The Southern Taiwan Nuclear Abolishment Action Alliance yesterday launched an anti-nuclear campaign by handing out red envelopes with nuclear power-related information printed on a piece of paper that resembles a NT$500 bill at night markets, major train stations and other crowded locations in Greater Kaohsiung and Greater Tainan.
The alliance, consisting of several civic groups, invited more than a hundred volunteers to take part in the distribution of the red envelopes to pedestrians at busy and crowded public spaces such as Sanfeng Central Street (三鳳中街), a popular shopping area of sundry goods, Shiinkuchan Commercial Zone (新崛江商圈) in Kaohsiung and Huayuan Night Market (花園夜市), Tainan’s largest night market.
The alliance said that although the government and Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) have stressed that electricity generated by nuclear power is relatively cheap, with a cost of NT$0.6 per kilowatt-hour, information about how much has been spent on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), and how much money would be needed for maintenance, nuclear waste treatment and plant retirement are on the whole kept hidden from the public.
Research has shown the risks that having a fault line near the plant in southern Taiwan pose and the yet-to-be-completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant has seen several construction problems that the group said.
“If the legislature rejects Taipower’s proposal for an additional budget for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, it can save more than NT$50 billion [US$1.7 million], the equivalent of four red envelopes containing NT$500 for every person in Taiwan, and also abolish the plant,” said Joan Tsai (蔡卉荀), a researcher at Citizens of the Earth, Taiwan.
Chen Yu-chi (陳郁琦), executive secretary of Taiwan Association for Human Rights’ southern office, added: “We hope everyone can live a life free from the fear of nuclear disaster and that everybody could spend more time loving the land that nourishes us, rather than praying that nuclear disaster does not happen.”
Information printed on the fake NT$500 bill called on the public to take part in an anti-nuclear parade that is to take place on March 9 at the Aozihdi Forest Park (凹仔底森林公園) in Greater Kaohsiung.