Industry leaders request int'l inspection for Nuke 4
By Ann Yu,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Industry and commerce groups have proposed that an international third-party inspection body oversee the safety of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant as many have lost confidence in the state-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower).
March 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Taipower is obligated to manage the nuclear waste from Nuke 1,2, and 3, some of which is stored on Lanyu Island. Some have blamed the company for a series of minor incidents related to nuclear power plant safety.
Chang Pen-tsao (張平沼), chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (工業總會, CNFI), said because Taipower has lost its credibility, the government should invite an internationally acclaimed inspection group to inspect Nuke No.4.
“The industry group is not against launching the plant, if Taiwan can ensure the safety of the plant,” he said.
Chang said he thinks the Nuke 4 dispute stems from concerns about the safety of the plant. “If Taiwan is so worried and can't trust Taipower, then the government is responsible to find a credible third party.”
Tsai Lien-sheng (蔡練生), secretary-general of the General Chamber of Commerce (全國商業總會), said industry groups were more concerned about the cost of electricity. “Should Taiwan follow in Germany's footsteps, where nuclear power has been completely eliminated and replaced by more expensive renewable energies?” Tsai asked.
He said industries have more spending power and that private households are usually the first to strike against the government when faced with an electricity and fuel hike. “People don't want to pay more for electricity when there hasn't been an increase in their salaries,” Tsai explained.
In an address at a spring event that invited some 600 representatives from small to medium enterprises and commerce industries, Premier Jiang Yi-huah gave assurances over the safety of Nuke 4, yesterday.
“We have learned how to react to such issues and we would rather spend billions to ensure the safety of the plant than having the tiniest risk of a plant failure.”
“Taiwan is definitely headed toward a nuclear-free country in the future,” Jiang said, “but the question is how we get there.” Jiang said people can choose to terminate nuclear energy immediately but then must take on the responsibility of higher electricity prices and impacts to the economy. “Or, we can take it step by step: making sure that Nuke 1 to 3 are retired properly, and ensuring all Nuke 4 safety measures,” he said.