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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid