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DPP urges government to review nuclear policy

2011/03/14 17:39:48

Taipei, March 14 (CNA) The opposition Democratic ProgressiveParty (DPP) urged the government Monday to review its nuclear policyto allay public fears in light of the damage to nuclear power plantsin Japan caused by last Friday's earthquake.

Since the devastating earthquake struck Japan, the loomingthreats from its stricken power plant in Fukushima have given riseto public concerns in Taiwan over the island's own nuclear safety, theDPP said in a press release.

Therefore, the government should inform the people about itsplans to make Taiwan's nuclear power plants more resistant to naturaldisasters and about the measures that would be taken in the event ofsuch disasters, the opposition party said.

The DPP suggested that Taiwan follow the lead of the UnitedKingdom and the United States and re-examine its nuclear policy.

Noting that Taiwan's first two nuclear power plants in New TaipeiCity went into operation in 1979 and 1981, respectively, theopposition party questioned the wisdom of the government's plan toextend their operating life beyond 40 years.

Taiwan currently has three operational nuclear power plants,including one in the southern county of Pingtung, and is building afourth one in New Taipei City.

The safety standards for these plants and their design, based onstudies that used old geology technology, are not capable ofwithstanding modern-day challenges, the DPP said, noting that Taiwanis situated on the earthquake-prone Pacific Rim.

Taiwan should rethink its overall energy policy, which relies onnuclear and thermal power, because it is not in the best interests ofthe country in terms of national security and sustainability, the DPPsaid.

(By Sophia Yeh and Kay Liu)
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