A group of 21 people demonstrating against nuclear power completed their march in Taipei yesterday after beginning it in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) the day before.
They were joined by supporters as they reached their destination on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building after nearly 30 hours of walking.
Organized by the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform, the event was aimed at encouraging people to vote “no” in a referendum on Dec. 18 that asks whether the government should restart construction on the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District.
The 21 demonstrators represented the 21 boroughs within an 8km radius of the power plant that would be required to evacuate in the event of a nuclear disaster: 11 boroughs in Gongliao District, eight in New Taipei City’s Shuangsi District (雙溪) and two in Yilan County’s Toucheng Township (頭城), the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform said.
Separately yesterday, a group rallied in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, urging people to vote “yes” for the referendum question on whether a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project should be relocated to protect algal reefs off Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音).
They called for the government to review the nation’s energy policy rather than resort to “emotionally blackmailing the public with fears of a power shortage.”
Environmentalists have said that the algal reef took at least 5,000 years to form and is the largest of its kind in the world.
It also has rich biodiversity, and is home to the endangered coral species Polycyathus chaishanensis and hammerhead sharks that are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, they said.
The government has said that one-third of the construction of the terminal has already been completed and the algal reefs remain intact.
It has called on voters to support the government’s revised plan for the plant and vote “no” in the referendum.
The revised plan is undergoing an environmental impact assessment.
Two other referendums are on whether to ban imports of pork containing traces of the leanness-enhancing feed additive ractopamine and whether referendums should be held alongside elections.
The Democratic Progressive Party has launched a promotional campaign urging people to vote “no” on all four items, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has called on people to vote “yes” on the pork import referendum issue.
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