victory for pro-nuclear activists. In January 2016, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party garnered widespread support in elections, running on a platform that included the elimination of nuclear power by 2025. After the election, leaders quickly passed an amendment codifying the nuclear phaseout. However, a blackout on August 15, 2017, apparently helped change many people’s views on nuclear power. The outage occurred when a contractor accidentally interrupted the gas supply to the 4,384-MW Tatan power station, Taiwan’s largest gas-fired plant. The interruption caused all six units at the site to shut down, and 6.6 million households and businesses across the island lost power for more than five hours. At the time, three of Taiwan’s six then-operational nuclear reactors were offline for maintenance. The lack of sufficient reserve power left Taiwan Power Co. in the lurch, unable to make up for the sudden shortfall. Nuclear power has provided about 17.5% of Taiwan’s electricity over the past 20 years, although that percentage decreased to only 9.3% in 2017. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, two reactors at the Chin Shan facility were permanently shut down on October 3. Four reactors remain operational: two 890-MW units at Maanshan (Figure 1) and two 948-MW units at Kuosheng.
Taiwan Learns to Love Nuclear, a Little
A plebiscite on whether to repeal a law requiring the country’s four operating reactors to switch off by 2025 passed with 59.5 percent of the vote in the country’s local elections Saturday. As a result the government will drop plans to implement the target.
In Germany, the government’s Energiewende policy to shutter atomic power stations has reduced nuclear from 25 percent of the generation mix in 2010 to 13 percent so far this year, leaving coal power with about the same share it had in 2010 despite a 20 percent increase in renewables.
More proof that nuclear is replaced by coal, with a smattering of wind and solar to placate the public.

Taiwan votes in favor of nuclear power
Even before the referendum, Kuo was already skeptical that Taiwan could meet its renewable energy targets. But now, he is certain it will not. “The RE target of 20 GW solar power & 5 GW wind power will definitely become mission impossible,” he said.
More proof that wind/solar advocates see themselves locked, not in a battle with fossil fuels, but in a battle with nuclear energy for the crown of "carbon-free power". They know nuclear power has them beat by a country mile, so they have to chop off its legs. In Taiwan, someone finally fought back.

Meet the engineering professor who got Taiwanese voters to support nuclear power