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54.4 percent of public opposes Nuke 4: survey

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Survey results on the nuclear power issue indicated that 54.4 percent of the public do not support continued construction on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant even if it can be operated safely, while support for continued construction is only 40.7 percent, representing a drop in support of 4.4 percent, said the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE, 台灣永續能源研究基金會) in a press release.

Because of the close connection between continuing to build the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and future energy options, the survey inquired about public attitudes to future energy sources and found that nuclear power is now the last choice for members of the public (as the fifth preference for 55.2 percent of respondents). A total of 68.3 percent of the public felt that Taiwan ought to emphasize renewable energy sources, such as solar power, hydroelectricity, and wind power, said TAISE.

As for public support for continuing to build the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, TAISE compared results for the past four years of surveys and found that, beginning from 2012, public support continually declined. When compared with 2013, the percentage of respondents “strongly opposed” had risen from 32.6 percent to 33.7 percent, for an increase of 1.1 percent; the percentage of respondents indicating “minimal support” had increased from 19.8 percent in 2013, to 20.7 percent; an increase of 0.9 percent. When compared to the 2013 survey, support for the project this year saw an overall decline of 4.4 percent, indicating a continuing trend toward declining support, TAISE stated.

This year's survey was conducted between Feb. 10 through 16, with 1,099 random sample respondents aged over 18 among the Taiwan public, with 95 percent confidence, and a sampling error within plus or minus 2.96 percentage points, the TAISE said.

May 2, 2014    billparkhurst@
Nukes have proven to be unsafe for a source of energy. The future is renewable solar and wind. Politicians should be in the forefront of this changeover not the rear guard. Rooftop solar panel installations should be a government priority. Taiwan has no gas or oil. Electric vehicles should be encouraged.
May 2, 2014    chiching_h.tw@
i like the article.
May 2, 2014    chiching_h.tw@
204 22 彭琳
I think although more and more people in Taiwan start to care about the important topic, most of them don't truly understand the influence between the two choices.
May 2, 2014    chiching_h.tw@
I am 曾意雯 from class 202 27. I think the government should listen to what the public said and what they want. In this event, we could know the public does not want the nuke 4 continue to be built, although it is the best way to making power.
May 2, 2014    ludahai_twn@
This is a dangerous project. Safety is more important. Shut this down and focus more on developing clean, renewable sources of energy.
May 4, 2014    emandnem@
The KMT knows perfectly well that the Fourth Nuclear Plant construction is rife with irregularities and that its local suppliers have little or no experience. The government merely waited until all the money had been spent and the thing was almost completed, as if to ensure that its patronage networks had been properly fed and watered.

The build is already ten years over schedule. Its initial $2.8 billion dollar budget has ballooned by about 400 percent, and Taipower has been cutting corners by sourcing a hodge-podge mix of components from different suppliers and employing local subcontractors who have no experience in bringing nuclear facilities online.

In 2012, Nuke 4 was rated as one of the world's most dangerous plants by the World Nuclear Association. Nothing is bound to have changed now. Spent fuel rods are stored at Taiwan's plants themselves, heightening the dangers of a potential meltdown.

Taipower’s lone domestic nuclear waste storage facility reached capacity in the '90s, and Taipei doesn’t have a single agreement to send waste overseas. Taiwan should be giving priority to finding new places to store nuclear waste, not working out new ways to increase the stored waste we already have.

When in 2011, the Atomic Energy Council was asked what would happen if there was a meltdown while thousands of people were at the beach for one of the summer music festivals, the answer was illustrative of the government's mindset: "Everybody knows the way back to Taipei. They can walk home".

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