News / Asia

Taiwan Signals More Nuclear Power Despite Protests

Demonstrators in raincoats and umbrellas march with banners and placards during an anti-nuclear protest on a street, amid rainfall in Taipei, March 8, 2014.
Demonstrators in raincoats and umbrellas march with banners and placards during an anti-nuclear protest on a street, amid rainfall in Taipei, March 8, 2014.
Ralph Jennings
Waves of demonstrators have turned out in Taiwan to call for an end to nuclear power, while the island’s government says it needs nuclear energy to supply power and will start up a fourth plant once it passes safety checks.
 
Some 130,000 protesters around Taiwan took to rainy streets on Saturday to call for the closure of three aging nuclear power plants and the decommissioning of a fourth that has not started operations. Their appeal to public safety, coming ahead of Tuesday's third anniversary of Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, was met with a government response signaling that nuclear power will go ahead for now.
 
Lin Hung-chih, deputy secretary general of the ruling Nationalist Party’s Central Policy Committee, said the island's nuclear program is safe. He said that Taiwan’s first, second and third nuclear plants, compared internationally, rank among the top and could not cause problems as they have been operating for so long. As for the safety of the fourth plant, he said that in addition to a ministry of economic affairs inspection, Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Commission will continuously make checks. An international organization will perform safety tests as well.
 
Taiwan has a large industrial base, and cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said Saturday nuclear energy must continue for now. He said that the unfinished No. 4 plant could start up once its safety is assured. Construction began in 1999 and has cost $9.3 billion, due in part to delays sparked by popular opposition.
 
Some of Taiwan’s biggest demonstrations have been held since the March 11, 2011 nuclear catastrophe in Japan following an earthquake. Officials reacted in the past by saying they hope to eventually scrap nuclear power and that voters could decide whether to go ahead with the fourth plant. There is no timeline for scaling back nuclear power however, and hopes for a nuclear power referendum dimmed last year because of legal barriers.
 
Taiwan’s operating nuclear plants date back to the 1970s and contribute 12 percent of the island’s power generation.
 
Anti-nuclear demonstration media liaison Liu Hui-min said the government is sticking with outdated positions. She said the government has taken no action to promote a referendum and instead has called for going ahead with the fourth nuclear plant. Liu said that besides talk of strict nuclear inspections, other positions have never been relaxed or adjusted to accommodate public opinion or the real situation.
 
Protesters plan to focus now on liberalizing Taiwan’s referendum law and identifying anti-nuclear candidates in local elections later this year.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid