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Premier urges responsible discussion on energy policy
Central News Agency
2014-04-22 01:51 PM
Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Tuesday the issue of whether to operate or scrap the fourth nuclear power plant project should be discussed as part of a broader energy policy. The issue is fundamentally about how to properly allocate the limited energy resources available to meet Taiwan's electricity needs, Jiang said during a hearing at the Legislative Yuan, during which he was asked to explain the government's environment policy on Earth Day. Former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung, a longtime anti-nuclear activist, began a fast Tuesday to highlight his demand that the fourth nuclear power plant be scrapped. In light of people's concerns over the potential risk of nuclear power, the government has made phasing out nuclear power its ultimate goal, Jiang noted. "But moving toward a nuclear-free country will take time and cannot be achieved by ending nuclear power abruptly," he said. Taiwan relies on fossil fuels for about 77 percent of its power generation, while nuclear power accounts for about 19 percent and renewable energy (including hydro power) makes up about 4 percent of the total. While acknowledging that nuclear power has its risks and people are worried about radiation leaks, Jiang said others are concerned about pollution and carbon dioxide emissions from coal power generation, he said. There are even people who are opposed to the noise and the harm caused to natural views caused by windmills, he said. Any discussion regarding whether to adopt or discard a certain kind of energy should be conducted responsibly, taking into consideration national development and the needs of daily life, the premier said. (By Tseng Ying-yu and Y.F. Low)
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