A handful of anti-nuclear activists and several mothers joined forces yesterday as part of an event staged at Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard calling for the government to mark Mother’s Day by closing all the country’s nuclear power plants.
“Use love and peace to eliminate nuclear power,” the protesters said, urging the government to allow mothers and their children to live in a nuclear-free environment.
“We used to think nuclear disasters were far away from us when we heard about Chernobyl [in the former Soviet Union] and the Three Mile Island accident [in the US], but following the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear [power plant] disaster in Japan last year, people here became aware that nuclear disasters can be close to us,” Homemakers’ Union and Foundation secretary-general Lu Mei-luan (呂美鸞) said.
A government which says that people should be made to feel safe and secure should start by giving the people an environment without fear of nuclear disasters. This would be the best Mother’s Day gift, she said.
A mother surnamed Chang (張) said that although nuclear power has been promoted as a relatively clean and cheap way to generate energy, in reality the associated costs are enormous, especially if an accident occurs.
Many babies will be born in Taiwan this year, an expectant mother said.
“It is everyone’s expectation to live and work in peace and contentment, but this expectation cannot grow in an environment with the risk of nuclear disasters,” she said.
Japan is about 10 times the size of Taiwan and about 31 percent of its total electricity used to come from nuclear power, but now with all its nuclear power operations brought to a halt, people still go on with their lives, Gongliao Anti-Nuclear Self-Help Association chairman Wu Wen-chang (吳文樟) said.
Wu added that electricity generated through nuclear power represents less than 20 percent of Taiwan’s total electricity output, so the country should learn from Japan and halt nuclear power operations as well.