Fri, Oct 17, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Groups plan second referendum

NUKES OUT:The group’s first referendum on nuclear power was rejected. The group said it was absurd a plan supported by 120,000 people could be rejected by 13

Staff writer, with CNA

An environmental group said yesterday that it would initiate a second referendum aimed at curbing the nation’s use of nuclear power following the rejection of its previous proposal by the Cabinet.

Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) chairman Liu Chun-hsiu (劉俊秀) said that if allowed by the government’s Referendum Review Committee, the next referendum would ask the question: “Do you support Taiwan Power Company’s [Taipower] plan to extend the service life of the first nuclear power plant?”

The Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shimen District (石門) is set to have its two reactors decommissioned in 2018 and 2019.

In July, the group proposed a referendum on the nation’s newest plant, still under construction, which asked: “Do you support the installation of fuel rods in the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City?”

That initiative, however, was rejected by the Referendum Review Committee in August on the grounds that the rationale contradicted the stated purpose of the referendum.

The TEPU filed an administrative lawsuit against the committee on Sept. 14 in an attempt to overturn the decision.

A member of the anti-nuclear power group who initiated the first referendum, Kao Cheng-yen (高成炎) yesterday said the fact that a referendum plan endorsed by 120,000 people can be rejected by a 13-member committee highlights the absurdity of the referendum system.

Kao likened the situation to that of Hong Kong, where the rules of the special administrative region’s election for its chief executive are set by Beijing.

In April, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration decided to halt construction of the nearly completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮) with immediate effect amid mounting public sentiment against nuclear power.

The government also decided that the plant being put into operation in the future would be determined by a national referendum.

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