Taiwanese voters have rejected the island’s policy to phase out nuclear energy. In a referendum held on Saturday, 59% of voters supported overturning legislation enacted last year that would end all use of nuclear power by 2025. Taiwan’s three nuclear reactors provided 8.3% of its electricity in 2017, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which controls both the presidency and the legislature, had hoped to take nuclear power out of the mix by increasing the share of renewable sources in power generation to 20% by 2025; 50% would come from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 30% from coal. But pro-nuclear advocates gathered more than 290,000 valid signatures in favor of a referendum on removing the nuclear phaseout clause from the books—enough for the referendum to proceed. Science spoke with Min Lee, a nuclear engineering professor at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and one of the referendum’s co-organizers. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Science Mag 27th Nov 2018 read more »