Thu, May 08, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Nuclear-free bill ready for debate

HOMELAND HOPES Alternative energy, no nuclear weapons, a single permanent site for waste from existing plants and frugal use of power are called for in the legislation

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the goal of building a nuclear-free home in its sights, the Executive Yuan yesterday approved a draft bill which would ban the development of nuclear weapons, gradually phase out the use of nuclear power and develop renewable energy to meet future needs.

Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said after the weekly closed-door Cabinet meeting that the bill, if passed, would not only provide the legal basis for the establishment of a nuclear-free home but also serve as a policy guidebook for an important DPP goal.

"With the approval of the bill, we can now show to the world and our children that we had the resolve to build a home that's free from the intimidation of nuclear weapons and [health threat] of radioactive waste," Lin said.

The draft calls for the government to make efforts to reach six goals: no development of nuclear weapons, a gradual end to the use of nuclear power, consequent adjustment of the overall energy policy, development and promotion of sources of renewable energy, safe use of nuclear power and the selection of a permanent depository of radioactive waste.

The draft would designate Feb. 13 as "nuclear-free day." A committee will be set up under the Executive Yuan to help reach the goal.

In addition to banning the development of nuclear weapons, the draft specifies that the government would object to the use and transfer of all nuclear. The government would at the same time support inspection, disarmament and destruction of nuclear weapons.

The draft also stipulates that nuclear power plants should cease operation once the energy volume generated by the plant reaches its proscribed limit.

Managers of nuclear power plants should present a plant discharge proposal three years before the plant reaches its targeted energy volume.

To revive the overall energy policy, the draft stipulates that the government should take into account the nation's economy, social development, energy safety, environmental protection and international conventions.

To develop and promote renewable energy, the government should create an environment that is friendly to the development of such energy. It should also provide incentives for the research and development of the renewable energy, the draft stated.

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