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Taipower faces bankruptcy if Nuke 4 axed: Taiwan premier
Publication Date : 09-03-2013
Taiwanese Premier Jiang Yi-huah said yesterday that if the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is scrapped, the state-owned Taiwan Power Company will face bankruptcy.
The NT$260 billion already invested in the project will be listed as part of Taipower's losses if the plant is scrapped, Jiang said, adding that combined with its NT$190 billion (US$8.7 billion) deficit, the firm will be over NT$400 billion in debt - the amount of which exceeds the firm's capital.
The Cabinet's position concerning the plant is to continue its construction, Jiang said, adding that he felt the Kuomintang's (KMT) proposed ballot question was well-phrased.
The KMT recently unveiled its proposed ballot question as “do you agree to halt Fourth Nuclear Power Plant construction and prevent it from becoming operational?”
During an interpellation session at the Legislature, Jiang said that if a referendum were to be held today, he would vote “no” to halting the plant's construction.
Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Minister Tsai Chuen-horng said that the KMT's ballot question comprises two components, which are “do you agree to halt construction?” and “do you agree to prevent operation?”
Tsai said that from a personal perspective and from the perspective of the AEC's minister, he does not think that the plant's construction should be halted; however, since the ballot question involves the plant's operation, if he were to vote “no,” he would be effectively agreeing to its operation.
As the plant's watchdog, “the AEC at present cannot agree to it's becoming operational,” said Tsai.With regard to opposition lawmaker Huang Wen-ling's proposal of a regional vote, Jiang said that the issue concerns the entire nation, and that a national referendum wields greater efficacy than a regional one.
Activists will be hosting anti-nuclear protests across the island today.
Jiang said that protests are a means to expand democratic discourse, and as long as demonstrations are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, he is “happy to see (today's events) take place.”
The premier said that he hadn't received an invitation, but that he will remain on standby as the events take place. Jiang added that if demonstrators request to see him, he will make an appearance.