OPINION: Newly Proposed Nuclear Referendums Mislead the Taiwanese Public

Huang Shih-hsiu’s new nuclear power referendums contain vague, unrealistic language that fails to properly inform the people of Taiwan, writes Hsieh Pei-yi of Taiwan’s Environmental Jurists Association.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/02/26
By: Hsieh Pei-yi

Credit: Reuters / TPG

Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), the leader of the pro-nuclear group Nuclear Mythbusters, recently proposed a new referendum:

“Do you agree that the Legislative Yuan should formulate a special law which includes an accountability mechanism to increase nuclear energy and reduce coal power, and that they should achieve a ratio of nuclear energy generation which must not be lower than the energy generated from coal before the year 2030?”

The referendum question deliberately incorporates keywords such as “accountability” and “reduce coal” that are easily recognized by the general public. Due to this, it is common for people who do not fully understand Taiwan’s current energy situation to be influenced by the argument and vote in its favor.

With air pollution as serious as it is, everyone hopes we can minimize the amount of energy generated from coal, and through accountability mechanisms, we hope that government officials will take responsibility for environmental pollution. However, the fear-mongering language of this referendum will not help to “reduce coal” as its only purpose is increasing nuclear power by having Taiwan’s energy sector substantially rely on nuclear – which runs in the opposite direction to the world’s current trend of anti-nuclear and pro-renewable energy developments.    [FULL  STORY]

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