Environmentalists protest against plant at legislature

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - Page 3

With the 34th anniversary of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident tomorrow on their minds, more than a dozen representatives from several environmental groups yesterday protested in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, calling on lawmakers to stop the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

“Residents of the ‘escape zone’ [a 50km radius of a nuclear power plan] want a referendum, amend the law [the Referendum Act, 公民投票法] before holding the referendum” the protesters shouted.

Kao Cheng-yan (高成炎), a National Taiwan University professor and the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union’s anti-nuclear team convener, said the Three Mile Island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown in one of the plant’s two reactors, the reactor was destroyed and the clean-up cost afterwards was more than US$1 billion.

He said statistical data has shown that Taiwan Power Co does not have sufficient nuclear safety management ability, so nuclear power should be abolished to avoid a disaster at the yet-to-be completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市).

The protesters urged legislators to halt the plant’s construction and cancel an additional budget allocation for it, amend the Referendum Act, hold a local referendum in the plant’s escape zone and enact a bill promoting a nuclear-free homeland (非核家園推動法).

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲), a member of the legislature’s Economic Committee, met with the protesters to accept their appeals.

The protesters said they would also present their proposals to the party caucuses in the legislature.

The protesters said Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has agreed to meet with environmental groups next Wednesday to discuss nuclear power issues.