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Premier set to meet anti-nuclear power groups April 3

2013/04/01 17:54:41

Nuclear waste stored on Orchid Island

Taipei, April 1 (CNA) Premier Jiang Yi-huah is scheduled to meet groups opposed to the use of nuclear energy in Taiwan April 3 to communicate with them on issues related to the disposal of nuclear waste, Executive Yuan spokesman Cheng Li-wun said Monday.

Cheng said that Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo, who is the head of a special office dealing with issues related to the fate of the fourth nuclear power plant, Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch, along with several scholars and experts, will attend the meeting.

Kuo Ching-lin, chief executive of the Northern Coast Anti-Nuclear Action Alliance, said his group plans to make several requests during the meeting, including that the government stop nuclear power production and halt the operations of the first, second and third nuclear power plants if it cannot deal properly with radioactive waste.

It will also demand that a fund be established for residents in areas near nuclear power plants, to be used for compensation and restoration fees.

The group will further ask for an investigation into the flaws and corruption related to all the country's nuclear power plants, Kuo added.

He said other groups that will attend the planned meeting include the Green Citizens' Action Alliance and organizations formed by those living in areas around nuclear waste dumps, such as the Orchid Island Tribal Culture Foundation, and those living near nuclear plants, such as the Northern Coast Anti-Nuclear Action Alliance.

The Executive Yuan's plan for the meeting came a day after President Ma Ying-jeou, Jiang and Chang met at the Presidential Office with representatives of Mom Loves Taiwan, an association of mothers established to monitor the use of nuclear power, for a hearing on nuclear safety.

Ma said in an article posed on his Facebook page Monday that it was a good start for him to meet with members of Mom Loves Taiwan, as the meeting allowed the truth to become clearer through debate and dialogue.

The meeting lasted for three hours, exceeding the originally scheduled 80 minutes, he noted.

The president also said that experts and scholars from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Atomic Energy Council and Taiwan Power Co. explained the current nuclear safety situation and future plans to the 12 representatives.

Establishing a safe, reliable, low carbon and green nuclear-free homeland with sufficient power supplies at reasonable prices is the country's eventual goal, the president said.

Ma also said the government will continue talks with the public to allow more people access to open and transparent information so that they can make informed decisions.

Also that day, the National Science Council said it would provide experts in the areas of geology, tsunamis and structural engineering to help with the analysis of data relating to the fourth nuclear plant.

In related news, Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford said the nuclear power issue has caused social and political instability and has affected the stock market's performance.

(By Claudia Liu, Lee Shu-hua and Y.L. Kao)
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