Premier, northern city mayors talk over 4th nuke plant

By Ann Yu ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Premier Jiang Yi-huah met with the mayors of Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung City last night to discuss the hotly debated Fourth Nuclear Power Plant. Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) earlier stated that his stance on Nuke 4, as the plant is colloquially known, was clear and that nuclear safety inspections must be done with extreme thoroughness.

According to the Cabinet, Jiang hoped to communicate the central government’s position on Nuke 4 with local leaders in an effort to reach a consensus among KMT members.

Hau said a referendum on the plant should be held only after all safety inspection evaluations have been presented to citizens.

“The government should take proactive measures in its evaluation and allow transparency over the results,” Hau said.

While commentators feared the meeting would be a superficial meet-and-greet between top leaders, Hau reiterated that he would make sure all questions on Nuke 4 were answered before making any further decisions.

“Like many citizens, I myself have a lot of suspicions over the operation of the plant. Moreover, we still haven’t come up with a solution on how to deal with nuclear waste … Unless safety inspections are done, we cannot proceed with anything.” When asked about the fact that plant safety reports are scheduled for release in October at the earliest, Hau stressed that it was more important to conduct a thorough safety inspection than rush an examination simply to satisfy a deadline.

Hau Suggests Poll Over Referendum Hau said that Taipei City will begin conducting opinion polls on Nuke 4 regularly to develop an understanding of citizens’ perspectives.

We want to fully understand what people think about halting or constructing Nuke 4, he said.

Hau added that opinion polls will be held occasionally after government-related bureaus unveil information about the plant.

He suggested that if public polls provide a clear picture of the position of the nation, then the Cabinet should consider other methods to decide the fate of Nuke 4.

Mayor Chu Insists on Nuke 4’s Safety New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said his position on Nuke 4 and safety issues is similar to those of the premier and Hau.

“There will be no plant if there is no nuclear safety,” Chu said. He said he will also bring up the topic of nuclear waste. “This is a big challenge for the nation and the northern cities. If we don’t have the power to deal with the waste, then how do we have the right to use nuclear power?”

Chu added that safety inspections are not something announced randomly by government officials, but require clarification from international inspection teams and professionals.

Keelung City Mayor Chang Tung-jung (張通榮) said earlier that he supports letting people decide on the power plant’s fate through a referendum. Chang was quoted by local news earlier as saying he currently neither opposes nor supports Nuke 4.