Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nuclear Plant Referendum and Power Stuff

Taking pictures in front of the Hakka Museum in Dongshih.

The Executive Yuan came out in favor of absentee ballots for the referendum, provided the system is only done domestically.
“The Executive Yuan recommends the adoption of transfer voting in Taiwan. For example, people who live in Pingtung County could vote in Taipei by-elections,” Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) told the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee.
The interesting thing will be how they prevent people from voting more than once..... the absentee ballot issue was a sensitive issue since so many Taiwanese live in China, where it seems like that the government will take steps to influence the vote directly. Other rumors came out of the Executive Yuan too, carried on the KMT news organ....
The controversy over a plebiscite on the fate of Nuclear Power Plant No. 4 (NPP4) continues to heat up. Rumor has it that high-level officials within the Blue camp were inclined to directly announce a halt to the construction of the NPP4 instead of first holding a plebiscite on the issue so as to avoid having a plebiscite result that would affect future elections.

An informed KMT legislator recounted that Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁), Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan (Cabinet), stated bluntly during yesterday’s meeting with KMT legislative caucus cadres that the Cabinet hoped that the report on nuclear safety would be presented by the end of June or no later than August, adding that a plebiscite on NPP4 must be held by the end of this year with no delay.
There's been some discussion that the referendum on nukes would lead to a referendum on sovereignty-related issues, but the referendum law is written to prevent that, as my man Ben reminds me.

This rumor also appeared in another form in the China Post as well, where the Premier said based on the 2000 decision by the Judicial Yuan, it would not be constitutional for the EY to stop the plant because only the legislature can do that.....
According to local reports, Chiang's speech at a recent Yuan Sitting noting that any possible decisions on ceasing the construction of Nuke 4 would require further discussion by Executive Yuan members has triggered questions about whether the Executive Yuan looks set to make an announcement to stop constructing Nuke 4.

“The Executive Yuan can not directly announce a cessation of Nuke 4's construction as it will completely mix up the boundary between execution and legislation,” said Chiang.

Chiang emphasized that the Cabinet will not consider violating law to stop the construction of Nuke 4.

According to Chiang, when the then-ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ceased construction of Nuke 4 in 2000, the Judicial Yuan Interpretation stated that it is unconstitutional and the construction was resumed after four moths.

At the time, the Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 520 (大法官釋字第520號) stated that the Executive Yuan cannot stop construction of Nuke 4 without first getting approval from the Legislative Yuan.

To do otherwise would violate the separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers.
You see how this is set up. The government has assured the public that safety will be first (example). Imagine if the government actually finds that the plant is unsafe in the final phases of construction (yes, I know, pigs will swoop past my window before that happens). It still can't shut the plant down. The ruling of the Judicial Yuan makes the government's findings moot, because only the legislature can halt construction. And the legislature is controlled by the KMT.....

Activists from the outlying islands demanded to meet with the premier to discuss the nuclear waste disposal problem (Taipei Times). Taiwan still has no plan for long-term nuclear waste storage, despite planning to begin operating another nuclear plant soon. Apparently the government expects magic ponies to drag the stuff away, or perhaps consume it. The activists complained:
Tao Foundation (蘭嶼部落文化基金會) secretary-general Sinan Mavivo said that Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) should not make excuses such as being unable to pick a final disposal site for low-level radioactive waste to delay making good its promise to remove nuclear waste from Orchid Island.
Recall that the government told the islanders they were getting a fish cannery and then sprayed money around......

The Taipei Times ran a piece from Taipower's CFO today, with some numbers. I love numbers....
Then there is the issue of the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant. Taipower was established in accordance with the Company Act (公司法), and it holds full responsibility for its profits and losses. That means that Taipower must raise money for the construction project by itself, by issuing corporate bonds, commercial paper and even loans. To this day, the government and taxpayers have not contributed financially.

By the end of last year, the book value of the power plant’s fixed assets had reached NT$263.9 billion. If a referendum to halt construction is passed and the project is terminated, commercial operation would of course become impossible. If that were to happen, Taipower would have no choice but to list it as a loss according to International Financial Reporting Standards.

Along with the accumulated book losses, the total loss would reach NT$460 billion, a figure that is much higher than the company’s paid-in capital of NT$330 billion. As a result, the company would have no choice but to file for bankruptcy in accordance with the Company Act.
Years ago the government had plans to privatize Taipower, but one of the casualties of the stupid decision to build the fourth nuclear plant rather than invest in renewables and conservation was that plan. But further down he observes that if the fourth nuclear plant is not built, the lives of the other three nuke plants will have to be extended past their original forty years. Apparently Taipower cannot imagine an alternate universe where we shutter our nukes and coal plants and put in lots of solar and wind power.

Speaking of power, people wonder why so many of us don't think Taipower can be trusted with the new nuclear plant..... the TSU accused Taipower officials of colluding with independent power producers in order to obtain illegal insider benefits, when the independent power producers (IPPs) refused to raise rates....(Taipei Times):
Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) was behind the refusal of nine independent power producers (IPPs) to renegotiate electricity prices with the state-run company, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers said yesterday.

Four of the nine IPPs — which were slapped with a NT$6.32 billion (US$212.5 million) fine on Wednesday for conspiring to refuse Taipower’s request to renegotiate electricity prices — are subsidiaries of Taiwan Cogeneration Corp (Taiwan Cogen), Taipower’s reinvestment company, TSU caucus whip Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) told a press conference.

Among the 36 board members of the four IPPs, 21 were appointed by the government, including 13 from Taiwan Cogen and four each from the Taiwan Sugar Co (Taisugar) and CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC), which means that Taipower knew that the companies would refuse, Lin said.
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1 comment:

AV-VA SEO said...

i have received the answer, still I do not know whether it is frank attitude:

We welcome your inquiry on the topic of the construction and referendum on Taiwan’s 4th Nuclear Power Plant. As to your concern, we are keeping close attention on the safety of nuclear power plant, which is also the first priority of the operation nuclear power plant. In regards of the announced tender for the heat-tracing system on TPC website, we will ask the competent authority, MOEA, to review whether the tender is subject to a violation of Legislative Yuan’s resolution. We will forward your letter to MOEA for further response.

Sincerely yours,
Atomic Energy Council, Executive Yuan