The Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) has submitted a list of energy and environmental policy suggestions to the three presidential candidates and will visit their campaign offices with other environmental civic groups on Sunday for discussions.
The list includes opposition to extending the life of the three operational nuclear power plants and says operations at the plants should be halted for thorough seismic hazard assessments, the union told a press conference yesterday.
It also demands construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), be stopped and sets a timetable for achieving a “nuclear-free homeland.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) plan of achieving a nuclear-free homeland by 2025 was still too slow and should be brought up to 2015, said Kao Cheng-yan (高成炎), a National Taiwan University professor and a former TEPU chairman.
State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), has been concealing the truth about the actual price of nuclear power and is threatening the public by saying the price of electricity would increase if nuclear power were abolished, Kao said.
“Taipower says the price of electricity generated by nuclear power is NT$0.66 per kilowatt hour [kWh], but this is nonsense, because the estimated price was NT$1.4 per kWh 30 years ago and another 10 percent of the cost will be charged for back-end treatment [disposal of spent fuel],” Kao said. “So where does the price of NT$0.66 per kWh come from?”
The group said energy-intensive companies should not be given special discounts on electricity prices, but instead be charged the same rate as households.
Candidates should each establish a sustainable energy steering committee to push the development of solar power, geothermal power and tidal power generation technologies, Kao said.
The group also urged a reduction in carbon emissions to below 2000 levels by 2016, and to below 1990 levels by 2025.
TEPU secretary-general Lee Cho-han (李卓翰) said the group was gathering signatures on petitions from New Taipei City residents calling for a referendum against nuclear power and had collected about 16,000.