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Taiwan exploring transformation of nuclear to geothermal power plants

First nuclear power plant by Taipower, Taiwan (source: flickr/ Wei-Te Wong, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 9 Nov 2017

Taiwan's Atomic Energy Council explores the option of transforming nuclear power plants, to be de-commissioned, into geothermal power plants.

With an ambitious plan to decommission its nuclear power plants, Taiwan is launching a plan that could transform nuclear power plants into geothermla power generation plants, according to Atomic Energy Council Minister Hsieh Shou-shing in a statement this year.

The nation’s three operating nuclear plants are to be decommissioned one after the other until 2025 and this retirement is proceeding as scheduled, Hsieh told the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee yesterday, adding that the council has also funded efforts to study “green” energy in recent years.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Rosalia Wu said the council should be tasked with the development of geothermal power, given that a viable source can be found about 20km beneath the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District.

One of Wu’s references was a March 4 op-ed by Wang Shou-cheng on TechNews. In the article, Wang encouraged the government to set up a geothermal energy development zone in Wanli and Jinshan districts where two nuclear power plants are located.

While the nation hopes to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, geothermal power should not be marginalized in consideration of different sources, Wu said.

The government should consider launching a more progressive plan to make use of the geothermal energy stored beneath the Guosheng plant, Wu said, adding that the AEC must play a more active role in such a plan.

Also expressing his support for geothermal power, Hsieh promised to propose a preliminary plan to develop sources of geothermal energy beneath nuclear power plants by the end of December.

Source: Taipei Times