DPP hosts anti-nuclear power plant fundraiser

By Ted Chen, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) hosted a fundraising event yesterday for its anti-nuclear power stance, with former Vice President Anette Lu (呂秀蓮) urging party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to lead by example and take off his suit jacket.

In the middle of her address, while blasting the ruling party’s staunch intent to see the completion of Taiwan’s Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, Lu turned to Su, who was sitting among the spectators, and asked him to remove his suit jacket. Lu urged Su to lead by example, saying that wearing a jacket and a tie increases one’s body temperature by 2 degrees Celsius, requiring an office to consume additional energy in order to preserve acceptable working conditions. Lu stated that if workplaces can dispense with stringent dress codes and allow for more practical attire, air conditioners may be set at a more energy-efficient 28 degrees Celsius, making Taiwan less dependent on nuclear power.

Lu also stated that President Ma Ying-jeou has three remaining years in office, while state-run Taipower (台電) may be replace its executives at anytime, no one is able to guarantee the safety of nuclear power. Lu urged the public to remain skeptical of the ruling party’s claims on the safety of nuclear power, which is in stark contrast with policies enacted in numerous developed nations intending to phase out the potentially disastrous energy source.

Following Lu’s remarks, Su took the podium, without his suit jacket, a move followed by numerous spectators, including former Premier Yu Shyi-kun. Venue managers also reduced the air conditioning at the event. In his address Su stated that the establishment of a nuclear-free home was listed among the terms of the DPP’s founding charter, drafted 27 years ago. The stipulation, however, had for a long time seen resistance from dissenting party members. Su continued that it was not until the Fukushima disaster that the party’s anti-nuclear stance gained traction among its members.

The event was sponsored by a number of service clubs and nonprofit civic organizations including local chapters of Rotary International, Junior Chamber International, Kiwanis International, and Lions’ Club International.