Nuclear power is coming back to Taiwan, but an anti-nuclear movement that once rallied more than 100,000 protesters is nowhere to be seen.
The News Lens
By: Brian Hioe
The announcement by state-run power utility Taipower that it plans to seek approval
from the Atomic Energy Commission for restarts of a nuclear reactor at Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant should be of little surprise — the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration quietly approved nuclear reactor restarts in June 2017.
It remains to be seen whether it will not only be the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant reactor is to be restarted — approval was also sought at the Ma’anshan Nuclear Power Plant Reactor last year.
It seems likely that the Tsai administration continues to view nuclear energy as necessary in order to maintain the stability of the power grid in Taiwan. Rolling power blackouts across Taiwan would damage the approval ratings of the government as well as discourage industry from continuing to maintain factories in Taiwan due to lost productivity. It may also be this push for restarts comes at a time in which the Tsai administration is increasingly criticized for failing to resolve growing problems of air pollution in Taiwan, one source of which is coal. [FULL STORY]