Sun, Feb 17, 2013 - Page 2 News List

Groups promote nuclear-free homeland

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

As the second anniversary of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster approaches, several civic groups have begun planning a series of anti-nuclear events, while legislators and political figures are getting ready to discuss the issue.

Flags printed with the shape of Taiwan that read “No nukes, No more Fukushima” have been hung in front of several coffee shops, stores and houses, showing the owners’ stance against nuclear power.

The flag initiative was started by a coffee shop owner in Taipei, by hanging the flags in several coffee shops on the same day as a silent demonstration of the owners’ anti-nuclear ideals, and the project later spread across the nation to include other stores and individuals.

The Green Citizen Action Alliance (GCAA) said that more than 4,000 flags have been sold, and many people have brought the flags to various locations to take photographs, such as on top of mountains or during dives in the ocean.

In addition, a nuclear power abolition demonstration held by various civic groups across the nation is planned for March 9, in Taipei, Greater Taichung, Greater Kaohsiung and Taitung.

GCAA coordinator Wang Shun-wei (王舜薇) said the parades will be formed by local civic groups, using various methods and visual designs to express the public’s opposition to nuclear power.

In addition, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said that it will make a draft law on the promotion of a nuclear-free homeland a priority bill for review in the next legislative session, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus said the Cabinet and the legislature have to improve negotiations.

In the previous legislative session, a proposal by the DPP to cut off extra funds for the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant — the Longmen (龍門) plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) — was not approved by the legislature, losing by two votes.

DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) said the government should at least allow residents living near the plant to vote via referendum on whether the plant should be put into operation, but enacting the law would be an effective and direct way to stop the plant’s commercial operation.

KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said the party also recognized the ideal of a nuclear-free homeland, but political parties must face the practical issues of resources, and the public may not be able to accept increased electricity prices or regulated power usage, so everyone should discuss nuclear policies rationally.

Moreover, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that the public thinks the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is unsuitable for operating in Taiwan and hopes the nation can become a nuclear-free homeland.

If the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant begins commercial operations, it is expected to run for decades, so it would not be a good start for achieving a nuclear-free Taiwan, she added.

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