The Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) on Friday handed the Central Election Commission 122,000 signatures it collected backing its bid to have a referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) held at the same time as November’s seven-in-one elections.
The group’s referendum would ask voters if they agree with holding a trial run of the unfinished plant involving fuel rods.
The proposal was in response to the Executive Yuan’s decision in April that the construction of the plant’s No. 1 reactor will not continue, but it will still go through safety checks, after which it will be sealed up. It also suspended the building of the No. 2 reactor.
The group said this plan was too costly and risky, which is why it suggested an alternative.
TEPU chairman Liou Gin-show (劉俊秀) said his group held plebiscites on the matter in New Taipei City and Yilan County, but the results were rejected by the commission, which said that the nuclear plant was a national issue.
Campaign convener Kao Cheng-yan (高成炎) said that Friday marked the 40th month since the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
“On this special day, we are hoping that the nightmare of the Fourth Nuclear Plant will end once and for all,” he said.
Separately on Friday, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said halting the construction of the plant and sealing it up is “both a public consensus and a goal the government is working toward.”
Additional reporting by Chen Wei-tsung