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Sat, Oct 28, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Activists applaud killing of nuclear plant plan


Premier Chang Chun-hsiung's (張俊雄) decision to halt construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is the first step toward a nuclear-free country, nuclear opponents said yesterday.

The government must also do more to reform the nation's energy policies and adopt renewable energy sources, the activists said.

"The DPP-led government has kept pace with international trends" when it comes to energy policy, Pan Han-chiang (潘翰疆), vice secretary-general of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, said yesterday.

Chang's announcement was also applauded by anti-nuclear residents in Kungliao township (貢寮鄉) in Taipei County, where the controversial plant is located.

As parents of young children, residents said at a press conference yesterday that they have a responsibility to fight for a better environment for future generations.

"The decision will prevent the environment along the northeastern coast from being destroyed by the plant's construction," said Chen Ching-tang (陳慶塘), head of the Yenliao Anti-nuclear Self-help Association (鹽寮反核自救會). "The delayed justice shows that people have been fooled by the former KMT-led government for decades."

Anti-nuclear activists said that concerns surrounding nuclear energy have been fully debated by the public, and that discourse could be used to answer other public policy questions.

"The way of arriving at a final decision to abandon the project for the plant could also be applied to other important public development projects in the future," said Wu Wen-tung (吳文通), a Kungliao resident.

Meanwhile, Kungliao builders who do contract work for Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said the premier's decision was a sudden one.

Wang Wen-bin (王文彬), who runs Ho-sheng Construction and Building Co (禾昇營造), said his top concern was getting NT$9 million in fees owed him for construction work performed for Taipower.

"I believe that some Kungliao residents will start to worry about their future, because the decision" will hurt Kungliao economically, Wang said.

As a result of the decision, he said, many residents will be forced to look for jobs elsewhere.

Lin Chu-wan (林居萬), Taipower's site manager for the Lungmen Construction Office (龍門施工處) in Kungliao, said that some major construction projects have already been halted as a result of the government's announcement yesterday.

But Lin said that Taipower employees working at the site were still waiting for further instruction from their supervisors.

Hsia Der-yu (夏德鈺), chairman of the Atomic Energy Council, said yesterday he respected the premier's decision and that the council would now focus on operating the nation's three nuclear plants.

"I don't feel that Premier Chang disrespects the nuclear energy profession, and I believe that the decision was based on a comprehensive consideration," Hsia said.

Meanwhile, the first wave of the DPP's anti-nuclear campaign appeared yesterday in the form of advertisements in the evening newspapers.

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