Nearly 60% in favor of halting nuclear power plant: survey
April 29, 2014, 12:03 am TWN
TAIPEI--Nearly 60 percent of respondents in a telephone survey favor halting work on Taiwan's Fourth Nuclear Power Plant — but half of them are unwilling to see electricity rates rise as a result, according to CommonWealth Magazine (天下雜誌).
The economics-oriented bi-monthly said that 58.7 percent of those polled wanted construction to stop on the nearly completed plant, while 65.3 percent said they are not confident in the government's ability to ensure safety at the facility.
Asked about the handling of nuclear waste created by the power plant, 67.9 percent said authorities "lack the ability" to take care of the problem properly.
The survey shows that the government needs to improve communication and transparency if it wants society to engage in rational dialogue on public policies, the well-regarded magazine said.
But it also illustrates a gap between the demands of the people and the sacrifices they are willing to make.
Among those who want a halt on the plant, only 46.2 percent said they are willing to accept a 40 percent hike in electricity rates that the government has warned of, while the majority (50.3 percent) said they would not.
As for alternatives to make up for canceling the fourth plant, 54 percent of all respondents said they would agree to electricity rationing, another 47.9 percent said they were willing to see the service periods of the existing three nuclear plants extended when they are set to be decommissioned between 2018 and 2025.
The magazine conducted the survey from April 23 to April 25, gathering 1,069 valid samples with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.