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Minister warns that scrapping nuclear plant could hurt economy
Central News Agency
2014-04-24 10:37 PM
Taipei, April 24 (CNA) Scrapping Taiwan's nearly-completed fourth nuclear power plant could have far-reaching effects on the country's energy policy, business environment and quality of life, Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch warned Thursday. If the new plant is not brought into commercial operation before the three existing plants are retired as scheduled, Taiwan will risk electricity shortages, Chang said. He argued that a constant power supply is essential to maintaining the current comfortable lifestyle, and since domestic businesses account for about 60 percent of total power consumption, it is impossible to see zero growth in energy demands and growth in the economy at the same time. He added, however, that energy conservation measures could be implemented in the absence of the fourth plant, namely extending the service periods of the three existing plants to maintain a stable power supply. Also Thursday, Deputy Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun dismissed a proposal from anti-nuclear power activists to tap other energy resources like natural gas to generate electricity, calling the idea unrealistic. If Taiwan decides not to use nuclear power, it would take at least a decade to build new fuel-powered generating facilities or natural gas receiving stations, Duh said. Such a plan would not be feasible because of high costs and concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, he added. Echoing Chang's suggestion, Duh said that if the fourth nuclear power plant is not activated, operations at the first, second and third nuclear plants may have to be extended. (By Milly Lin, Huang Chiao-wen and Evelyn Kao)
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