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Taiwan nuclear plant closure tests Tsai's energy transition

Island's renewable push will make it hard to regain lost power capacity

The reactor head inside the Taipower Kuosheng nuclear power station unit 2 in in Taiwan. The plant's reactor 1 was shut down last week.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant 2 reactor 1 shut down last week, six months before its scheduled retirement on Dec. 27 due to spent fuel-storage capacity constraints that prevent it from being refueled.

The closure of the reactor marks another milestone in the island's energy transition, a key initiative of President Tsai Ing-wen. Her administration aims to shut down all of Taiwan's nuclear reactors by mid-2025 and replace their power with huge swathes of renewable energy and natural gas power. Kuosheng reactor 1 is the third of Taiwan's six reactors to be shut down, with the remaining operational reactors due to close at the rate of one per year, starting in 2023 through 2025.

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