Taiwan Will Debate Its Nuclear Future Once Again Ahead of 2020 Elections

November’s nuclear power referendum has only set the stage for political battles still to come.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/02/25
By: Brian Hioe

Credit: Reuters / Pichi Chuang

Pro-nuclear groups in Taiwan continue to push for nuclear energy, as observed in three recent referendum pushes on nuclear energy-related issues. These referendums are organized by the groups responsible for the referendum on nuclear energy held in November during nine-in-one elections.

Namely, despite the fact that the referendum in November was successful in overturning previous legal stipulations that Taiwan was to aim towards a “nuclear-free homeland” in which nuclear energy has been phased out entirely by 2025, the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has suggested that it still intends to gradually phase out nuclear energy. As such, nuclear advocates are pushing for another referendum on nuclear energy, seeing the Tsai administration as intending to shrug off the results of the referendum.

At the same time, it is to be questioned to what extent this proves a false political issue. It would have proven a difficult task for the Tsai administration to make the necessary shifts in Taiwan’s energy grid in order to phase out nuclear energy by 2025 anyway. Given the lack of concrete steps taken by the government to phase out nuclear energy, it is thought by some that the Tsai administration never intended to actually accomplish its promised goal of phasing out nuclear energy by 2025.    [FULL  STORY]

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