Fri, Apr 28, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Yu says DPP should discuss power issue

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that a nuclear-free Taiwan remained the party's goal. But given that the DPP was a democratic party, the chairman said, he would not prohibit party members from discussing this issue.

In the DPP's central standing committee meeting on Wednesday, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) reputedly said that the party should reconsider its nuclear power policy in the post-Tokyo Protocol era. Lu said that nuclear power could be viewed as "green energy as the technicalities of nuclear waste disposal have been improved a lot."

According to Article 64 of the DPP's guidelines, the party "opposes the establishment of additional nuclear power plants, aims to encourage the use of alternative energy sources and to close existing nuclear power plants within a finite period."

Lu's remarks sparked lively debate.

When asked whether Lu's remarks violated the party's guideline, Yu answered: "Yes."

Yu said that the nuclear power issue was not listed as a proposal in the central standing committee.

"The vice president is just expressing her personal opinion. The DPP is a party that does not oppose different voices," Yu said.

DPP legislative caucus whip Chen Chun-jun (陳景峻) said that the DPP would not change its stance on nuclear power.

However, since construction had resumed on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the DPP would not propose the work should be halted again, he said.

"But we will continue to monitor the budgets for the fourth nuclear plant. Security remains the priority," he said.

DPP Legislator Chao Yung-ching (趙永清), who is opposed to nuclear energy, said that no environmental group in the world would call nuclear energy a "green energy." He added that he suspected that corruption was involved in the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

"I think it is incredible that the budget for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant has been increased. There must be activity behind the scenes. Resuming construction harms the credibility of the party and shows a lack of accountability," Chao said.

The pan-blue camp yesterday praised Lu's remarks, saying it was time for the DPP to re-examine its nuclear power policy.

KMT legislative caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said that the Kyoto Protocol had limited carbon dioxide emissions and that many countries had explored alternative energy sources.

"We are glad to see that the vice president has caught up with world trends," Pan said.

She added that it was the DPP's fault that NT$3.5 billion had been wasted when compensation was paid for halting the construction of the plant, and that another NT$78 billion was subsequently required to resume construction.

Meanwhile, Yu Shyi-kun yesterday said that the first family should apologize over first lady Wu Shu-jen's (吳淑珍) investment fund if omissions or mistakes occurred during trading. Yu pointed out that the first family should demand the highest moral standards of itself and he encouraged President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his wife to respond to the public's questions. Yu added that so far there was no evidence to indicate the first family had been involved in any unlawful activities and everyone should believe in the president until there is reason to do otherwise.

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