Government halts fourth nuclear plant construction (update 1)

04/27/2014 07:19 PM

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou and the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) agreed Sunday to halt construction of the country's controversial fourth nuclear power plant with immediate effect.

Construction of the plant's nearly completed no. 1 and no. 2 reactors will be halted. The no. 1 reactor, which is currently undergoing safety inspections, will not be brought online once the inspections are complete, announced Fan Chiang Tai-chi, head of the KMT's Culture and Communication Committee.

The Executive Yuan has also promised to convene a national energy conference as soon as possible "to ensure there will be no cause for worry over future power supplies," he said.

The two-point consensus was reached during a two-hour meeting among President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as KMT chairman, Premier Jiang Yi-huah and KMT mayors and magistrates, including Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, New Taipei Mayor Eric Liluan Chu and Taichung Mayor Jason Hu.

Whether the plant will be put into operation in the future will be decided by a national referendum, Fan Chiang said, adding that the timetable for the referendum should be decided by the public.

As for whether the KMT will agree to relax the threshold for the referendum, Fan Chiang said the issue is "not a part of the conclusion" of the meeting, although the participants gave their own opinions on it.

The individual opinions of the participants were not made public immediately.

(By Kelvin Huang and Christie Chen; click here for the updated story)ENDITEM/J

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