As the issue of a referendum on the future of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is heating up, residents from Taitung County, a potential site for the nation's first permanent repository for low-level radioactive waste, yesterday demanded a similar referendum on the waste issue.
More than 100 residents from Tawu Township (
"We local residents will be the most affected by the repository. The project should be decided by ourselves," said Li Chin-huei (李錦慧), a county councilman.
Li said the repository should not be built unless the county council approves it or the result of a referendum is in favor of it.
Petitions carried out by Tawu residents yesterday were supported by diverse social and political groups, including the Association for Promoting Public Voting on Nuke 4 (
"When we are talking about the future of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, we have to consider waste disposal problems as a whole," said DPP Legislator Eugene Jao (
Residents of Kungliao Township, Taipei County, where the plant is located, said that it was unfair to have other nations decide the future of local people.
"People living far away and using electric power conveniently will never realize our panic," said Wu Wen-tung (吳文通), spokesman for the Kungliao-based Yenliao Anti-Nuclear Self-Help Association.
Wu said a regional referendum on the future of the plant was acceptable.
Anti-nuclear activists today will protest in front of the Office of the President to express their anger.
In April, President Chen Shui-bian (
Nearly 100,000 barrels of low-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants, hospitals and research institutes are stored on the island.
At that time, Taitung County Magistrate Hsu Ching-yuan (
However, the county council was against the idea.
Anti-nuclear residents said they suspected that several groups could be profiting from supporting the project.