Council promises more information on nuclear power

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Apr 02, 2013 - Page 3

As there is not enough information on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) at present, the National Science Council will provide the necessary scientific information to the Ministry of Economic Affairs according to its needs, council Minister Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) said yesterday.

Lawmakers at the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee meeting yesterday questioned Chu about nuclear power issues, including his understanding about earthquakes caused by movements along a blind thrust fault like the magnitude 6.1 earthquake last week and how they would affect the power plant, as well as Chu’s attitude and the council’s role in the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant issue.

An official from the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering said that hundreds of earthquake monitoring stations had been installed across the nation, especially along fault lines, and the center has also begun conducting research on the nuclear power plants’ ability to withstand earthquakes in 2011.

However, there is no information yet on the anti-seismic capabilities of the still-to-be-completed power plant, the official said.

When asked by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator He Hsin-chun (何欣純) whether he would vote in the referendum to decide the fate of the nuclear power plant, Chu said: “Because there is not enough information on the issue, I will not vote.”

DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said if all officials chose not to vote, they would be doing what the Cabinet wants, because the referendum would not be able to pass the required 50 percent threshold and the plant would therefore be able to go into operation.

Chen added that it was not appropriate for officials to have doubts because of the lack of information.

Chu said voting is a personal decision that he would be making as a citizen, but that he hoped enough information on the issue would be available before the referendum takes place.

He added that the council has informed the ministry that it would assist in scientific research analysis on subjects such as geology, construction structure or tsunamis.