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DPP chair demands KMT strategy on `nuclear-free homeland'

2011/03/26 15:57:33

Taipei, March 26 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, a presidential hopeful, invitedPresident Ma Ying-jeou's administration to come up with its ownversion of her "nuclear-free homeland by 2025" proposal.

Tsai, who made the proposal earlier in the week to phase outnuclear energy, said her idea is to cut the country's reliance onrisky sources of energy.

She noted that Article 23 of the National Environmental Basic Actstipulates that the government should come up with a plan to movetoward "a nuclear-free homeland."

"This is an issue that society should discuss, and I welcome theMa administration putting forward a strategy so that all can join thedebate on the issue, " she said.

Taiwan should learn from Germany in the wake of the nuclearcrisis in Japan, Tsai said, noting that Germany decided to shut downits nuclear power plants for three months and that Chancellor AngelaMerkel ordered the immediate closure of seven German nuclear powerplants built prior to 1980.

She also said that the Wall Street Journal has warned in a recentanalysis that Taiwan's own nuclear power plants -- three of which areoperational with the fourth still under construction -- are inhigh-risk areas.

All six of Taiwan's existing reactors are built near major faultlines, with two more under construction near the densely populatedcities of Taipei and New Taipei.

"If anything happens in terms of nuclear power, the damage tosociety will be far greater than the losses from the abandonment ofthe No. 4 plant or the ending of commercial operations of the nuclearplants," she predicted.

She made the remarks while attending the 40th anniversary of avocational school in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan. Tsai has taken aleave of absence as party chairwoman in order to reach out to thecountry's grassroots since her March 11 announcement that she isseeking nomination in the party's presidential primary.

(By Chen Show-gow and Lilian Wu)