Sat, May 25, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Anti-nuclear alliance criticizes nuclear referendum

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Members of the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform hold up signs during a protest outside the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday. They questioned the proposed national referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform protested in Taipei yesterday over the proposed national referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

The platform, an alliance of anti-nuclear groups nationwide, said the government-backed referendum proposal suggested by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) can neither guarantee nuclear safety nor solve the problem of nuclear waste disposal, and may be used to manipulate public opinions.

Green Citizen Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said the Cabinet has abandoned its promise to hold the referendum after safety examinations are made at the plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), while the search for a permanent nuclear spent fuel disposal site is ongoing, with the fate of more than 900,000 barrels of nuclear waste produced so far up in the air.

Questioning whether the proposed referendum could resolve safety and disposal issues, she said the phrasing of the question is full of traps aimed to eliminate anti-nuclear voices.

The KMT may think that anti-nuclear proponents are not strong enough to overcome the difficult requirements of passing the referendum, but it might incite more anger from anti-nuclear groups and individuals, she said.

Citizens of the Earth representative Tony Chou (周東漢) said a national technology research project on energy conducted by the National Science Council has showed that one-sixth of the electricity that will be provided by the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant can be saved just by reducing the use of hot-and-cold-water dispensers in homes and businesses.

The residential and commercial sector only accounts for about 16 percent of the nation’s total electrical consumption, he said, adding that more electricity could be saved if the industrial sector could also reduce its energy demands.

As a result, nuclear power plants, or even coal-fired power plants, would not be necessary, he said.

The alliance said it will rally supporters to form the characters for “STOP” and encircle the Legislative Yuan tomorrow to show lawmakers the public’s demand for an end to nuclear power as well as remind them not to spend millions of dollars on a “bird-cage” referendum that is easily manipulated.

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