Fri, Mar 29, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Anti-nuclear power rally on April 27: groups

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Members of environmental groups hold flags and banners to announce parades against nuclear power that are to be held on April 27 in Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Photo: Liu Le-jen, Taipei Times

Demonstrations against nuclear power are to take place simultaneously in Taipei and Kaohsiung on April 27, environmental groups said yesterday, urging people to support phasing out nuclear power as its advocates are regaining momentum.

The demonstrations would be the first large movement after a referendum abolishing the legal basis for the government’s “nuclear-free homeland by 2025” policy was passed on Nov. 24 last year, National Anti-nuclear Action Platform spokesperson Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.

The referendum, initiated by Nuclear Myth Busters group founder Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修) and endorsed by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), was passed after garnering more than 5.8 million votes in favor and 4 million against.

This year’s rallies are scheduled to mark the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986, Tsuei said, adding that nuclear power is not as safe as its proponents have claimed.

Nearly 4.9 percent of the nation’s electricity was generated from renewable power sources last year, 11.4 percent from nuclear power, 38.6 percent from gas-fired units, 38.8 percent from coal-fired units, and the rest from other means, data from the state-run Taiwan Power Co’s Web site shows.

Given the relatively low ratio of nuclear power, decommissioning nuclear power facilities before 2025 as scheduled would not be that difficult, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan deputy executive Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳) said.

The Taipei march is to start at 1pm from the main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard, while participants in Kaohsiung are to gather at 2pm at Aozihdi Forest Park (凹子底森林公園), he said.

More than 220,000 people took to the streets in 2013 to oppose nuclear power, while the number of participants dropped to 2,000 in last year’s parade.

Seeing that their discourse on phasing out nuclear power did not reach many of its targets on Facebook — the main social media platform in Taiwan — they are switching to more interesting ways of promoting ideas, Tsai said.

Opponents against nuclear power are also gathering petitions for two new referendum proposals, including one that proposes not extending the permits of nuclear power generation facilities nor building new ones before the government finds ways to dispose of highly radioactive nuclear waste, the action platform said.

The other proposes turning the compound of the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) into a site for renewable power research and development, it said.

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