Proposal

提案說明

提案人 -
林冠吟

1.提案人 Author:

林冠吟,曾任台南社大環境行動小組專案助理、公民記者、目前在歐洲背包旅行中。

以環境影音報導,兩度獲得公民新聞獎。詳情請見

Guan yin,Lin
a former project assistant of Environmental Action Team of Tainan Community University, and a citizen journalist, is backpacking around Europe. I have twice won Citizen Journalism Awards of Taiwan Public Television Service Foundation with the reports on environmental issues. Links to more information.

2. 發起議題 Motivation and Purpose:

剛來到比利時不久後,某次在跟比利時朋友家吃飯時,大家聊起能源的議題,有的人認為比利時政府應該趕快關閉核能發電廠(以下簡稱核電廠),因為核廢料不知如何處置,但也有人認為,如果貿然關掉核電廠,那麼會對經濟發展有所影響。這些討論,帶我回到去年三月的台灣,當時的社會氛圍下,各大報紙最熱門的話題就是,核四廠該不該運轉?以及該不該使用核電?在22萬人上街反核遊行過後,民間社會仍探討著核電廠帶來的疑慮,然而,主流媒體似乎就不再關注核四去留的議題,因此想藉由這篇報導,延續這種討論的聲音。

I went to visit a Belgian friend when I just arrived in this country. We talked about energy issues,and someone said that the Belgian government should close nuclear power plants soon, since there is nowhere to store radioactive wastes, while someone thought shutting down the power plants will impact on economic development. The discussion reminded me of the social climate of Taiwan in March last year, when 220 thousand Taiwanese gathered on streets for the anti-nuclear protest. Back then, the debates on nuclear energy and the constructing Fourth Nuclear Plant were at its peak, but now it seems to be forgotten by mainstream media. Therefore, I would like to extend the discussion by making this report.

比利時,這個比台灣略小的國家,擁有七個核反應爐,全國有54%的電力使用量來自核能,遠高於台灣的16~18%,然而自從車諾比核災爆發後,反核的聲音開始在比利時出現。1999年,Verhofstadt I Government聯盟,在政策聲明裡提出核電除役的計畫,在當時並沒有受到重視,直到2011年的福島核災,再次喚醒人民對於核電使用的隱憂,於是執政者在民意的壓力下,做了除役的決定。

Belgium, just slightly smaller than Taiwan, has seven nuclear reactors. 54 percent of the

electricity is generated by nuclear power, much higher than the 16-18 percent of Taiwan, but after the Chernobyl disaster occurred, the call for anti-nuclear has started to spread. In 1999, Verhofstadt I Government proposed a nuclear decommissioning plan in the policy statement without receiving too much attention. It was not until the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 that the concern about nuclear aroused again in Belgians that the rulers made the decision of decommissioning by people's demand.

比利時政府決定在2015年關掉2座較老舊的反應爐,並逐步除役其他反應爐,並在2025年進入零核時代。在核電使用量高達54%的比利時,如何逐步除役,朝著非核家園的目標邁進?在除役過程中,是否會面臨缺電的危機,政府有什麼配套措施來應對?民間對於除役的看法是什麼?公民運動在其中又扮演何種角色?

Belgian government decided to close down two aged reactors in 2015, and to decommission others gradually, in order to become nuclear-free in 2025. Since nuclear power makes up 54 percent of electricity usage, how do the authorities plan to carry out the scheme of decommissioning? If electricity shortage crises occur during the process, what are the supporting policies? What does the general public think of decommissioning? What role does the civil movement play here?

台灣從1979年第一座核電廠在金山運轉,也進入了核能使用世代,核電廠的平均使用年限是四十年,也就是說,再過五年,台灣也得面臨核電廠除役的問題。雖然比利時和台灣在國情和文化上,相差甚多,然而,我們同為國土狹小的國家,人民對於核電該不該使用的討論也還在進行著,明年就要除役兩座反應爐的比利時,也許可以作為台灣借鏡和學習的對象。此篇報導除了整理和專訪關於核電除役的消息,也會記錄筆者在這裡所觀察到一般平民的生活用電習慣,作為不同角度的補充,期待在核電該不該用的辯證之外,同時記錄比利時人的生活態度。

Taiwan’s first nuclear power plant at Chinshan began to operate since 1979, and the average effective duration of a plant is 40 years, which means that after 5 years, Taiwan has to face the problem of decommissioning, too. Although Taiwan is very different from Belgium in many ways, both countries are densely builded and the undergoing debates of the usage of nuclear power. Belgium, being about to decommission two reactors, may be a good example for Taiwan to learn from. The reports will not only include the news and the interviews about nuclear decommissioning, but also record some daily electricity using habits that the author observes from the public, as a way of supplement, for putting down Belgian's living attitudes as well as the dialectic between the proponents and the opponents of nuclear power.

 

3. 作品預計形式 Intended Form of the Report:

本提案以文字為主,總字數為一萬字,預計分成三至四篇報導。

並輔以相關照片約20張和圖表。

This project intends to produce three or four serial reports, with 10000 words in total,

supplemented with 20 photos and some charts.

4. 焦點訪談對象Intended main interviewees:

Belgian authorities and politic parties, for instance:

Non-governmental organizations in Belgium:

Belgian residents

比利時官方和政黨,例如:

European Green Party

Groen

Ecolo

比利時NGO ,例如:

Friends of the Earth Europe

Greenpeace in Belgium

European Greens

Green Left

比利時居民

 

5. 募款目標 The goal of fundraising:
 

十萬。   (100,000 TWD =2,433 EUR)

為什麼需要來WeReport募款:一來,因為筆者正以比利時打工度假簽證旅行歐洲中,需要足夠的資金才能進行完整的採訪和調查;二來,希望這篇報導能透過WeReport的平台,讓更多人看見,而且報導成品也將是屬於公眾的。

The reason why I raise funds on WeReport:  first, I am now traveling around Europe with Belgium working holiday visa, and the funds are needed to investigate the subject deeply; second, through WeReport, the result report can be accessed by more people, and the copyright also belongs to the public.

 

因為筆者已經入境比利時,故將自行負擔來回機票費用,希望募得採訪調查期間(02/04~05/30)的食宿交通和製作等費用 (以下皆以新台幣計算):

1.交通費:一個月4000元,四個月16,000元。(主要搭乘比利時國鐵SNCB,以及地上電車De Lijn,如果應採訪需要搭乘計程車或租車,額外費用將由筆者自行負擔。)2.食宿費:一個月20,000元,四個月80,000元。( 此處筆者提出申請40,000元,額外費用將由筆者自行負擔。)3.採訪過程的通話費、影印費用、攝影耗材(底片)等:粗估約14,000元。4.翻譯費用(含翻譯人員的交通費/因為比利時有三種官方語言,法語、荷語和德語,因此在現場採訪過程中,有時會需要翻譯。另外,筆者也希望在正式報導產出後,能有英文版本發出,增加報導的曝光率。)粗估20,000元。5.本平台行政管理費10%:10,000元。

總申請經費:100,000元。

 

Since I have already entered Belgium, I will pay the round-way plane ticket by myself. I hope to raise funds for food, accommodation, transportation, and production expenses caused during investigation period (from Feb. 4th to May 30)

1.Transportion:4000 TWD per month ,16,000 TWD for four months (Belgian Railways (SNCB) and the trams (De Lijn) are the main transportation, taxi or renting a car only when it's necessary. Exceeded amounts will be paid by the author.) 2.Food and Accommodation:  20,000 TWD per month,80,000 TWD for four months (Here the author only applies for 40000 TWD) 3. Call charges for interviews,printing expenses, photography accessories (negatives), etc.:approx. 14,000 TWD 4. Translation

(including the transportation expenses of the translators):approx. 20,000TWD 5.Administration fee for WeReport:10,000 TWD

Total:100,000 TWD
 

相關連結 Related links

[比利時核電wiki]

[使用期限將屆 比將關兩核電廠]

翻譯員Interpreter: Heidi Tai
 


Report

正式報導

歐洲小國比利時,如何邁向零核時代? Nuclear Decommissioning in Belgium

丸丸五

你可以在這閱讀到中英文的完整報導,或是下載pdf檔。You can read the complete report in Chinese and English in the website or you can download the pdf files:

中文報導 pdf下載(Chinese version pdf download)

英文報導pdf下載(English version pdf download)

飛過一萬多公里的旅程,終於抵達比利時,這個時差比台灣慢六小時的國度,所有的事物彷彿也進入另一個時空。在首都布魯塞爾,人們漫步在石頭路上,觀賞歷史悠久的市議會和大教堂,天氣晴朗時,年輕學子戴上太陽眼鏡,坐在戶外飲酒聊天,父母帶著小孩在公園野餐。倘若往郊外的城市走,例如滿佈河道的根特,沿著河岸走,兩旁約三層樓高的住家,整齊一致的大片玻璃窗,偶爾在暗紅色的屋頂上,可以看見幾片的太陽能面板。

比利時,作為歐盟中面積算小的國家,卻有歐洲心臟之稱,除了是歐洲議會的所在地之外,在核電的使用量上,全世界排名第二高(僅次於第一的法國)。對台灣人來說,談到比利時,第一個印象是歐洲旅遊的觀光勝地,或者城市小酒館裡賣的比利時啤酒 、百貨公司裡常見的Godiva巧克力。在國際新聞上,較為人知的則是2010年,比利時在選舉後,因為政黨協商不成,導致長達一年的無政府狀態。

然而,其實這個遙遠的國度,和台灣有著不少相似的地方,諸如,比利時與台灣的國土面積相仿狹小,本身的天然資源有限,因此能源多倚賴進口,而核反應爐數目也相似(比利時七座、台灣六座)。不過,核電使用量高達54%的比利時(遠高於台灣的18%)決定從明年開始除役兩座老舊的反應爐Doel1 和 Doel2,並在2025年成為零核國家。

到底比利時,是如何做出這個決定的呢?

第一章 從歐洲核電發展先驅到零核國家 

時間回到,二次大戰時,美國聯合英國和加拿大共同主持的曼哈頓計畫,這個計劃的目的在於研究和製作原子彈,而當時比利時的殖民地比屬剛果,擁有豐富的鈾礦資源,因此美國和比利時合作以取得鈾礦資源。

1945年,美軍從空中向日本廣島和長崎所投下的兩顆原子彈,就是來自這個計畫。戰後,美國為了答謝比利時,因而在比利時的Mol,設立歐洲第一個核能研究中心SCK•CEN,以及比利時第一座反應爐  BR1 (Belgian Reactor 1) ,從此比利時進入核電世代。

比利時擁有七座商用核反應爐,因為反應爐運轉過程中會產生熱能,需要大量的水用以冷卻溫度,因此大多蓋在河邊。倘若沿著安特衛普的港口,從市區開車到Doel小鎮,自很遠的地方便可以看到高聳入天的冷卻塔,冷卻塔下方相對低矮的白色圓形建物,就是反應爐Doel1、Doel2、Doel3 、Doel4,而另外三座反應爐,則是位在法語區列日的Tihange1、Tihange2、 Tihange3。

1970年代,比利時開始建造第一座商用核反應爐Doel1, 1973年石油危機爆發,石油輸出國組織(OPEC)為了打擊對手以色列,而宣布石油禁運,暫停出口,導致油價上漲。為了因應衝擊,當時的比利時政府決定加速核電的發展,除了原本已經在建造中的三座反應爐,再增加四座反應爐。

「當時的政策方針是,希望達到核電量百分之百。然而,車諾比核災發生後,改變了這個走向。」綠色和平能源專案負責人( Greenpeace Energy Campaigner) Eloi Glorieux說

1986年,前蘇聯統治下的烏克蘭境內發生車諾比核災,讓社會大眾發現,原來輻射塵的汙染不只影響到蘇聯境內,連遠在北歐的芬蘭、瑞典或南歐的義大利等歐洲國家也偵測到輻射,無法置身事外的歐盟,參與了車諾比核災的復原計畫(Chernobyl Shelter Fund),希望減低輻射塵的影響,這起核災讓歐洲的核能發展緩下腳步。

「車諾比核災發生的當時,比利時正準備興建第八座反應爐,然而核災過後,社會大眾開始了解到車諾比發生的事情也有可能會在比利時發生,而且比利時核電廠周圍的居住密度很高,我們不能冒險,因此在社會輿論下,政府決定停建新的反應爐。」Eloi Glorieux說

 

受政治影響而不斷改變的核電政策
1999年,來自法語區綠黨Ecolo的能源部部長Olivier Deleuze,在他任內四年裡,提出核電除役法律,並在2003年經由會議投票通過,這個法案規定,比利時所有的商用核反應爐的運作年限為四十年,代表著原則上所有的反應爐應在2015年到2025年之間關閉。
「核電除役政策通過後,讓反核的力量減弱了,因為反核團體認為一切都沒問題了,現在是派對時間,我們可以去專注其他的事情了。然而,這時候核電的支持者開始有所行動,他們告訴政黨和政府,如果關掉核電廠,比利時會沒有足夠的電可以用,經濟會崩解等等,於是政府的態度又慢慢地改變。」Eloi Glorieux說

2009,由比利時氣候及能源部(Belgian Minister for Climate and Energy)委託的GEMIX公布一份調查報告,這份報告建議三座老舊反應爐延役十年,另外四座反應爐則延役二十年。「由各種能源專家組成的團體GEMIX表示,比利時會需要這些反應爐至少到2025年,直到再生能源和提高效率的設施能穩定供應時。」當時的世界核能新聞這樣寫著。因此,比利時政府和Electrabel電力公司(註)達成協議,欲延長三座老舊的反應爐的年限,追加十年的營運時間。不過在政府修改核電除役法律之前,2010年6月比利時歷經一場選舉,並因為政治問題,花了約一年才協商出新政府,這段期間比利時等於處在無政府狀態。

核電屬於聯邦政府所管轄,因此在無新政府的情況下,沒有人可以修改核電除役法律。2011年年底,新政府組織完成,然而同年3月,日本發生福島核災,使反核的聲音再次升高,於是比利時的新政府表示,他們將遵照核電除役法律,在反應爐營運四十年後就關閉,不再延役三座反應爐。
然而,為了避免陷入缺電危機,比利時政府決定讓其中之一座反應爐延役十年。今年三月,政府和Electrabel電力公司簽訂新合約,宣示Tihange 1可以延役十年,另外六座反應爐則營運到他們四十歲時。

從1974年第一座反應爐在Doel蓋起,比利時的核電政策,從百分之百發展核電,到四十年後的今天,即將除役Doel1、Doel2,並在2025年,全面廢核,成為零核家園。回顧歷史,我們不難發現比國的核電政策,隨著二次核災、社會趨勢、以及政府的態度,而有所轉變。無論目前的核電政策,在未來是否又因政策的走向而改變,可以確定的事實是Doel1、Doel2已達除役年限,即將在明年從比利時的電力供應中引退。
 

(註: Electrabel電力公司: 比利時最大的電力公司,前身為比利時國營電力公司,現在已民營化法國電力公司GDF Suez為最大股東。)
 

第二章 核電廠除役 比利時缺電?不缺電?

一個晴朗的周末上午,我和朋友從安特衛普市區,騎著單車前往Doel小鎮,我們沿著這個世界第二大的港口騎著,經過了工業區,聞到煉油廠的刺鼻味,看見港口的橋升起又降落,以及隱身在草叢中的野兔,在我們經過時同時跑起來,遠遠看上去像移動的綠色波浪。大約兩小時後,我們搭上到小鎮的接駁船,終於抵達這個被稱為「被遺棄的小鎮」:Doel。

Doel小鎮,緊臨安特衛普港和Scheldt河,因為開發早,擁有許多歷史建築,例如,十七世紀的傳統風車等等。因為安特衛普港口擴張的關係,政府向Doel住民徵收用地,在2008年爆發衝突,目前爭議未解,不過Doel居住人口已經從1972年的1300人,銳減到2013年的188人。住戶搬走了,但這些空屋仍存在著。

漫步在Doel小鎮,馬路兩旁是荒廢的空屋,被藝術家塗滿塗鴉,此行沒有遇到任何住戶,反而都是拿著相機的觀光客,流連忘返地在巷弄裡拍照。而在這奇異的空屋後面,藏不住的是兩座高聳入天的冷卻塔,以及四座反應爐。而明年,即將除役的Doel1和Doel2就在這裡。

 

 

缺不缺電 環保團體和商會不同說法

根據台灣工研院的<比利時核能法規與政策評析>報告指出:「在2009年,比利時國內的核能發電,佔比利時全國電力產生量52%,其次,在化石燃料中,燃煤發電、燃油發電以及天然氣發電量,總共佔全國發電量39%。其餘能源包含水力發電、風力發電、太陽光電以及生質燃料與廢棄物發電則佔全國發電量分別為2.0%、1.1%、0.2%以及5.8%。」

比利時對於核電的高依賴程度,僅低於法國的75%,佔世界第二高。倘若要在2025年,除役掉所有的核電廠,等於少掉5927MW(megawatt)電力,屆時,比利時會面臨缺電的危機嗎?

「 比利時和台灣有個很大的不同點,在於台灣是個島嶼,而比利時是在歐洲能源市場的一部分,因此,即便比利時關掉核電廠,還是可以依賴進口能源,來度過難關。去年Doel 3 and Tihange 2兩座反應爐緊急關閉維修,突然間,我們損失約2000MW(megawatt)的電能,但我們並沒有遇上缺電問題,因為進口更多的電。」綠色和平能源專案負責人(Energy Campaigner) Eloi Glorieux說。

長期關注比利時核能議題的綠色和平組織,曾經針對比利時民眾對於未來能源的想像,做了一份調查,而調查結果顯示,有近七成的民眾,偏好政府投資再生能源,更甚於老舊核電廠的延役。因此他們認為,核電除役已經是全民共識。

Eloi進一步說明,比利時要不依賴核電生活的話,必須做到以下三件事,首先要減少電力的浪費。比利時的能源消耗,比起周圍其他國家高出20~25%,例如,比利時房屋的電能消耗比荷蘭的更高。政府近來也注意到這件事,開始鼓勵民眾節電,例如裝設節能燈泡。第二,我們該同時把再生能源發展到最大值,目前的發展速度太慢,連法國都有比我們更多座水力發電廠。距離2025年的完全除役還有11年,不算太多時間,但現在開始還來得及。最後一點,如果還是電力不足的話,因為開放的電力市場,比利時隨時能向其他國家進口能源,就像我們現在也出口能源一樣。

然而,並非所有人都對,比利時逐步除役核電廠的政策如此樂觀, AmCham Belgium是個美國商會,長期關注比利時的政策,以替投資者提供訊息,他們認為比利時將面臨許多挑戰,並在網站上公開質疑這項政策:

比利時政府有可能在2025年之前,把再生能源發展到百分之百嗎?在轉換成再生能源的過程,所需的投資經費及核電除役的代價高昂,可能會超出比利時目前的財政能力。而且,核電除役的作法,可能會讓二氧化碳的排放量升高,而無法達成歐盟的環境公約20-20-20中,在2020年之前,降低20%溫室氣體排放量的目標。因此,商會建議,比利時政府應為投資者,提供足夠且穩定的電力,連貫一致的能源政策。

面對即將來到的核電除役,比利時社會上仍有不同的聲音,有人贊成,有人反對,而在這過程中扮演重要角色的比利時政府,將如何面對呢?

 

 

分工不同的比利時政府 如何接招

比利時的政府體系,分為三部分:第一部分是聯邦政府(Federal),掌管影響全國的事務,像是司法、公共財政、聯邦警察、國有企業以及核電廠等。核電廠雖為民營,但影響重大,因此仍屬於聯邦政府管轄。第二部分,則為區域政府,分為Flanders、Wallonie及Brussels,負責該區域的經濟、就業、農業和水資源政策、以及再生能源政策。第三部分,則是以語言為分界,分為三個社群Flemish community、 French community、German-speaking community,負責文化及教育方面的政策。

簡單來說,有關核電除役、延役、核廢料的處置是屬於聯邦政府管轄,而各種再生能源的研究和推廣則屬於區域政府的職責。

East Flanders區域政府的空間規劃生物工程師 (dinest Ruimtelijke Planing) Karen  Dhollander表示,他們自三年前開始在East Flanders進行區域規劃,決定哪些地方用來發展經濟,哪些地方用來發展再生能源,並開始設立許多風力發電機組,目前已有約100座,未來的目標是在2020年達到300座。除了風力發電外,他們也研究其他類型的再生能源,試著計算出供電潛力,例如,在太陽能,去計算該區有多少屋頂的面積可以使用,包含政府單位、學校、住家、商用等等。

根據調查,在East Flanders的再生能源發展潛力,每年可達34742526GJ(相當於9650701.6MWh,約等於現有核電廠運轉兩個月的電能),其中有63%來自與建築相關的,例如太陽能電板和太陽能熱水器,另外37%則來自非建築的,例如風力發電和生質能。Karen  Dhollander坦言,他們並不清楚,聯邦政府在核電除役後的替代方案是什麼。但是,在East Flanders區域,他們目前正在進行的一項研究調查顯示出,當人們改變生活型態,減少使用能源,以及有更新的科技來產生能源時,在2050年不倚賴核電生活是可能的。不過她也強調,這份調查僅以East Flanders為主,不能代表其他區域或比利時。

而在WallonieBrussels區域政府的網站上,也有各種再生能源的介紹,除了告訴民眾可以如何使用再生能源,例如,安裝太陽能板、參與風力發電計畫等資訊,也教導民眾如何透過各種節電方式,來控制家庭的電力消費。

面對比利時政府這樣的分工,荷語區綠黨Groen媒體發言人Jonas Dutordoir建議,比利時的聯邦政府和區域政府應該要一起合作,共同擬出能源政策。他認為,比利時的核電除役,現在遇到雙重問題:一個是聯邦政府讓Tihange1反應爐延役十年,另一個是區域政府投資再生能源的動作太慢,在歐盟的28個國家中,比利時在再生能源的發展上,排名第22名。他建議,政府應該要設定好除役的進度計畫,然後去找出替代方案,才能順利的進行除役。

 

第三章 核廢料何處去?

任何的工業生產過程,都會產生廢棄物,核電廠也不例外,在核電廠的電力生產過程中所產生的廢棄物,就叫做核廢料。核廢料分為高階、中階和低階,具有高放射能的用過核燃料棒屬於高階核廢料,而在運作過程中,有接觸到放射性物質的衣物、紙張、工具、零件等,則屬於低階核廢料。
目前世界上除了芬蘭正在進行的高階核廢料處理場外,其他國家仍在研究當中,並沒有解決方式。而核廢料該如何處理,一直是擁核派與反核派,辯論核電是否該繼續使用時的焦點。

早期比利時的核廢料處置是海拋,然而在越來越多人的環境意識提高後,在1982年,國際上已經禁止這個做法。因此自八零年代起,比利時開始發展核廢料處理機構。

比利時核電廠雖是民營(由法國電力公司GDF Suez的子公司Eletrabel所擁有),但核廢料是由聯邦政府底下的NIRAS/ONDRAF(以下簡稱NIRAS)與FANC所管理。比利時核廢料的處置過程如下:Eletrabel必須向NIRAS呈報核廢料數量, NIRAS會決定核廢料該如何處置和所需經費,然後Eletrabel付處理費給NIRAS,從此把核廢料轉交到聯邦政府手上。NIRAS必須做核廢料處理的研究,呈上核安報告給FANC,由FANC決定是否核發許可證,通過的話,NIRAS才把核廢料轉給Belgoprocess,真正進行核廢料處理的公司。

簡言之,在核廢料的處理過程中,NIRAS是經營者,FANC是監督者,而Belgoprocess是執行者。

 

 

而在比利時,核能研究中心SCK•CEN和Belgoprocess都位於一個小鎮Mol,為了更進一步了解核廢料的處置方式,這天我來到Mol,拜訪一位在Belgoprocess工作的化學工程師Wouter Aerts。大學畢業後的他,來到Belgoprocess工作已經兩年,他認為這是一份有趣,也很有挑戰性的工作。
他告訴我,目前比利時低階核廢料的處理方式,是用特殊的焚化爐焚燒,再將殘留的飛灰裝進桶子裡,然後將所有桶子集合起來再放進更大的桶子裡,一層層的防護,最後再放進儲存場。政府計畫明年在Mol-Dessel興建一座低階核廢料儲存場,以因應未來所需的儲存空間。

至於,高階核廢料的處置,目前NIRAS和SCK•CEN正合作一項HADES 計畫,此計畫探討地底永久儲存場的可能性,不過目前尚未有結果,因此高階核廢料仍存放在核電廠內。在Doel核電廠使用乾式儲存,而在Tihange核電廠則是像福島核電廠一樣放在燃料池內。

面對政府預定在2025年全面核電除役的做法,他認為:「除役本身沒有問題,有問題的是,我們沒有足夠的替代能源。」

他進一步說明,比利時過去已有反應爐除役的經驗(例如,根特大學的教學用小型反應爐、以及SCK•CEN核能研究中心的反應爐),甚至也有核能再處理廠EUROCHEMIC的除役經驗,因此在技術上並沒有問題。然而,他並不認為,在2025年之前,再生能源可以發展到足以負擔整個國家的使用,他說,「再生能源能發展到20%就算很高了,100%不太可能。」

他進一步說明,要達到100%的再生能源,不是五、六年就可以達成的,可能需要五十年、六十年的時間,而在轉型的過程當中,國家仍需要穩定的基本電力產量,來維持經濟的發展,就看政府在火力發電廠或核電廠中,如何做協調。再者,比利時政府一直不斷改變的能源政策,造成投資者不敢投資比利時,因為在自由市場下,政府本身是不生產電力的,只能透過保證電力公司的營運年限等條件來吸引企業投資,然而目前的問題是,沒有企業願意投資比利時。因此他認為,目前比利時政府最重要的任務就是,趕快下決定,做出清楚的能源政策。無論最終選擇的是火力發電或核電,都要試著找到願意投資比利時能源未來的人們。

 

第四章 再生能源發展現況

核電除役後,比利時的替代能源來自哪呢?再生能源的發展如何?是否足以因應除役後的短缺?為了更容易理解,我們先來談談比利時人們的電力使用方式吧:

 

市場開放 民眾自行選擇電力公司

根據綠色和平的調查,再生能源的發展,由民間的力量發起,反而比起大企業的作為更為有效。以德國為例,在2013年初,在再生能源的投資中,大型電力公司的投資只佔了4.9%,民間個體戶的投資則有34.9%。

歐洲電力市場尚未開放前,比利時的全國用電,幾乎只來自Electrabel,和台灣民眾主要使用來自台電的電力一樣,然而,2004年歐洲電力市場開放後,民眾可以自行決定,要向哪家公司買電,也可以自行選擇要用傳統火力發電、核電、亦或是再生能源。

一位居住在比利時已十幾年的台灣人蕭仲淳,因為認同再生能源的想法,目前他們家的電力就是來自風力發電,搭配上環保家電的使用,每個月的電費大約27歐(約台幣1107元)。另一位,居住在布魯日的當地人Ben(匿名),四年前在自家屋頂上裝設太陽能板,開始了電力自給自足的生活。他表示,起初裝設一個太陽能板需要4300歐,但若計算日後省下的電力,四年後,他賺回近3300歐,而且,在冬天日照少的時候,可以使用夏天日照多時所儲存的電力,因此他認為太陽能板是個好投資。

以比利時Flanders區域為例,就有十幾家電力公司,民眾可以在政府網站上,做不同家電力公司的電價比較,進而選擇適合自己的方案,也有許多關於如何為住家提高電力使用效能的資訊,以及再生能源安裝的補助方案。

雖然比利時的再生能源發展,不比鄰國德國或法國高,然而,在網路上搜尋「再生能源」時,可以輕易發現相關推廣綠能的NGO組織 、綠能電力公司、或是改善居家消耗電能的公司等等。 在比利時,再生能源已經是一門生意,不僅僅是個環保的概念。

 

Ecopower :把社區人民當成股東的綠能計畫

「我們希望可以讓更多人能獨立於大型電力公司,在電力上自給自足。」Ecopower的工程師Jan說道。

在一個晴朗的午後,我搭車來到了位於根特附近的小鎮Eeklo採訪,一進到Ecopower的辦公大樓,令人印象深刻的是,在樓梯間、走廊和辦公室內的大片玻璃窗,採光相當好,不須開燈。果不其然,隨後Ecopower工程師Jan告訴我,這個發展再生能源的公司,從自己的工作場所做起,所有用電均來自自產的再生能源,而非大型電力公司。

2000年,Eeklo政府希望發展風力發電,於是對外招標電力公司,當時有幾家公司同時競標,而Ecopower在當時,以希望讓社區居民共同擁有這座風力發電機組,成為股東的概念,而成功達標。他們邀請Eeklo市民參與這項投資計畫,告訴他們投資風力發電機組的優點,以及可能產生的負面影響,例如,會看得到風力發電機組、有時會聽到聲音、或是陰影等等。

目前一座風力發電機機組,共有2500名股東。在2012年,Ecopower總共生產了44324346(kWh)風力發電、 448000(kWh)的水力發電 、82000(kWh)的太陽能發電 以及156189(kWh)的生質能發電。而在2013年,Ecopower所產生的綠能,相較於其他商業電力公司所產生的綠能,電價便宜20%。而之所以能降低電價的原因,因為風力發電機機組的經費來自會員的共同集資,而Ecopower只收電力生產過程的費用,像是工資、電纜費、稅金等成本,沒有額外算電的費用。

不過,談到風力發電,不免讓人想起在台灣通霄苑裡的「反瘋車運動」,居民抗議英華威公司預計設立的風力發電機組,距離住家太近,只有60~250公尺,低於國際平均的安全距離470~700公尺,擔心風車產生的噪音將影響生活。

Jan坦言,Ecopower風力發電機組在選址上也曾遇到困難,設立一座風力發電機組只要幾個月,但在動工之前要花幾年的時間,去做協商,申請各種許可證等等。有時居民強烈反對,雙方會進法院打官司,打輸了,就要另找其他地點,打贏了,才可以繼續蓋。前後大約需要4~5年的時間。
面對選址爭議,Jan認為與社區合作,是減輕衝突的方式之一。「因為居民會知道,這些利潤不是集中到某些大企業上,而是回饋到每個股東。因此,比起商業的綠能公司,人們會選擇可以獲得利潤的綠能公司。」Jan表示。

同為再生能源推廣組織的REScoop的成員Dirk則認為社區發展再生能源的好處還有,把錢留在家鄉。他以奧地利的小村莊為例,Güssing是個人口約四千人的村莊,過去以農業為主,工作機會少,因此年輕人紛紛出走去維也納找工作,人口外流嚴重,而不便利的交通,致使每年花費約8百萬(美元)在能源採購上。然而,在開始發展再生能源後,當地的工作機會增加,小村莊再次活絡起來,現在每年販售再生能源的收入是1千7百萬 (美元),而再生能源使用比例是百分之百。

歐盟202020計畫中,給予比利時的目標是,在2020年達到再生能源比例13%,Jan認為,以目前比利時的發展速度,可能達不到目標。他覺得很可惜,因為政府應該把人民的稅金拿來發展再生能源,而不是去繳罰款給歐盟。

他建議,比利時政府,明訂各個單位需要達到的目標,大至區域政府,小至城市,讓每個市民了解到再生能源發展的重要性。
離開Ecopower時,經過隔壁的二手商店,這間商店的用電來自太陽能板,周間午後,居民三三兩兩騎著單車,進去購物,我感到一種再生能源和社區的緊密結合,以及實踐的力量。

 

再生能源將在電力市場上更有競爭力

一般人支持核電的原因,是因為電價便宜,而提到再生能源,則是覺得不穩定,並且電價太貴。然而,近年有許多報導開始提出不同的見解。
2012年冬,美國著名的信用評級公司Moody's,發表了一份報告,指出在歐洲,再生能源的大幅發展,已經對傳統電力公司的競爭力和電價造成威脅。

經濟學人(The Economist)的報導,更詳盡的指出,去年六月德國的批發電力市場價格驟降,和再生能源進入市場有關。當時是個天氣晴朗的周末,電力需求低,太陽能和風力發電可生產28.9(GW),核電廠和火力發電廠也運轉著,導致電力產量供過於求,但因為核電廠和火力發電廠在設計上的設定,是以最大值運轉,不容易減少產量,為了避免電能超過負荷而使發電廠變得不穩定,因此降低電價,以鼓勵民眾使用電力。

這篇報導指出,以再生能源發展最快的歐洲國家德國為例,在2010年,幾家大型的傳統電力公司都有收入下跌的現象,除了與再生能源的發展有關之外,也因為歐洲經濟危機,降低了能源需求;美國頁岩氣的崛起,促使歐洲礦價下降;以及福島核災後,德國政府的核電除役計畫等等有關。
德國的批發電價自2008年的80多歐(per MWh-在尖峰時刻),下降到2003年的38歐(per MWh-在尖峰時刻)。批發電價下跌的話,發電廠的利潤也會下跌。彭博新能源財經(Bloomberg New Enegy Finance)分析,30%-40%的萊因集團(REW/德國第二大的電力公司)傳統發電廠即將面臨虧損。彭博新能源財經的執行長,更將這個現象比做1990年的電話公司,或是目前傳統報紙面臨社群媒體的威脅一樣。

「這可不是來自綠色和平或WWF的說法,而是經濟學家的觀察。」REScoop的成員Dirk說道。REScoop( Renewable Energy Sources COOPerative的簡稱),是一個由關心再生能源議題的市民團體所組成的組織,致力於促進再生能源的生產、販售,以及提供新的再生能源設備等服務,成員遍布歐盟各個國家。

他說,一般人不明白歐洲電力市場開放有多大的可能性。在歐洲,政府透過控制電價,讓工業享有較便宜的電價,個體戶則要負擔較高的電價,但是當個體戶可以自行選擇要不要付這麼高昂的電價,或是自己產生電力時,就會給政府和發電廠帶來壓力。以西班牙為例,因為太陽能發展好,政府甚至必須特別制定政策,來鼓勵民眾使用核電。

Ecopower的工程師Jan認為,雖然太陽和風是不穩定的存在,但他們是可以預測的,就如同每日的電力需求也有高峰和低峰,但核電是24小時未停歇地運轉,因此在夜晚當電力需求較少時,為了消耗多餘的電,而把電費調降,鼓勵更多人晚上用電。不同於參與Ecopower計畫的住戶,當人們開始投資再生能源時,理解到電力生產的不容易,進而也會開始省電。

REScoop的成員Dirk認為,再生能源是很容易被人民理解的,就像我們是小孩時,就知道風的力量可以推動船,我們的肌膚感受的到風和太陽。很多人說再生能源是不確定的,但有什麼比每天早晨都看見太陽升起更加明確呢?這只是一個觀念能否扭轉的問題。他樂觀的表示,目前歐洲再生能源的發展,就算政府沒有決定關掉核電廠,核電最終也會因為太貴而被迫關閉。

 

再生能源發展困境

雖然目前發展再生能源似乎是歐洲各國的共識,但在實際推行中,卻也面臨不少挑戰。

East Flanders區域政府的空間規劃生物工程師 (dinest Ruimtelijke Planing) Karen  Dhollander說,以風力發電為例,最大的挑戰是,人們喜歡再生能源,但是不要蓋在他家後院。如果在國土比較大的國家像法國,很容易可以找到空曠的地方設置風力發電機組,但在比利時,選址上困難許多,總是要面臨人們的抗議。

接著是補助金的運作方式,電力公司在預定設立的地點,只找了少數的地主協商,導致出現一種狀況是,某地主得到電力公司給的高額補助金,但是他的鄰居,沒有獲得任何補助,卻也受到同樣影響,陰影、噪音等等,這種不平等造成社區住戶之間的紛爭。

而去年開始傳出許多太陽能公司倒閉的新聞,例如法語區的sunswitch。Ecopower的Jan認為這和政府減少補助金有關。他進一步說明,起初政府為了鼓勵民眾和企業安裝太陽能,而設立補助金,但是隨著再生能源的發展,太陽能板的售價越來越低,於是政府便也降低補助金額。他認為這麼做是合理的,然而某些企業依靠補助金賺取利潤,因此在政府降低補助金後,就出現財政困難的現象。

Karen Dhollander說,目前政府也意識到這些問題,而在試著改善中。例如,建議電力公司,在發展風力發電時,應該要和社區合作,而非只跟幾位地主合作,以減少居民之間的衝突;而在太陽能發展的補助金部分,則是重新思考,到底多少的補助金才是適當的?

 

生活中的觀察

生活在比利時時,可以發現這裡的建築有個共同點,那就是不管是在餐廳、圖書館、市政廳或是個人住家,多半有著相當大的玻璃窗,許多住家也會有個天窗,於是白天天氣好時,只要拉開窗簾,便有充足的日照,不需要再開燈。

或許是因為,比利時政府規定,房屋在買賣或是租賃時,都必須提供EPC證明(energy performance certificate),讓潛在的買家和租屋者能夠算房屋的能源效率。舉例來說,在比利時知名的房屋買賣租賃的網站IMMOWEB上,消費者透過簡單的計算,便可得知該房屋一年大約會花費多少天然氣和電力。

同時,政府也推廣民眾使用環保家電,環保家電上面會標示著能源使用量,住在比利時的台灣人蕭仲淳,就有使用環保洗衣機和洗碗機,她表示,雖然環保家電的單價比較高,但在日後可以支付較少的水費電費,因此很值得。

在布魯塞爾和安特衛普車站,可以發現幾台類似腳踏車的裝置,其實這是發電機,民眾只要坐上椅墊,像踩腳踏車一樣,便可以產生電力來充電。

 

第四章 從比利時看台灣

今年三月初在福島核災即將屆滿三周年時,台灣進行了北中南的反核遊行,媒體預估全台有八萬人走上街頭反核,而在地球另一端的比利時,也有一場反核遊行:這場遊行是由stop Tihange and Doel Presto組織發起 ,在首都布魯塞爾,現場約有一兩百人參加,訴求是希望政府能記取福島核災的教訓,立即關閉老舊的Tihange 1反應爐,以及安全待評估的 Doel3 和Tihange 2反應爐,同時積極發展綠能。

在這場遊行中,人們高舉著「核電,不,謝了」的旗幟,繞行布魯塞爾的主要大街,一些藝術家們,在現場以演奏小提琴或樂隊的方式聲援遊行活動,晴朗的天空下,遊行隊伍呼喊著口號走在大街上,吸引不少路人圍觀。如果不是語言不同的話,走在遊行隊伍中,會讓人感覺和在台灣是一樣的,人們走上街頭追求自己理想生活的樣貌,不因種族或國界而有所差異。

比較起台灣和比利時,在核電除役的過程中,有個關鍵的不同點是:開放的電力市場。雖然比利時的核電使用比例高達五成,但因位於歐盟電力市場中,因此即便在除役過程中產生缺電情形,也可以向其他國家買電,甚至相對之下比自己發電更便宜。而且在市場多元的情況下,民眾可以自行選擇電力公司,以消費的方式支持自己認同的電力。

而再生能源的發展上,REScoop的成員Dirk認為,台灣占有許多優勢。他認為,台灣緯度位置相當於北非,氣候溫暖,陽光充足,肯定是發展太陽能的好地方。而且台灣多高山,地勢崎嶇,比起比利時更適合發展水力發電。但在風力發電上,比利時和台灣都面臨選址不易的情況,而台灣的人口密度更高於比國。(參考下圖)

Dirk進一步說明,以目前的發展技術來說,要生產電價低於0,05 €/kWh的電力,幾乎不可能,目前有的少數例子是法國和比利時的核電廠,最少的電價可以達到0,04 €/kWh。而在美國加州和巴西,最新的風力和太陽能發電,已發展到低於0,05 €/kWh的電價了。因此他認為,以台灣的氣候和地理條件,是有機會發展出便宜的再生能源。

近年來,因為環保意識的提高,在台灣越來越多人關心核電的議題,今年四月時,前民主進步黨主席林義雄以禁食行動,訴求核四停建,使核四續不續建的問題再次白熱化;而比利時的非核進程走的比台灣快,在比利時,核電的議題已經不是要不要再蓋核電廠了,而是現有核電廠會不會延役,以及如何加速再生能源的發展。

比利時因為核電發展早,在核電除役上的知識和經驗較充足,但在再生能源發展上,台灣擁有較豐富的自然資源,兩相對照下,各有不同的核電除役優勢。

 

番外篇:一種友善環境的生活方式-La baraque的故事

在生活上節電的方式有許多種,例如隨手關燈、用節能燈泡等等,然而,在新魯汶大學(Catholic University of Louvain)有一群人,把這種概念發展到極致,他們在大學附近的荒地上,蓋起自己的房子,在菜園種菜,過著自給自足的簡單生活。

Aline是這裡的住戶之一,比利時人,她在25歲那年來到了La baraque,因為厭倦大城市的物質生活,而這裡的生活方式使她想起年輕時的國外旅行時光,而待了下來,沒想到一待也待了二十幾年,目前仍住在La baraque裡。我去參訪的那日,她邀請我進她的屋子,取出在生態商店買來的麵包和果醬,泡了一壺熱茶,在食物的香氣中,她向我娓娓道來La baraque的故事。

1973年,新魯汶大學剛成立之初,學生宿舍不夠多或是宿舍不夠好,於是一些建築科系的學生,開始在學校附近的荒地上,蓋起實驗性的房子,不過當時他們從未想過,後來這裡會演變成為一個村莊。

Aline認為,La baraque的迷人之處,在於它是一個自由自在並且以分享為主的社群,它的生活方式本身就不斷地挑戰社會上的既有價值觀。
「這個社會告訴我們,要蓋房子的話,必須要讀五年的建築科系,要取得各種執照,才可以蓋房子。這是社會企圖放進我們腦袋裡的思維,要讀書,才會有能力。也許蓋一棟大房子會需要,但是蓋一個小的遮蔽處,並沒有那麼困難。」

走在La baraque,可以看見各種不同型態的房子,有的是以泥巴和木頭所建蓋而成的生態屋,有的則是以一台小貨車所組裝成的屋子,有些是以回收的廢棄物所蓋成的。有趣的是,因為這裡的房子普遍空間狹小,有些房子甚至沒有浴室,因此他們規劃了一個公共澡堂,以太陽能熱水器來提供熱水,讓居民共同使用。也有一個烤箱,大家可以一起烤麵包和披薩。幾乎每戶人家都有一個放置堆肥的地方,用以放置排泄物和廚餘,等到一年半後,在利用變成土壤狀的堆肥來灌溉菜園。


 

「La baraque的特別之處是,這裡的住戶住在很小的空間,所以一但天氣好,就會跑到戶外聊天,很像是生活在外面(live outside)。如果你有一個舒適的大房子的話,你只會整天待在屋內。因此這裡的住戶很常見面,我們知道隔壁鄰居叫什麼名字,甚至他們小孩的名字,不像在大城市裡,你連鄰居長什麼樣子都不清楚。」Aline說道

「另一件重要的事情,我們分享許多東西,例如除草機或土司機,我的鄰居只要來敲個門,就可以跟我借。我們沒有擁有所有我們需要的東西,而是藉由分享的方式擁有。」Aline說。

因為人們生活簡單,並且屋子空間很小,這裡的住戶多半沒有洗衣機,烘衣機,或是太多電器用品,在冬天時,不需要太多暖氣便可以取暖,因此整體上不像一般的大房子那樣耗費能源。

目前在La baraque約有210人,其中50名是小孩,而這裡的居民,主要是比利時人,但也有來自亞洲和非洲的住戶,每個人來這裡的原因不同,但這裡有許多藝術家、雕刻家和詩人,從那些獨具特色的屋子,便可以感覺出來;也有在一般社會生存遭遇困難的人們,例如,難民和失業者,他們有的在這裡幫忙砍柴,有的接受幫助而獲得免費的住處。

跟著Aline在村子裡走時,發現她似乎認識每個人,每每停下腳步聊天,另人想起台灣鄉村裡,鄰居之間會互相分享農作物,或是飯後會一起在戶外乘涼的情景。

「不是每個人都喜歡這種方式,像我有些朋友,會覺得這不是真正的房子,但是我喜歡這裡的生活方式,我們可以升營火、種菜、在戶外曬衣服,沒有人會規定說可以做什麼,不能做什麼,沒有太多規則和拘束。而且,當你和自由自在的人們住在一起,你會感到生活充滿創造性,因為這些人不怕嘗試各種可能性。」Aline說道。

採訪結束時,我在小徑上逗留拍照而迷了路,所幸遇到一個老伯,他親切載我回程到車站。坐進有點年紀的車子裡,座椅上堆滿是各式各樣的攝影工具和像是劇本的草稿,我挪出小空間坐,聽著車上的鄉村歌曲,一邊望著這個有點神隱的村莊,下車時,他說不是很多人知道這裡,很歡迎妳來到La baraque!

 

感謝名單

所有受訪者、WeReport調查報導公眾委製平台、以及所有支持這個計劃的朋友們

英文逐字稿志工群 (按照筆劃排序)
Angelia, Chih-Hsiang Hu, Elaine, Ivy Tzai , Jane , Tammy, Viva, Yen Wu, Yuhua-Zheng
方文凌、李冠儀、連真、許景雯、黃猷鈞、葉哲綱、蔡靜文
參訪時的荷語翻譯Jolien Schoonooghe, Tristan Piraux
英文翻譯 Ivy Tzai
英文翻譯校稿 Daniel Gutman
排版設計 Zoe 

 

 

Nuclear Decommissioning in Belgium

After flying more than 10,000 kilometers, finally I arrived in Belgium. With 6 hours of jet lag, it felt like I was flying into another world. In Brussels, people took a walks on stone pavement and looked over the hundred-year-old parliament building and cathedrals. Young students wearing sunglasses sat outside, drank beers and chatted while parents took their kids to the park to picnic. I visited communities on the outskirts of town, like Gent. It’s a city along a network of connecting canals. Most of the buildings are three story houses and they all have the same large glass windows. Occasionally, you may find some solar power panels on the burgundy red rooftops.

Belgium is relatively small among countries in European Unions. However, it has been called the “Heart of Europe” and the European Parliament is located here. Belgian dependence on nuclear power is second in the world, after France.

For Taiwanese, when talking about Belgium, first thoughts are its popular attractions like Belgian beers in city cafés, or Godiva Chocolate in the department stores and not the political deadlock of the 2010 elections which resulted in 589 days of no elected government.

However, this faraway country has some similarities to Taiwan. For example, both Belgium and Taiwan’s total land area is small with limited natural resources. Therefore, both of them rely heavily on imported energy. They have nearly the same numbers nuclear reactors as well, the former is seven and the latter is six. The nuclear power plants contribute more than 50% of the country’s electricity, which is much more than Taiwan’s 18%. However, Belgium has already decided to decommission two old reactors, Doel1 and Doel2. Furthermore, Belgium will switch to a nuclear free homeland by 2025.

What drives Belgium to make this decision?

 

Chapter 1
European Pioneer of Nuclear Power
Turns to Nuclear Power-Free Country

The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs led by the United States and supported by the United Kingdom and Canada during World War II. The Belgian Congo held much of the world's uranium. Therefore, American Government worked with Belgium to access most of the Belgian uranium ore.

In 1945, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were the result of Manhattan Project. In return for the uranium ore that the United States used in its atomic bombs, first study center for nuclear research, SCK•CEN was established in Mol, Belgium after WWII. With Belgian’s first reactor, BR1, Belgium introduced nuclear power to the country.

There are seven commercial nuclear reactors in Belgium. Because of the extremely high operating temperature of nuclear reactors, most of the nuclear power plants located on riversides to access enough water for cooling. You can see from afar the sky-scraping cooling tower on the way driving from the Antwerp city center to the town of Doel along Antwerp port. The lower white round buildings are reactors, Doel1, Doel2, Doel3, and Doel4. The other three nuclear reactors are located in Liège of the French-speaking region, Tihange1, Tihange2 and Tihange3.

 

The first commercial nuclear reactor, Doel1 was built in Belgium in 1970s. Later on, the 1973 oil crisis out-broke when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) proclaimed an oil embargo due to the conflict in Israel and caused dramatic price increases. In response to the impact, the Belgium government decided to speed up the development of nuclear power and added another four reactors along with ongoing three reactors.

“At that time, the policy was to make nuclear power provide 100% of the country’s electricity, but the policy eventually changed after the Chernobyl disaster,” said Eloi Glorieux, project manager of Greenpeace Energy Campaign.

The Chernobyl disaster occurred in Ukraine in the former Soviet Union in 1986. The plumes drifted over, not only in USSR but also further to the Northern Europe Counties, including Finland, Sweden, but also in parts of Southern Europe including Italy. The European Union couldn’t ignore this, therefore the Chernobyl Shelter Fund was founded to decrease the influences of nuclear fallout. The Chernobyl disaster slowed the pace of nuclear energy development in Europe.

“At the time of the Chernobyl disaster, Belgium was planning its eighth nuclear reactor construction. People realized that what happened in Chernobyl could happen in Belgium as well. Moreover, the area around the nuclear power plants were densely populated in Belgium. We couldn’t take the risk and the government was pressured to stop building new nuclear power plants due the public opinion.” said Eloi Glorieux.

 

Political Changes moves Nuclear Power Policy

1999 Olivier Deleuze, Belgium's State Secretary for Energy and Sustainable Development from Green Party Ecolo of French-speaking community, put forth a draft of phase-out legislation during his four-year term. In 2003, near the end of his term, Belgium's government passed phase-out legislation. According to it, all of Belgium's commercial reactors would be shut down when they reach 40-year lifespans, which means all the reactors would be decommissioned during 2015 to 2025.

“When the phase-out legislation passed, the anti-nuclear movement slowed down. Anti-nuclear groups believed their worries were over and that It was time to celebrate. We could put our energy on other things. However, the supporters of nuclear power rose. They told parties and the government that there would be a shortage of electricity in Belgium if we shut all nuclear power plants down. The economy might collapse.  Then Government's attitude was changing again.” said Eloi Glorieux.

In 2009 the GEMIX report commissioned by Belgian Minister for Climate and Energy was published. The report recommended not closing the old nuclear reactors. The oldest three should operate for another ten years and the other four for another 20 years.

According to World Nuclear News “The 'group of experts on the energy mix' (GEMIX), set up by government to inform its position, has said those reactors will be needed until at least 2025 when we will have renewable energy and other efficiency measures able to supply electricity stably.”

Therefore, Belgium’s government made agreements with energy corporation Electrabel and prolonged the lifetime of the three old nuclear reactors for ten years more. Before Government could amend the legislation, however, another Belgian general election was held in April 2010. Because of the political issues, it took more than one year to negotiate and form a new government and effectively had no government for that duration.

Nuclear power is controlled by federal Government in Belgium. Without an elected Government, no one could amend the decommission legislation. A new government was sworn at the end of 2011. On March 2011 the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster happened in Japan, which caused the voice of anti-nuclear movements to grow. As a result, Belgium government again stated the nuclear reactors would be shut down when they reach an operational lifetime of 40 years without any extension of the old reactors.

But since then to avoid power shortages, the Belgium government decided to extend one of them by ten years. In March 2014, Government reached a new agreement with Electrabel to extend the operating life of Tihange 1 for another ten years. The other six reactors will still be phased out in their 40th years.
When first reactor was built in Doel in 1974, the policy of nuclear power in Belgium was for a 100% nuclear power supply for the nation’s electricity demand. 40 years later, reactor Doel1 and Doel2 will decommission soon. By 2025, the use of nuclear power will be ended which turns Belgium into a nuclear-free land. 

Looking back at history, we will notice that the policy of Belgian nuclear power changed after two catastrophic nuclear accidents along with the social trends and the Government’s attitude. Despite any future policy changes, Doel1 and Doel2 will soon reach the lifetime operation limit. They will have to retire from Belgium’s electricity supply chain next year.

(Comment: Electrabel- It was a national energy corporation in Belgium before. Now it turns to a subsidiary of GDF Suez, French Energy Corporation, but still the biggest energy corporation in Belgium.)

 

Chapter 2
Nuclear Power Phasing-out Triggers Power Shortages?

In a sunny weekend morning, my friend and I rode bicycles from CBD of Antwerp to town of Doel. Along the busiest ports in the world, we could smell the odor from those petroleum refineries in the industrial park nearby. We saw the bridges at the harbor rise and fall down again. The rabbits hiding in the bushes run away when we passed. After two hours cycling, we jumped on the ferry to the town. Finally we were there, so-called abandoned town, Doel.

Doel is next the Antwerp port and Scheldt river. Due to early history, there are many historical buildings in the town including a traditional windmill in 17th century. For the future enlargement of the harbor of Antwerp, Government imposed land use restrictions for residents. This triggered protest and the issues remain even now. Nevertheless, the inhabitants dropped from 1300 people in 1972 to 188 only in 2013. People moved out and left empty houses.

Walking in the town of Doel, all the houses are abandoned on the roadside. Now they are painted with graffiti by artists. We didn’t meet any locals but lots of tourists with cameras, taking photos and wondering in the lanes. Behind the village, you can’t ignore the two sky-scraping cooling towers and four nuclear reactors. By the end of next year, the reactors to be decommissioned, Doel1 and Doel2 are right there.

Different Opinions on Power Shortage from Green Groups and the Organization of Businesses

According to the “Analysis of Belgian Legislation and Policy on Nuclear Energy” by the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan, or ITRI, the nuclear energy provides 52% of the country’s electricity in Belgium. Fossil fuels, including coal, oil and gas are used to produce 39% of electricity. The rest, including hydroelectric, wind power, solar power and biomass and waste are 2.0%, 1.1%, 0.2% and 5.8%.

Belgium relies heavily on nuclear power, second highest in the world after 75% in France. When phasing out all the nuclear power plants by 2025, Belgium will lose 5927MW electricity. Will power shortage happens by then?

“The biggest difference between Belgium and Taiwan is that Taiwan is an island but Belgium is part of a continent. We share the European energy market, therefore, after Belgium shuts down the nuclear power plants, we can rely on imported energy to make up the shortage. Last year, two nuclear reactors, Doel3 and Tihange2 were under emergency maintenance. We lost about 2000MW electricity. Yet shortage didn’t break out because energy imports increased.”  Eloi Glorieux, project manager of Greenpeace Energy Campaigner said.

Greenpeace conducted a survey of possible energy sources in the future and the results showed about 70% Belgian hope Government could invest more on renewables rather than extend the service life of old nuclear power plants. Therefore, Greenpeace believes that nuclear decommission is the general consensus.
Eloi continued, “If Belgians don’t want to rely on nuclear power, they have to do three things: first avoid waste of electricity. The cost of electricity in Belgium is 20~25% higher than in neighbouring countries. For example, the cost of electricity of household is significantly higher in Belgium than in The Netherlands. Recently, the government noticed this and encouraged people to save electricity by doing things like choosing energy-efficient lights.

Second, we should develop the full potential of renewable energy. Now the development is just too slow. Even France has more hydropower power plants than us. There are 11 years left to fully decommission in 2025. We don’t have much time left but it’s not too late. The last, if we do meet electricity shortage, Belgium can import energy from other counties because of the open electricity market just as we export energy now.”

On the other hand, not everyone has optimistic view on policy of bold step towards decommission of Belgium. AmCham Belgium, or The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, an organization focusing on policy making in Belgium and providing advocate for investors believes that Belgium will face several challenges on this issue. On their website, they pose the questions:

Is it possible for the country to have 100% renewable energy by 2050? The cost of transferring to renewable energy and decommissioning nuclear power plants will be high and may exceed current fiscal capacity of the country.
Moreover, nuclear decommissioning will raise CO2 emissions and will not match the aspiration of the ‘20-20-20’ targets of the EU by 2020. The ‘20-20-20’ targets refer to the Emissions Trading Scheme for greenhouse gas allowances.
In short, AmCham Belgium suggested that Belgium should therefore take serious steps towards harmonizing and coordinating its energy policies and provide sufficient energy supply for business as investors.

There are different voices for the coming nuclear power decommissioning in Belgium. Some support and other oppose it. As a key point, how will the Belgian government deal with it?
 

 

How to negotiate within Belgium, a federal monarchy government?

Belgium is a federal monarchy country with segregated political power into three divisions: The Federal State's authority includes justice, public finances, defense, monetary policy, public debt, and nuclear energy. Even though the nuclear power plant is civilian-run enterprise, it’s still controlled by federal state due to the dangerousness.

Second, in fields that can be broadly associated with local areas, it is divided into three territories, including the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. The authorities include economy, employment, agriculture, water policy and more.

The last division oriented towards culture and education policies of the individuals of the Community's language. There are along with three language communities, Flemish community, French community and German-speaking community.Nuclear power decommissioning, extension and management of nuclear waste are under the Federal State but research and promotion of renewable energy are fields of the three regions.

According to Karen Dhollander from Dinest Ruimtelijke Planing of East Flanders, they have started the regional planning in East Flanders and decided those areas to be used for economic development or those to be used for renewable energy three years ago. During this time wind turbines were constructed. At present, there are about 100 generators and the future goal is 300 by 2020. In addition to wind power, they’ve also studied other type of renewable energy and calculated the potential supply of each, like solar power. They will calculate the capacity of roof-installed panels in the area, including public buildings, schools, residences, and commercial property.

The survey shows that the capacity of renewable energy in East Flanders expanded to 34,742,526GJ, which equals 9,650,701.6 MWh and two-month-electricity produced from current nuclear power plants. 63% could be installed on existing buildings like solar panel and solar water heaters and 37% couldn’t add-up like wind power and biomass and waste.

Karen Dhollander admitted that they don’t know the alternative energy program of Federal State after decommissioning. Another undergoing investigation shows that it’s possible not to rely on nuclear power by 2050 if people change lifestyles, decrease the usage of energy and generate energy with other advanced technologies.

She mentioned that this investigation is focused on East Flanders only, and doesn’t cover other regions or Belgium as a whole.
There are many instructions on the use of renewable energy on the websites of the regional governments of Wallonie and Brussels. It shows people how to use renewable energy by installing solar panel and participating in the wind power program. It also advises how to limit consumption of household electricity by different power-saving means.

Due to the segregated political power of Belgium’s government, Jonas Dutordoir from Groen, a political party of the Flemish-speaking community based on green politics, suggested that the Federal government has to work with regions and make the energy policy together.

He believes that there is two problems from nuclear power decommission in Belgium. First is the ten-year extension of reactor Tihange1 decided by federal government. Also the development of renewable energy is too slow, which is conducted by the regional governments. In 28 countries in Europe Union, the development of renewable energy of Belgium is 22nd. He asked that government should set up a process to decommission and find an alternative program. The decommissioning of nuclear power will be manageable by then.
 

 

Chapter 3
Where does nuclear waste go?

The production process in any industry will have waste, including nuclear power plants. Nuclear waste or radioactive waste is the by-product of nuclear power generation. Classifications of nuclear waste vary as high, intermediate and low-level. Those highly radioactive used fuel rods are high-level waste. Other materials, which contain radioactivity, like clothing, paper, tools and parts are low-level.

Only Finland has ongoing high-lever nuclear waste reprocessing. Other countries are still searching for solutions. How to deal with nuclear waste is always the dispute of supporters and counterforces whenever talks about the continuation of nuclear power.

In the early days, the nuclear waste management of Belgium was sea disposal. When public awareness about environmental issues was rising, sea disposal of waste stopped and was forbidden everywhere in the world.  Since the 80s, Belgium started to invest nuclear waste reprocessing.

The nuclear power plant in Belgium is civilian-run enterprise, which owned by Eletrabel, a subsidiary of the French electric utility company GDF Suez. Yet the nuclear waste is controlled by the Federal Agency NIRAS/ONDRAF or NIRAS and FANC. The process of nuclear waste in Belgium is:

  1. Eletrabel reports the quantity of nuclear waste to NIRAS. 
  2. NIRAS will decide how to reprocess and how much it cost. 
  3. Eletrabel will pay NIRAS and pass the nuclear waste to the Federal government. NIRAS has to conduct testing on the nuclear waste for reprocessing and send a nuclear safety analysis report to FANC. 
  4. FANC will decide if NIRAS can have the reprocessing permit or not. After getting the permit, NIRAS will pass the nuclear waste to Belgoprocess, which is the actual company that reprocesses the nuclear waste.

In summary, NIRAS is the director. FANC is the supervisor. Belgoprocess is the operator in the nuclear waste reprocess.

 

In Belgium, both SCK•CEN, study center for nuclear research and Belgoprocess both located in a small town Mol. In order to know more about details about reprocessing nuclear waste, I visited Mol for an interview with a chemical engineer, Wouter Aerts who has worked in Belgoprocess for two years since graduating from university. He believes this job is interesting and full of challenges.

He explained to me the reprocessing procedures in Belgium. The low-level nuclear waste is burned in special incinerators and the leftover ash is collected into barrels. Then all the barrels are put into a larger container with layered protection and put into storage. The government now plan the construction of a low-level nuclear waste storage in Mol-Dessel to save a space for future.

On the other hand, for the reprocessing of high-level nuclear waste, NIRAS now works with SCK•CEN on a project named HADES with the goal of permanent underground storage. The results haven’t been released yet, therefore, the high-level nuclear waste is still stored in nuclear power plant itself. In Doel, they use dry cask storage. In Tihange, they put it in the water fuel pool as in Fukushima.

On the process of nuclear power decommissioning by 2025, he believes, “the decommissioning itself is no problem. The Problem is we don’t have enough alternative energy.”

He continues that Belgium already has experience with nuclear reactor decommission. For example, the research reactor of Ghent University and those in SCK•CEN study center for nuclear research. Moreover, Belgium got experience from decommissioning of the Eurochemic reprocessing plant. Technically, there should be no problems.

But, he believes that renewable cannot supply whole country by 2025. He said, “That renewable energy could provide 20% should be considered very high. To provide 100% electricity is impossible.”

He explains that you can’t reach 100% renewable energy supply within just five or six years but maybe 50 or 60 years. In the transfer progress, it still needs stable basic electricity supply for the whole country for economic development.  This leaves the government to choose between fossil fuel or nuclear power.
Meanwhile, Belgium government keeps modifying their energy policy, which off puts investors. Favoring a free market, the government itself won’t provide electricity except through electricity companies. The government has to secure operation life to electricity companies and by that attracts investors. Now the problem is no enterprise wants to invest in Belgium.

Therefore, he believes that the most important mission to Belgium government is to decide a clear energy policy. No matter if it’s fossil fuel or nuclear power, it must encourage future investors for Belgium energy.

 

Chapter 4
Current Status of Belgian Renewable Energy

After nuclear power phasing out, where does Belgium find the alternative energy? What is the development of renewable energy? Is it enough for the shortage from decommission? In order to make it easier to understand, we start from the usage of electricity of Belgian.

Free electricity market allows people to choose their own electric company

According to the research of Greenpeace, the projects of renewable energy by locals are more efficient than those done by enterprise. For example, the investment of renewable energy from big electricity companys is only 4.9%. However, 34.9% is from locals.

Before the electricity market opened in Europe, national electricity supply in Belgium only came from Electrabel. Like the Taiwanese people can only choose electricity from Taiwan Power Company, or Taipower. However, European ccountries opened their electricity market in 2004, which allows people to choose which company to buy from. Also people can choose the method of production from fossil fuel, nuclear or renewable.

Xiao Zhong-chun, a Taiwanese who has lived in Belgium for more than ten years, believes in the idea of renewable energy. She chose wind power for her household use along with eco-friendly appliances. Electricity costs her about 27 euros per month. Another Belgian in Brugge, Ben (incognito) installed solar panel on his own roof. Live on self-sufficiency electriciy. He said it costs 4300 euro per solar panel at first installation. However, after 4 years, compared to future cost of buying, he can get 3300 euros more. During the winters when the sky is grey, he can use the electricity stored from sunny days in summer. Therefore, he suggested solar panel is a smart buy.

In Flanders, Belgium, there are more than ten electricity companies. People can compare the price on Government’s website and choose the one best for themselves. Also you can find how to make electricity more efficient in your house and also subside programs for installation of renewable energy.

The development of renewable energy in Belgium is not as advanced as in neighbouring countries like Germany or France. However, when you search “renewable energy” on the internet, you can find a lot of information about NGO of green energy popularization, green energy electricity companies or household electricity efficiency companies. In Belgium, renewable energy is not only an environmental-friendly idea but also a real business.

 

Ecopower : renewable energy project that everyone in the community can be the shareholder

“We hope to make more people has completely self-sufficient power source without big power companies.” Said by Jan, the engineer in Ecopower.
In a sunny afternoon, I took the train to a small town near Ghent, Eeklo. When I walked into the office of Ecopower, I was very impressed with the large windows in the stairs, corridors and in the office, which gave great lightings without lamps. I was not surprised to hear that all the electricity from this renewable energy developing company is from self-sufficient renewable power source not from big power companies according to Jan, the engineer at Ecopower.

In 2000, the Eeklo government planned to develop wind power and opened bids from power companies. Ecopower was one of those bidding companies who hoped this wind-power generation could be owned by residents in the community. They won the project and invited people in Eeklo to join this investment. They showed them the advantage of investment of this wind-power generation and also the disadvantages. For example, this wind-power generation would block the view, and sometimes make noise or shadows.

There are 2500 shareholders in total for one wind-power generator. In 2010, Ecopower provided 44,324,346(kWh) by wind-power generators, 448,000(kWh) by hydropower, 82,000(kWh) by solar power and 156,189(kWh) by biomass and waste.

In 2013, the green energy provided by Ecopower was 20% cheaper than by other commercial companies. The reason of lower price is co-financing for the installation of wind power generator. Ecopower only charged the cost of electricity generation, which included construction, maintenance, cable costs and taxes. There is no surcharge for electricity.

Nevertheless, wind-power reminds me of “Against Wind Turbines” in Yuanli and Tongxiao, Taiwan. Protestors worried about the wind power generators InfraVest Wind Power Group planned to install  being too close to residential area, which is 60 to 250 meters only and far closer than the average safety distance of 470 to 700 meters. Locals may be strongly influenced by the noise of wind turbines.

Jan committed that Ecopower met difficulties when choosing the location of wind power turbines. It took only few months for construction. However, the negotiation and application of permits took years. Sometimes the local residents may fight strongly against it. Both would have to engage in a lawsuit. If Ecopower lost the battle, they would need to find other locations. They would be able to continue the construction only when they won. It took 4 to 5 years for installation.
Speaking to the location choosing issue, Jan believes that working with the community is a way to resolve conflict. “Then the locals will know the profit would not go to pocket of big company but every shareholder. Therefore, compared with regular commercial green energy company, people would like to choose those they can share the interests for sure.”

Dirk from REScoop, anther renewable energy promotion group, thought that the one of benefits of developing renewable energy in the community is keeping the money for locals. He gave an example, Güssing, a small town in Austria with populations of around 4000. In the past, locals lived from farming with limited job opportunities. Young people moved to Vienna for jobs. The population shifted as young people move to city. The cost of energy was about USD eight million every year. However, the development of renewable energy brought more local job opportunities, which brought back the town. Now they can earn USD 17 million from renewable energy and it provides 100% electricity of the town.

Belgium’s commitment in the ‘20-20-20’ targets set by the EU is that renewable energy should provide 13% by 2020. Jan thinks Belgium may lose its goal according to the slow movement currently. It’s a pity in his opinion because the government should use money from people’s tax to develop renewable energy but not pay the fine to European Union.

He suggested that the Belgium government should set a clear target for every organization, from Community government to City hall. Also, Government should educate its people to understand the importance of developing renewable energy.

On my way out from Ecopower, there is a second hand shop next door. The electricity of this shop is from solar panels. In the weekday afternoon, people come to shop by bikes. I was impressed the strong connection between renewable energy and the community and also the faith to make it happen.

 

Renewable energy More Competitive in Electricity Market

One of the reasons why people support nuclear power is the idea it’s cheaper. People tend to believe renewable energy is unstable and expensive. Nowadays, some media coverage shows different opinions about it.

“Wind and solar power will continue to erode thermal generators' credit quality” by American credit rating agency Moody's shows that large increases in renewables have had a profound negative impact on power prices and the competitiveness of thermal generation companies in Europe.European utilities- How to lose half a trillion euros” by the Economist goes into details: Wholesale price of electricity in Germany in last June fell may relate to renewable energy added in.

“It was a bright, breezy Sunday. Demand was low. Between 2pm and 3pm, solar and wind generators produced 28.9 gigawatts (GW) of power.The trouble is that power plants using nuclear fuel or brown coal are designed to run full blast and cannot easily reduce production, whereas the extra energy from solar and wind power is free. So the burden of adjustment fell on gas-fired and hard-coal power plants, whose output plummeted to only about 10% of capacity.”

According to this article, in Germany, where electricity from renewable sources has grown fastest, several traditional power companies have fallen since 2010. The development in renewable energy is part of the reasons. The financial crisis in Europe hit demand as the same time. The other influence was the shale-gas bonanza in America pushing European coal prices down. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan panicked the Government into ordering the immediate closure of eight of Germany’s nuclear-power plants.

Electricity prices have fallen from over €80 per MWh at peak hours in Germany in 2008 to just €38 per MWh like back to 2003. As the wholesale prices fall, so does the profitability of power plants. Chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), compares them to telephone companies in the 1990s, or newspapers facing social media now: “It is an existential threat,” he says in the article.

“It’s not from Greenpeace of WWF but the survey of economists,” says by Dirk from REScoop, short for Renewable Energy Sources Co-Operative. REScoop is the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives found by groups and cooperatives of citizens. The organisations in different EU countries have joined forces to increase generation and sales of renewable energy and advanced renewable energy facilities.

Dirk mentions that people don’t understand the potentials of European open electricity market. In Europe, Government controlled the electricity price and allowed industries could have pay less while households would have to pay more. However, once people can choose from different price or even become self-sufficient, Government and power plants will come under pressure. For example, Spain is one of the most advanced countries in the development of solar energy. The government chose to change policy to encourage people to choose nuclear power.

Jan from Ecopower believes that sunlight and wind is unstable weather force but they are predictable. It’s the same as peak and off-peak hours of daily electricity use. On the other hand, nuclear power plants are designed to run 24 hours. During the off-peak hours in the night, the price falls to encourage people use more and consume extra. Meanwhile, people join the projects of Ecopower will learn it’s difficult to generate electricity and start save power when they invest in renewable energy.

Dirk from REScoop believes renewable energy is easy to understand. When we were kids, we knew wind could push the boat. Our skin can feel wind and sunlight. Many people say that the renewable energy is unsure. Actually, it’s as sure as the sun rises every morning. The problem is how to change people’s concept.
He keeps optimistic and says due to the growing of renewable energy in Europe, nuclear power plants will be knocked off for the higher price despite government policy.
 

Struggles of renewable energy development

Although it’s since that European countries have reached the agreement of renewable energy development, there are still many challenges in practice.
Karen Dhollander, Dienst Ruimtelijke Planning from East Flanders Government says biggest problem is people all love renewable energy but no one wants to have it at their backyard. For example,  wind power. Countries have bigger territory like France, it’s easy to find an open area to install wind power generator. However, it’s more difficult to choose a location in Belgium. They meet lots complain from locals.

Then allowance is another problem. Power companies negotiate with landlords at ideal location. So the landlords get allowance from the power company and the neighbor get nothing. However, the generators also impact his life, such as shadows and noise. The unfair leads to dispute between community residents.
Since last year, more and more solar power companies collapsed, like Sunswitch in the French-speaking community. Jan from Ecopower believes it’s because Government cut down subsidies. He explains that to encourage people install solar panels, various subsidies granted from Government. While renewable energy is growing, the price of panels becomes cheaper. Therefore, Government cut down the subsidies. It sounds reasonable. However, some firms live on subsidies. Once the Government cut it down, they have financial problems.

Karen Dhollander said now government has noticed the issues and is starting to work on it. Karen gives an example that the government should encourage power companies to co-operate with communities instead of landlords only in order to reduce conflict. On the other hand, Government has to review the subsidies program and find an appropriate number.

 

Belgian Lifestyle Survey

When I lived in Belgium, I found one thing in common everywhere was Belgian architecture. It didn’t matter if the buildings were restaurants, libraries, city halls or household, normally there are large windows. Many have dormers and when the weather is good, you can have enough lighting by opening curtains without turning on the lights.

The possible reason is you have to provide Energy Performance Certificate or EPC when you buy and sale or lease your property according to the law in Belgium. So the potential buyers or renters could calculate energy efficiency rate. For example, on IMMOWEB, a well-known real-estate website in Belgium, consumers can calculate easily and find out how much they are going to spend on gas and power per year for particular house.

Also, Government encourages people in choosing eco-friendly appliances which to go with a label showing how much energy used. Xiao Zhong-chun, the Taiwanese in Belgium is using eco-friendly washing machine and dishwasher. She says although eco-friendly appliances have a higher initial price, it is still worth lower cost on water and power in the future.

There are couple facilities similar to bikes in the train station of Brussels and Antwerp. It’s actually a generator. You just sit on it, ride as a bike and generate the power you need. Then you can recharge your devices.

 

Chapter 5
Learn from Belgian Experiences
Nuclear phasing-out in Taiwan

This march marks the third year since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Around 80,000 anti-nuclear protesters demonstrated in different cities in Taiwan. The other side of the world, there was another demonstration in Belgium. The manifestation was held by “Stop Tihange and Doel Presto.” Hundreds people joined to ask Belgium government learn from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, immediately phase-out old reactor Tihange 1, and conduct security assessment of reactor Doel 3 and Tihange 2. Meanwhile, urged Government to increase the supply of development green energy.

Protesters held the banners with the slogan, “Nuclear? Non Merci” and walked around main streets in Brussels. Some musicians supported the event with violin performance or band shows. Under the blue sky, protestors cried out their request on the road, which attracted others’ attention. If we don’t speak different languages, I may feel it’s same as the protest in Taiwan. People gather on the street to stand for their ideal lifestyle. I don't see any difference between races or nations.  

The key difference of nuclear power phasing-out between Taiwan and Belgium: open electricity market. Although nuclear energy provides more than 50% electricity in Belgium, Belgium is one of the members in EU open electricity market. If Belgium faces electricity shortage, it can buy from other countries, which could be cheaper than generating it by itself. In an open electricity market, people can decide which electricity seller they want and support preferred electricity production by doing so.

Dirk from REScoop reckons that Taiwan gets lots of opportunities to develop of renewable energy. He believes that Taiwan is at nearly same latitude as Northern Africa. The weather is warm with sufficient sunlight. It will be good location for solar energy. On the other hand, Taiwan is a mountainous island. Most mountains in Taiwan are very steep. It’s a better spot for hydro energy compared to Belgium. Regardless, both Belgium and Taiwan face the difficulty of choosing good locations for wind-power, though Taiwan is much more densely populated than Belgium.

Dirk explains that based on the technology we have now, it’s difficult to produce electricity with final price under 0,05 €/kWh. Some of the few examples are nuclear power plants in France and Belgium. Cheapest price could down to 0,04 €/kWh. The wind-power and solar power plants in California, American and Brazil could provide electricity under 0,05 €/kWh. Therefore, according to the weather and geography condition in Taiwan, it is possible to get cheaper renewable energy.

Recently, awareness of environmental protection has increased. There are more people keeping an eye on nuclear issues. In April 2014, former Chairman of Democratic Progressive Party, Lin Yi-hsiung started on hunger strike against Fourth Nuclear Power Plant construction. The dispute of Fourth Nuclear Power Plant construction turned intense and white-hot again. Nuclear phasing-out is more advanced in Belgium than in Taiwan. In Belgium, nuclear power articles are not new construction. It moves on toward service life extension of existing nuclear power plants and developing the efficiency of renewable energy.

The development of nuclear power in Belgium started early. Belgium has solid knowledge and experience on nuclear power phasing out. However, speaking to the development of renewable energy, Taiwan owns richer nature resources. Comparing and contrasting both, each has different and unique advantages on nuclear phasing out.

 

Appendix
Environmental Friendly Lifestyle, La Baraque


There are many ways to save electricity in daily life, such as turning off the light when you don’t need them, choosing energy-efficient lighting, etc. There are some people at the Catholic University of Louvain who set this basic idea to a bigger picture. They built their house and grew their vegetables on the wasteland near the university. They enjoyed self-sufficient simple life.

Aline is one of the local residents. She visited La Baraque when she was 25 because she got tired of the material life in the city. The lifestyle here reminds her of the days traveling aboard when she was teen.  It ended up from a short stay to twenty years. Now she still lives in La Baraque. When I visited there, she invited me to her place and had some bread and jam she bought from bio-shops. She cooked a pot of hot tea. Over the lovely smell of food, she told me the story of La Baraque.

In 1973, the Catholic University of Louvain was just established. There were not enough students’ accommodations in the school. Some of architecture students started to build up experimental houses on the wasteland near university. At that time, however, they never thought it would turn into a village.

Aline believed that the attraction of La Baraque is being free and sharing. The community itself challenged the values of the society.
“The society told us that you need to attend five-year architecture school before you could build your own house. That’s what this society makes you believe. You need to study and then you will gain your ability. It did require this when you wanted to build something big. However, building a small shelter is not that difficult.”

In La Baraque, you can find different type of houses. Some eco-houses built of mud and wood. Some were recycled from a small truck. Some used the recycled waste.

Because the houses here are normally small, some even don’t have a bathroom. So they built a public bathroom and used solar-power to provide hot water. Every local can share. There is also a public oven. People love to get together, back the breads or pizzas. Almost all houses get compost from droppings and kitchen waste. After one and half years the compost is used on the vegetable farms.

“The uniqueness of La Baraque is that people all living in small area here. So when the weather is good, everyone comes out to chat and spend time outside. If you have a cozy big house, you will tend to stay at home all day. People here meet often. We know the name of our neighbors even the name of their children. You probably don’t even what's your neighbors look like if you live in a big city.”

“Another important thing, we share. Like lawn mower or toaster. My neighbor just knocked the door and she can borrow from me. We don’t have everything we need but we share,” said by Aline.

People live in a simple life. The house is small. Most of locals don’t have washing machines, dryers or other appliance.

There are about 210 people live in La Baraque now including 50 kids. Mainly Belgians. Some people are from Asia and Africa. People have different reasons to come here. There are many artists, sculptors and poets.

When I walk with Aline in the village, she seems know everyone and stop often to talk with people. I remember people love to share food or relax outside after dinner in the countryside in Taiwan.

“Not everyone likes this kind of lifestyle. Some of my friends don’t think it’s real house. Yet I like the lifestyle here. I can have a campfire, grow veggies and hang clothes up outside. There are no rules saying what you can do, what can’t do. No one ties down others. Also, when you stay with people with free minds, you will find your creativity in daily life. Those people never stop trying all kind of possibilities,” said Aline.

I spent the rest of my time loafing around and taking pictures after interview. Then I got lost. I met a friendly old gentleman who drove me back to station. In his old car, there are many photography tools and drafts of scripts. We listened to the country music while looking over this secret village. When I arrived, he told me that not many people know this place. “You are welcomed to La Baraque!”

 

Special thanks to:
all the interviewees, weReprot, and everyone who supports this program.

Volunteers for verbatim tying
Angelia, Chih-Hsiang Hu, Elaine, Ivy Tzai , Jane , Tammy, Viva , Yen Wu, Yuhua-Zheng
方文凌、李冠儀、連真、許景雯、黃猷鈞、葉哲綱、蔡靜文

Flemish interpreter for Doel nuclear power plant  tour
Jolien Schoonooghe and Tristan Piraux

English interpreter: Ivy Tzai
Proofreading: Daniel Gutman
Designer: Zoe