Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Nuclear safety focal point of conference in Taipei

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Nuclear safety was the focal point of discussions at the 10th annual national environmental non-governmental organizations conference in Taipei yesterday.

Taiwan Environmental Protection Union chairman Lin Wen-yinn (林文印) told the conference that a nation’s development requires input from three sectors — civic, governmental and business.

However, most resources are concentrated in the business sector as it often has closer connections with governments and can influence policies, Lin said.

As the natural environment becomes more hazardous, a greater number of people are becoming aware of environmental issues, he said, adding that the conference serves as a platform for people from the civic sector to share ideas and discuss solutions to solve environmental problems.

Topics for discussion included nuclear power and energy, sustainable land use, solutions for industrial waste treatment, globalization, food safety and ecology, and animal protection.

However, the main focus of discussions was nuclear power, with attendees saying that the government is attempting to use an unfair referendum to distort the people’s will and continue the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市).

“We are not afraid of holding a referendum, but we are angry that the government is using this trap to bury public opinion that is opposed to nuclear power,” Green Citizen Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.

It would be irresponsible to hold a referendum based on the current system, Tsuei added.

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) told the conference that, due to the frequent earthquakes in Taiwan, “we should also think about how to deal with nuclear safety during natural disasters and whether we are willing accept the risks.”

Anti-nuclear groups have urged the public to call pro-nuclear power legislators’ offices to express their dissent as a way to pressure legislators before they vote on the referendum proposal tomorrow.

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