Taipei, Candidates competing to secure their party's nomination for the 2020 presidential election who support re-starting the country's fourth nuclear power plant should be rejected, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung said Thursday.
Regardless of the position the person is running for, he or she should "not be elected," Lin, a long opponent of nuclear power, told reporters during a religious service held at the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) to mark the 72nd anniversary of the 228 Incident.
His remarks came after former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu who recently announced his intention to seek the Kuomintang (KMT) nomination for the presidency in 2020, said if elected president he would be willing to re-start the fourth nuclear power plant in the event of an energy shortage.
The nuclear power plant is a threat to Taiwan, the former chairman said, noting that if the country was to experience the kind of nuclear disaster seen in Chernobyl or Fukushima, the situation would be catastrophic.
People would have to move to the south of the country, with those that remain having no means of escape, he explained, adding that it is perplexing politicians are willing to put people's lives at risk.
The fourth nuclear power plant project in New Taipei was close to completion before being mothballed in 2015 amid public concern over nuclear safety.
In response, Chu slammed Lin for not opposing the re-start of the second nuclear power plant, which is also located in New Taipei.
The former mayor also accused Lin of selectively quoting him, emphasizing that he would only be willing to restart the fourth nuclear power plant if a shortfall in energy supply raised national security concerns, and after the imposition of the strictest possible nuclear safety standards.
Chu reiterated that he stands by the slogan: "No Nuclear Safety means No Nuclear Power."
He again blamed the government for failing to address the thorny problem of nuclear waste disposal at a time when the storage facilities at the three active nuclear power plants in Taiwan are full or close to capacity, and there is widespread public opposition to building permanent waste storage facilities wherever sites are proposed.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel