Mon, May 30, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Tsai announces major nuclear power initiative

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that if she was elected president in January, her administration would work to enshrine into law a plan seeking to decommission Taiwan’s nuclear industry.

The 2025 nuclear-free homeland proposal — the first major policy initiative unveiled by Tsai since she announced her presidential bid — would halt operations at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and would not renew licenses for the other three nuclear plants pending the development of other energy sources.

Drawing a direct line to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, Tsai yesterday said nuclear power “has led to many concerns,” especially given the proximity of two of the older nuclear plants — Jinshan and Guosheng nuclear power plants — to Taipei and New Taipei City (新北市).

“The Japanese government has already asked the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, which is located 200km from the capital, to cease operations. Meanwhile our -government doesn’t seem concerned about the proximity of Taipei to nuclear power plants,” she said.

Tsai said she would ask the DPP’s legislative caucus to make plans to enshrine the nuclear-free homeland proposal into law if the party regained power next year.

“We hope this would force the government to act and carry it out after it becomes law,” Tsai told a crowd in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), a seaside town where the fourth nuclear plant is under construction.

Critics of the project, which includes the DPP under Tsai, say the power plant is unnecessary and that nuclear regulators have failed to crack down on numerous design flaws and construction errors.

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration says the plant will help meet Taiwan’s greenhouse emissions reduction targets.

Tsai has said the reductions could be offset by large investments in renewable energy sources, including wind and solar.

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