Sat, Aug 17, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Survey finds waning interest in nuclear plant issue

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

The latest survey released by the Taipei City Government on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant showed that 64 percent of residents said they would cast their vote if a national referendum on the fate of the plant was held, indicating a continuous drop of public interest from previous surveys.

In March, Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) ordered the city’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission to carry out monthly surveys on the plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮).

The latest survey, the fifth so far, was conducted on July 25 and July 26, and had 1,019 respondents.

The first survey in April found 66 percent of respondents said they would vote in a national referendum on the plant.

The latest poll also found that 59 percent said they would vote in support of suspending construction of the plant, down from 62 percent in the previous survey.

The July survey found that 71 percent of residents continue to pay attention to news coverage on the issue, while 24 percent said they do not care about related topics.

The number of residents expressing support for the suspension of the plant has shown a steady decline since May.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Timothy Ting (丁庭宇) said the polls reflected a shift in public interest as other issues emerged as hot topics in the media, but the nuclear issue is likely to become the center of attention again about one month before the referendum is held.

The city government said it would continue to conduct the monthly poll, which Hau has said could provide the central government with information about public opinion on the nuclear issue.

Hau has expressed concern about the possible voter turnout for the proposed referendum and said the Executive Yuan should increase its efforts to provide information on nuclear power issues and encourage people to vote.

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