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Commercial Times: Include energy issue in economic conference
Central News Agency
2014-04-28 11:51 AM
Amid growing anti-nuclear protests, the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou has decided to shelve the nearly completed fourth nuclear power plant project and decide later by means of a national referendum whether to put the facility into operation. The controversy over the power plant has been running for over 30 years since the project was introduced in 1980. With sentiment against nuclear power spiking after the 2011 meltdown of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the rise of civic awareness following the recent Sunflower Movement has given the anti-nuclear campaign new momentum. A hunger strike launched last week by former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung against the fourth nuclear power plant has thus resonated widely. The decision to shelve the nuclear plant was made jointly by the Executive Yuan and legislators of the ruling Kuomintang. It did not involve the Ministry of Economic Affairs or the state-run Taiwan Power Company, nor did it take into consideration the possible effects on Taiwan's energy supply in the future. It is seen therefore as a reckless decision driven by political considerations. The country's energy policy should be included on the agenda of a national economic conference that will be held between May and June. This will help to build consensus on the country's energy development strategy. We suggest that the conference focus on issues such as the safety and management of the fourth nuclear power plant, the handling of nuclear waste and possible alternative sources of energy. Only through rational discussion and communication can we find a fundamental solution to the long running controversy. (Editorial abstract -- April 28, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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