President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had a breakfast meeting with workers at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Ma-anshan (馬鞍山), Pingtung County, yesterday on the second day of a two-day “energy inspection” tour aimed at raising public awareness about the energy challenges facing the country.
Ma listened to the views of the staff on nuclear power safety, the anti-nuclear power movement and their experiences at the plant.
Lee Yung-le (李永樂), who has worked at the plant for 35 years, said he has confidence in the safety of nuclear power in the nation.
Plant employees think that all three of the nation’s operational nuclear plants are working smoothly, which means they are safe, said Lee, who works in the nuclear reactor unit.
Lee said that if he met with members of anti-nuclear groups, he would tell them that he has lived in Hengchun (恆春), where the plant is located, since 1977 and his three children have grown up there.
“It is absolutely safe,” said Lee, who is about to retire soon.
Huang Chao-ting (黃朝丁), 50, said the operation and maintenance of the plant is carried out according to strict procedures to ensure safety.
Nai Yi-hsin (乃億欣), 25, said the plant has strict protective measures for the staff and there is no need to worry.
Ma said he was pleased to hear the views of young, middle-aged and older workers and to see that their morale has not been affected by the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan in 2011 and the long-running controversy surrounding the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
He promised that if any safety problems arise at the new plant, which is still under construction, the government would not allow it start operations.
“Does Taiwan have any options given its lack of energy resources? If not, what should Taiwan do?” Ma said.
Tsai Fu-fong (蔡富豐), the chief engineer at Ma-anshan, said there are no seismic faults within a 35km radius of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
The “energy tour” is aimed making the public more aware of the structure of the country’s energy sector, its future trends and the energy realities facing the world, Ma said.
The president and his tour group were scheduled to visit the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), yesterday afternoon.
The president, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) and several journalists on Sunday visited a coal-fired power station and a solar power station in Greater Kaohsiung. They also went to a facility in Greater Kaohsiung where imported liquefied natural gas is stored.
Ma on Sunday stayed overnight at the Ma-anshan plant.
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