President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday met Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to exchange ideas on nuclear safety, as legislators called for more discussions on nuclear policy before finalizing a decision on whether the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would become operational.
In a closed-door meeting at KMT headquarters, Ma, who also doubles as KMT chairman, said the government would make safety a top priority in the development of nuclear power and reiterated that his administration would not allow the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant to start operations until all safety measures had been completed.
Amid opposition from anti-nuclear activists, the president said the government would listen to different opinions on the issue and seek professional assessments from experts before making policies on nuclear power in the future.
KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) expressed concern about the government’s plan to allocate an additional budget for the completion of the plant, adding that Ma and the KMT should support the establishment of a legislative committee on nuclear safety to address the issue.
“Issues regarding the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant should go beyond political party lines and it is lawmakers’ responsibility to reflect the voice of the people. Rather than adding to the budget for the project, the government should focus on seeking a consensus on the issue,” Ting said.
KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), who had said that Ma insisted on the additional budget for the project, kept a low profile when asked to comment on his stance and said safety would be the government’s priority when handling the nuclear issue.
Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) and Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) also attended the meeting last night.
KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said Ma would continue to communicate with the party’s lawmakers on the nuclear issue.
Ma is due to attend a Cabinet one-day forum in Taipei today, during which nuclear safety and the power plant are to be discussed.