Taiwan's ruling party seeks referendum on fate of nuclear plant

The 2,700 MW Longmen nuclear plant in the coastal Congliao district of Taiwan may be 96 percent complete, but that hasn’t stopped anti-nuclear lawmakers from seeking a public referendum on whether to scrap the project. The plant, which would be the fourth in Taiwan, has been a source of contention on the island since construction on the project began in 1999, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Legislator Lee Ching-hua, a member of the ruling Kuomintang party, has introduced legislation to ask Taiwanese voters the question: "Do you agree that work on the fourth nuclear power plant should be halted and that operation of the plant should never be launched?" according to the South China Morning Post. The bill proposing the referendum cites post-Fukushima safety concerns relating to nuclear power as well as the cost of the project, which is projected to exceed its original $5.63 billion by more than double. Taiwan’s three operational nuclear plants are set to go offline in the next 15 years and the Bureau of Energy has said that if the Longmen plant is scrapped electricity prices in the country will spike by at least 40 percent by the time the third facility shuts down in 2025.

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