SURVEY: Most people want Taiwan to ditch nuclear power — but they’re not willing to pay for it


TAIPEI, Taiwan — More than 50 percent of the respondents to a recent survey said they are opposed to the idea of paying higher electricity rates in order to eliminate the use of nuclear power, according to the results of the survey, released Wednesday.

About 52.6 percent of the respondents said they are unwilling to pay higher power prices for the goal of making Taiwan nuclear-free, while 42.3 percent said they are willing to do so, according to the results of the survey by the National Policy Foundation, a Taipei-based think tank affiliated with the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), to gauge the public’s opinion of the Democratic Progressive Party government’s energy policy.

The survey also found that 53.9 percent said they did not agree with the idea that all of Taiwan’s nuclear power plants should stop operations to make the country nuclear free, despite the threat of power shortages, while 33 percent agreed with the idea.

Nearly 47 percent of the respondents expressed support for resumed operations of the No. 1 reactor at the second nuclear power plant and the No. 2 reactor at the third nuclear power plant to generate electricity, and 32.5 percent said they are opposed to the idea, the survey shows.

However, 48.5 percent of the respondents said they are willing to endure inconveniences resulting from power outages or power rationing in a transition to becoming nuclear-free, with 46.5 percent unwilling to do so, the survey results show.

On other sources of energy, 47.9 percent said they are unwilling to sacrifice farmland, or land for forestry and housing, for the development of solar power, and only 38.8 percent said they are willing to do so, the results show.

About 48 percent said they do not agree with the idea of setting up more electricity-generating wind turbines, with 39.8 percent agreeing with the idea, according to the survey.

About 75 percent expressed objection to the idea of replacing nuclear power plants with coal-fired power plants.

Meanwhile, 64.5 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during her first year in office, while 25.4 percent said they are satisfied.

National Policy Foundation Chief executive officer Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said that the goal of making Taiwan nuclear-free has been included in the law, adding that ensuring a stable power supply with reasonable electricity prices is an urgent task for the government.

An amendment to the Electricity Act that cleared the Legislature early this year stipulates that all nuclear power-generating equipment should stop operations by the end of 2025.

Commissioned by the foundation, the survey was conducted by the Taiwan Real Survey Co. from June 14-16. With 1,070 valid samples, the survey had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.