Fri, Mar 22, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Motions passed to cease nuclear plant construction

‘AMBUSH’:KMT lawmakers called the vote an ‘ambush,’ saying that the resolutions were passed before they had a copy of the proposals and vowing to counteract them

By Helen Ku, Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters

“It would constitute a violation of the plenary resolution if an additional budget is passed,” he said.

DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) said Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) had pledged to abide by legislative resolutions, including those demanding the suspension of construction, and the rejection of Taipower’s budget was “only trying to reiterate that no additional budget allocation will be approved before a national referendum on the nuclear power plant is held.”

If the result of the referendum shows that a majority favors completing and operating the plant, “we will respect the public’s decision,” Chen said.

Taipower spokesman Roger Lee (李鴻洲) yesterday said the company would continue making the utmost effort to ensure the safety of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, while Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) said he was “very sorry” about the committee’s decision, adding that the ministry would be seeking a solution through legal means.

Meanwhile, Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) reserved judgement because it is not yet clear whether the legislature has the authority to demand that the Executive Yuan suspend the project.

The Executive Yuan hopes that any decision made on the power plant’s future does not violate the Constitution as the previous DPP administration had done in 2000 when then-premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) halted the construction illegally, she said.

In related developments, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said that he would vote “yes” in a referendum asking voters if the construction and operation of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant should be suspended.

“Taipower’s handling of follow-up planning and management at the power plant has been problematic and the issue of storing nuclear waste remains unresolved. I am concerned about the situation and would not support the continued construction of the plant under these circumstances,” Hau said.

Amid growing opposition to the plant’s completion, Hau said the government should consider whether a referendum is necessary if a majority wants the project suspended. The mayor suggested the government should allow the legislature to reach a consensus.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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