All three of the presidential candidates agree that the life of the country’s three operational nuclear power plants should not be extended, but they have mixed views on the progress of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said yesterday, citing responses they received to a list of environmental questions submitted to all three of the candidates.
Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she is opposed to the installation of fuel rods in the fourth plant, while People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said the safety of that step would have to be assured, the groups said at a press conference.
However, the candidates were all hesitant to support the idea of an immediate suspension of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project or allowing residents within a 30km radius to vote on the fate of nuclear plants, said Shih Shin-min (施信民), an environmentalist and professor at National Taiwan University.
The Fourth Nuclear Power
Plant has been the subject of much controversy, with environmentalists advocating the suspension of the project before it gets to the stage where the fuel rods are installed. Currently the electrical and peripheral facilities of the plant are being put in place.
“When it comes time to install fuel rods, the government will give it some serious thought,” Minster of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) told lawmakers earlier this year at a legislative committee meeting in response to questions about the safety of the plant.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidates said the operations and life of the three existing plants should not be extended or prolonged, according to the responses made to the 16 questions posed by more than 10 environmental groups.
Representatives of the groups visited the three candidates’ campaign offices on Saturday to present their questions, which covered issues ranging from nuclear safety and petrochemical development to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
At yesterday’s press conference, the groups urged the candidates to step up their nuclear safety policies and to suspend the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which they called a dangerous facility that could have a catastrophic impact on the environment.
They also called on the candidates to introduce policies that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions to their 2000 levels by 2016 and to their 1990 levels by 2025.
In addition, the candidates should aim for negative growth of water and electricity consumption, the groups said.
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying: