Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called for public support for an anti-nuclear referendum proposal.
“I’d like to call on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to show concern for people’s lives and safety by halting the proposed operations at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant,” Su said at a referendum signature-drive held in Sinjhuang (新莊), New Taipei City (新北市).
The objective of the referendum, initiated by Lu and numerous environmental groups, is to demand halting the loading of fuel rods at the yet-to-be-completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).
“Go sign the petition and make the referendum successful to stop the fourth power plant,” Su, Lu and other DPP officials chanted.
New Taipei City has the highest density of nuclear power plants in the world with three plants, Lu said.
The Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is reportedly set to begin operations and will start to load nuclear fuel rods in August or September next year.
Lu said the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in March last year, mismanagement and operational flaws at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, as well as the recent discovery of a 100km deep fault in northern Taiwan all added to concerns about Taiwan’s nuclear power situation.
According to Lu, the petition has so far collected nearly 30,000 signatures from residents in New Taipei City and is now working on the next goal of 160,000 signatures, the threshold for a referendum in New Taipei City.