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KMT lawmaker claims Nuke 4 issue resolved

TAIPEI--Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said yesterday that former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Lin Yi hsiung (林義雄) can end his hunger strike “because the fourth nuclear plant is no longer an issue.”

The lawmaker gave the upbeat assessment after the KMT legislative caucus adopted a resolution late Thursday regarding the fate of the fourth nuclear power plant.

Faced with strong opposition to the project, the KMT passed the resolution in line with Lin Yu-fang's proposal “to complete construction of the plant but hold off on the installation of fuel rods as well as the plant's operations, pending a referendum.”

The lawmaker said it is misinterpretation to think, as some people do, that the resolution means there will not be a referendum on the issue until 2016.

He told reporters that he simply wants to give the opponents to the new plant a chance to prove their theory right. That is to say, Taiwan will have sufficient energy without the fourth nuclear power plant and will not suffer an energy shortage if the plant does not become operational, he added.

“Then the need for a referendum on the plant will never arise because the plant itself will not be needed,” the lawmaker said.

However, no one can predict whether Taiwan will fall victim to an energy shortage in 10 or 20 years' time, Lin Yu-fang said.

“If there's an energy crisis, the possibility of using the fourth nuclear power plant can be put to a vote,” he said.

“But if people vote against it, then the issue will remain frozen,” he said, adding that no time limit will be set on the issue.

Based on that scenario, the controversial matter of the fourth nuclear power plant can be considered as resolved, the KMT lawmaker said.

He said Lin Yi-hsiung “can have his breakfast today” and end his hunger strike, which is its fourth day.

Lin Yu-fang said he plans to put forward other proposals to forbid the extension of the service lives of the currently operational first, second and third nuclear power plants, and to advocate their decommission on schedule.

It would cost NT$10 billion (US$330 million) to extend the life of each reactor, which would be not only costly but also a risky decision, he said.

The KMT lawmaker's comments came as President Ma Ying-jeou and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) were preparing to hold talks on the nuclear power issue.

Their meeting, most of which was televised live, turned into a sometimes heated debate that ended without any clear agreements.

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Anti-nuclear power demonstrators block an entrance to the Legislative Yuan, yesterday. Members of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan blocked all the entrances and exits to the Legislature, prohibiting lawmakers and their assistants from entering or leaving the building. (CNA)

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