About 20 environmental activists yesterday urged the government to stop the operation of nuclear power plants in the country.
In a prelude to a nationwide anti-nuclear protest on April 30, the Green Citizen’s Action Alliance staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday.
The Taipei-based non-profit alliance demanded that the government stop construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and halt operations at the three existing plants.
Instead of nuclear power, the country can use its reserve power supply, it said.
Last year, Taiwan generated an extra 24.3 percent of its regular capacity with emergency generators. If all nuclear plants were shut down, the reserve rate would only drop to 10 percent, which is still manageable, the alliance said.
The group also questioned the ministry’s claim that shutting down the plants could force a quarter or a third of local companies out of business, calling it a tactic meant to “scare the people.”
The ministry should stop using threats to defend its use of nuclear power, the alliance said, adding that since the nation has ample reserve power, there is no reason to believe that suspending nuclear power would shut down businesses.
The demonstrators urged the ministry to come up with specific policies to change its “unreasonable” energy structure, stop giving subsidies to support the “wrong” cause of nuclear power and hold a public debate with private organizations on national energy policies.
The alliance will join forces with other environmental groups for coordinated anti-nuclear protests in several cities, including Taipei, on April 30.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that all of Taiwan’s four nuclear power plants, including the one under construction, are located in high-hazard areas, making them vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis.
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