Wed, Feb 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Environmentalists pan nuclear power plan, set rally date

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Environmental advocacy groups yesterday blasted a government plan to reactivate a nuclear reactor that has been under repair since 2016, while announcing that an annual parade against nuclear power is to take place on March 11 near the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) headquarters in Taipei.

The Cabinet on Monday confirmed that state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) is seeking to reactivate the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里).

The proposal has to be approved by the Atomic Energy Council and the Legislative Yuan.

The announcement sparked criticism from anti-nuclear power groups, which said the proposal casts doubts on the DPP administration’s resolve to phase out nuclear power by 2025.

The Guosheng plant poses a great risk as its two reactors have been operating for more than three decades and it is located above active fault lines near the Datun Volcanic Group, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association lawyer Tsai Ya-yin (蔡雅瀅) said at a news conference in Taipei.

Taipower’s management of facilities is highly questionable as the No. 2 reactor was damaged half an hour after it was restarted in May 2016, she said, adding that the plant has inadequate space to store more used fuel rods.

Three of the nation’s six nuclear reactors have stopped operating because of accidents, rather than because of the opposition of civic groups, Mom Loves Taiwan secretary-general Yang Shun-mei (楊順美) said.

To pressure the DPP administration to expedite energy transformation and become more transparent about its energy policy, about 14 civic groups, part of a nationwide anti-nuclear action platform, are to hold an anti-nuclear parade on March 11 — the seventh anniversary of the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster.

Phasing out nuclear energy and coal-fired power has proved feasible in other countries, Green Citizens' Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said, adding that many groups would exhibit their achievements in developing alternative sources of power at the parade.

If the DPP lacks the competence to promote energy transformation, the public will take action and the party might soon be voted out of power, Tsuei added.

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