TAIPEI – Taiwan said on Thursday it has abandoned plans to make the country nuclear-free by 2025 in response to the results of the Nov. 24 referendum.
The referendum had asked Taiwanese citizens “Do you agree with abolishing the first paragraph of Article 95 of the Electricity Act, which means abolishing the provision that ‘all nuclear-energy-based power-generating facilities shall cease to operate by 2025’?”
The proposal received 59.49 percent of votes in favor and 40.51 percent against.
The decision to abolish the 2025 nuclear-free goal was taken in a cabinet meeting led by Premier Lai Ching-Te, cabinet spokesperson Kolas Yotaka told reporters.
Kolas said Premier Lai has clarified that the government had pushed the 2025 deadline indefinitely but not abandoned the goal of making the island nuclear-free.
The intention of the government was to eliminate the usage of nuclear energy by 2025 by increasing renewable energy to 20 percent, from natural gas to 50 percent and reduce the energy from coal to 30 percent.
According to the official Central News Agency, the government will now send its proposal to eliminate the first paragraph of Article 95 of the Electricity Act to the Legislative Yuan, or Taiwanese parliament, for its approval.
Meanwhile, the oldest nuclear reactor on the island located in the Jinshan nuclear plant in New Taipei officially began the dismantling process on Thursday after 40 years of operation.
However, owing to difficulties with the storage of waste it is not yet known when it will be shut down definitively.