KMT to pause Nuke 4 referendum proposal

By Joy Lee ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus yesterday announced its decision to withdraw a proposal for a referendum regarding the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) said he approved dropping the referendum bill, which he had initially proposed. The KMT caucus decided to hold off on the referendum bill until Taipower finishes its inspections on the plant. “I suggest we wait until the Taipower’s safety reports on Nuke 4 are finished before considering pushing for the referendum bill,” Lee said.

According to the KMT caucus, KMT legislators should support all budgets related to Taipower’s Nuke 4 safety inspections for this year and next year and Taipower should announce the inspection results after they are completed.

Lee said that the referendum should be based on the safety of nuclear power usage, and if the government cannot ensure the public’s safety, there will be no point in asking people to make a decision on issues regarding Nuke 4, as the plant is colloquially known.

The head of the KMT’s Policy Committee, Lin Hung-chi (林鴻池), said that the KMT caucus has expressed its standpoint to the Executive Yuan on ensuring nuclear power safety before pushing for referendum bill.

KMT Legislator Lin Te-fu (林德福) said that all members of the KMT caucus supported the decision to stop pushing for the referendum bill.

Lin Te-fu said that the reason why there is no timeline on when the nuclear power reports can be completed is that the inspections are very complicated and people should give the state-run power firm enough time to complete the inspections.

Cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) yesterday said that the Executive Yuan respects the KMT’s decision to stop pushing for the referendum bill.

Cheng said that it is the government’s ineluctable responsibility to guarantee the safety of nuclear power by first completing a thorough risk assessment.

Nuke 1 Can’t Be Shut Down until Nuke 4 Is Operational: Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday said that based on the government’s plan, Nuke 1 cannot be shut down until Nuke 4 is fully operational .

Ma also reaffirmed that Nuke 4 would not begin generating power until the government could ensure its safety. According to Ma, how to take care of nuclear waste is still a challenging issue for many countries, but it has not become a reason for many countries to stop using nuclear power.

Ma said that based on the prediction of a world-renowned organization, nuclear power would still play an important role worldwide by 2040.