Mon, Mar 12, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Annual anti-nuclear power march held in Taipei

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Marchers take part in an annual protest in downtown Taipei yesterday against the use of nuclear energy in Taiwan.

Photo: Pichi Chuang, AFP

More than 2,000 people yesterday took part in an annual anti-nuclear march in Taipei, calling on the government to expedite passage of laws governing nuclear waste disposal and the promotion of “green” energy.

The march began at 2pm on Ketagalan Boulevard, with participants walking down Zhongshan S Road and Zhongxiao W Road before returning to the boulevard, where musical performances lasted until about 5:30pm.

While the policy of “a nuclear-free homeland by 2025” was included in the Electricity Act (電業法), many environmentalists have said the nation’s energy transformation is too sluggish.

A power outage that affected large swathes of the nation on Aug. 15 last year was not the result of insufficient nuclear power, but a breakdown at an electricity distribution facility, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.

The nation should plan for more backup electricity generation systems and more small-scale “green” energy installations to reduce its reliance on big plants, she said.

A nuclear power plant is generally used for 40 years and its decommissioning takes 25 years, while the entailed risks and costs are imposed on the succeeding generations for thousands and even millions of years, Northern Coast Anti-Nuclear Action Alliance executive director Kuo Ching-lin (郭慶霖) said.

It has been nearly two years since the Democratic Progressive Party’s government took office, but the three proposed laws on nuclear waste management, regulation and organization of its supervising agency have yet to be put on the Legislative Yuan’s agenda, he said.

Phasing out nuclear power by 2025 should not be just a slogan, and there is not much time left to achieve the goal, Taiwan Association of University Professors secretary-general Peter Chang (張信堂) said.

The government should speed up its exploration of alternative energy sources, especially geothermal power on the east coast, while thinking about how to galvanize the nation’s economy in the process, he said.

Many groups and firms promoted their achievements in energy transformation next to the main stage on the boulevard.

Color Park International Group encourages people to “rent” their LED lighting devices and save about 75 percent on lighting costs, company general manager Cheng Jia-sing (鄭加新) said, adding the firm’s clients are mainly banks and grocery stores.

The Atomic Energy Council issued a statement saying that it would ensure “phasing out nuclear energy by the set time” and that nuclear waste disposal is conducted safely.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has submitted a draft bill on the organization of an agency to supervise radioactive waste, which has been listed as one of the legislature’s priority bills, the council said.

It has also completed a draft bill on the regulation of radioactive materials and would see to its passage in the legislature in line with the Cabinet’s organizational adjustment plan, the council said.

A draft bill on nuclear waste management was being discussed by the National Council for Sustainable Development, the Atomic Energy Council said.

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