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Taiwanese diplomats cite U.S. example to support nuclear power
Central News Agency
2013-08-17 07:22 PM
Washington, Aug. 16 (CNA) Taiwan and the United States have similar energy policies of diversifying energy sources, which include the use of nuclear power, Taiwan's representative office in the United States said Friday. The U.S. has been investing in research and development of various sources of energy, including nuclear, wind, and solar power, as well as biofuel, the office said. The statement came following a recent discussion between President Ma Ying-jeou and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz when they met at a farewell dinner held in honor of outgoing Paraguayan President Federico Franco in the South American country Aug. 14.

According to Republic of China Ambassador to Paraguay Liu Der-li, Moniz told Ma that his country does not have a zero-nuclear policy. Taiwan's representative office in the U.S. pointed out that 73 of the 100 nuclear reactors currently in service in the U.S. have been relicensed to operate for an extended period of time. The Office of Nuclear Energy under the U.S. Department of Energy is also focusing on funding the development of small modular reactors so that they can be in commercial operation by 2023. This shows that the U.S. is still in favor of nuclear power development, the representative office said.

It also said that Taiwan also has a policy of diversifying its energy sources to ensure stable energy supplies because of its lack of natural resources. Following Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster in March 2011, Taiwan has been focusing on ensuring nuclear power safety and gradually reducing the use of nuclear power, the representative office added. Premier Jiang Yi-huah announced in late February that the fate of Taiwan's almost-completed fourth nuclear power plant will be decided by a referendum. The proposed referendum is aimed at ending public division over the use of nuclear power in Taiwan, but the bill to initiate the poll has been blocked by opposition parties in the Legislature. Construction of the controversial plant has stretched over 14 years and has so far cost taxpayers some NT$300 billion (US$10 billion). (By Lin Shu-yuan and Kay Liu)

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