Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday submitted a proposal that aims to prevent fuel rods from being installed at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant to the New Taipei City (新北市) government.
Along with the proposal, Lu submitted 51,353 letters and a list of reasons why the fuel rods should not be installed to the city’s election committee.
Lu was received by New Taipei City Government Secretary-General Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢), but was unhappy that New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was not there. Lu said Chu’s absence showed his contempt for the initiative and disregard for the safety of the city’s 3.9 million residents.
The former vice president launched a similar petition in July last year to put the loading of fuel rods — as well as eventual operation of the nuclear power plant — to a local vote.
The initiative won support from the Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union. However, the utility and legitimacy of holding a local referendum was thrown into doubt when Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) last week proposed a plan to hold a national referendum on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
Jiang and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said the plant’s construction is a matter of national energy policy and power generation, and should therefore be decided with a national referendum rather than a local one.
Lu responded that holding a local referendum on the matter was authorized by the Act Governing New Taipei Referendums (新北市公民投票自治條例), passed by the New Taipei City Council in June last year, and was a local matter.
Article 11 of the Act on Sites for Establishment of Low Level Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Facility (低放射性廢棄物最終處置設施場址設置條例) stipulates that a local referendum be held in the city where a site is located within 30 days of it being publicly announced, and is not subject to the provisions of Article 2 of the Referendum Act, (公民投票法) Lu added.