Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she was optimistic an anti-nuclear referendum in New Taipei City (新北市) would be held next year to stop the operation of the yet-to-be-completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Longmen (龍門).
“The Taiwan Alliance for Green 21 is ready to submit a referendum proposal after collecting more than 16,000 signatures and is now working on the next goal of 160,000 signatures, the threshold for a referendum in New Taipei City,” Lu, founder of the alliance, said during her visit to the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) seeking support.
The New Taipei City Council’s passage of the Act Governing New Taipei Referendums (新北市公民投票自治條例) on June 25, the first referendum law at the local level in Taiwan, made it possible for local residents to have a say on local matters through referendums.
That was why Lu, an advocate of a “nuclear-free homeland,” began the referendum drive in July.
“I believe we hold the key to close the door on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant,” she said.
Lu, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member, said collecting the required minimum of signatures should not be a problem since the DPP and the TSU had both pledged support and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) received more than 1 million votes in the 2010 New Taipei mayoral election.
According to the act, if more than 1.6 million New Taipei City residents participate in the referendum, with half of them supporting the halting of fuel rods loading, operation of the nuclear power plant would be halted.
The campaign faces time constraints, Lu said, as the power plant reportedly would begin operation and start to load nuclear fuel rods in August or September next year.
Northern Taiwan has the highest density of nuclear power plants in the world with three plants — the First, Second and Fourth power plants, the former vice president said.
The accident at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in March last year, numerous mismanagement and operations flaws at the Fourth nuclear power plant and a recent discovery of a 100km-deep fault in northern Taiwan all added to concerns about Taiwan’s nuclear power situation, Lu said.
If Taiwan could reduce its reserve capacity of electricity and increase its green power production, nuclear power would not be necessary, Lu said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,