A coalition of anti-nuclear groups yesterday demonstrated to raise awareness of the threat of nuclear contamination during war, as the world prepares to mark one year since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Banner-wielding members of the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform gathered on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, chanting slogans in support of Ukraine ahead of today’s anniversary.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine has been targeted by shelling as Russian troops attempt to occupy it, posing a threat to global safety, the groups said.
People used to think that nuclear power plants would be spared during military conflict, but war does not follow reason, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.
Although the Geneva Convention stipulates that nuclear power plants must not be attacked, it is ultimately just words on paper and cannot protect against shelling, Environmental Jurists Association deputy secretary-general Hsieh Pei-yi (謝蓓宜) said.
Countries, including Taiwan, must consider whether their nuclear plants would become a primary target during conflict, she said.
Although a fail-safe was added to the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant to shut off power in the event of an attack, it has not yet been tested, Hsieh said, encouraging urgent attention to the risk of wartime nuclear disaster.
Russian troops have allegedly used phosphorus munitions in Ukraine, generating massive fires and dense smoke, Homemakers United Foundation director Wu Hsin-ping (吳心萍) said, adding that an estimated 20 percent of nature reserves in Ukraine have been destroyed.
Warfare accounts for about 5 percent of all carbon emissions, compared with only 2.9 percent for global shipping, posing an even greater climate risk, she said.
The war has also cast into relief the danger of energy dependence on other nations, Mom Loves Taiwan secretary-general Yang Shun-mei (楊順美) said.
In response to the war, the EU has invested more heavily in renewable energy sources over natural gas to break Russia’s energy oligopoly, she said.
“Conservation and development of renewable energy is a matter of national security,” she added.
However, nuclear power is not a good resistance strategy, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association attorney Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅) said.
A decentralized energy grid based on renewables is much harder to disrupt, Tsai said.
Russia has been targeting civilian infrastructure, leaving Ukrainians with unstable power and water supplies during winter, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Shih Yi-hsiang (施逸翔) said.
The international community must seek an end to the war and hold Russia accountable, Shih said, adding that Taiwan cannot stay on the sidelines.
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
FOOD FRACAS: Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu called for the premier to deliver the address at 10:27am, but KMT legislators swarmed the podium to block him Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday temporarily obstructed Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) from giving what is likely to be his last policy report to the legislature in protest at the Cabinet’s handling of food safety issues. The premier eventually delivered his report after a spat between caucuses about how and when Chen should deliver a special report on food safety. The KMT wanted the premier to make the special report yesterday, while the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) said that the legislature should hold an internal meeting on the issue today and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposed Friday. As they could not agree,
TAIPEI WATCHING: The speedboat incident must be studied to prevent such incidents from recurring, president-elect William Lai was quoted as saying China’s launch of regular coast guard patrols in the Taiwan Strait after two Chinese sailors died fleeing from the Taiwanese coast guard is unlikely to trigger an escalation, analysts said yesterday. Beijing’s actions are aimed at applying pressure on Taipei and signaling its displeasure at president-elect William Lai (賴清德), not to raise the tensions in the Strait, Institute of National Defense and Security Research fellow Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said. The situation in the Taiwan Strait is “not particularly hot” as coast guards in the region have used water cannons and ramming during confrontations with foreign ships on multiple occasions, he said. Taiwan should