Sat, Nov 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Nuclear power opponents launch survey

NINE QUESTIONS:The coalition is seeking responses from candidates about the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and resuming work on the Gongliao plant

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Anti-nuclear advocates from the group Stopnukesnow yesterday hold up banners which read: “Nuclear waste,” “Don’t use nuclear power to block green energy,” “Say no to nuclear power and reduce coal emissions,” “Renewable energy” and “Save energy first” at a news conference in Taipei to urge all mayoral and commissioner election candidates to express their stance on nuclear power.

Photo: Yang Mien-chieh, Taipei Times

A coalition of opponents of nuclear power plants yesterday launched a survey on energy policy and asked candidates in the Nov. 24 elections to clarify their views on issues such as phasing out nuclear power, disposal of nuclear waste and optimal energy-mix ratios.

While a referendum on scrapping the “nuclear-free homeland by 2025” of the Electricity Act (電業法) is to be held alongside the elections, candidates supporting it cannot evade its derivative questions, National Anti-Nuclear Action Platform spokesperson Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.

The survey poses nine questions about decommissioning the nation’s three operational nuclear power plants by 2025, resuming construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City, which was again mothballed in 2015, demarcation of storage sites for nuclear waste, energy-mix ratios, policies to promote sources of renewable energy and energy conservation.

Many Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates endorse the referendum, but contradict themselves by also campaigning against Japanese food imported from five areas following the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan deputy executive Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳) said.

Candidates in the east should voice their opinions about storage sites for nuclear waste, as less-populated Hualien and Taitung counties have been prioritized for such sites in discussions, Tsai said.

About 100,000 barrels of low-level radioactive waste has been stored at a site on Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼), which is part of Taitung County, for more than three decades.

If the referendum is passed, it would not help cut air pollution as its proponents have claimed, as the proposal to have 40 percent of the nation’s power generated from coal-fired facilities is higher than the 30 percent envisioned by the government’s nuclear-free homeland policy, Tsai said.

The survey also asks candidates whether they would propose concrete policies to improve energy use efficiency to limit growth of electricity demand.

The responses are to be published on the Internet, Tsuei said.

In related news, five televised debates between the referendum’s initiators — Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修) and Liao Yen-peng (廖彥朋) — and Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生), New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), Hung Shen-han (洪申翰), a member of the Executive Yuan’s Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction, as well as environmentalists Gloria Hsu (徐光蓉) and Lee Ken-cheng (李根政) — who oppose nuclear power — are to air from tomorrow to Nov. 21, according to a schedule announced by the Central Election Commission.

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