- Posted March 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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Taiwan protest against the 4th nuclear power plant
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Taipei, Taiwan, March 9th
Tens of thousands of anxious Taiwanese shouted out "NO NUKES" angrily in front of Presidential Office, protesting against the 4th nuclear plant which is under construction. Civic groups of environmental, cultural and social movement launched this marching demonstration two days before the 2nd anniversary of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on March 11th 2011, which tattered many families and industries in Japan. The mass society joined enthusiastically. Public figures such as singers, actors, celebrities and tycoons also took part in the action, calling on the government to make careful decision.
"If the nuclear waste was so safe, how about putting it inside of the Presidential Office?" singer Bobby Chen said. Radioactive leak had been detected around Lanyu, an island southeastern than Taiwan which stores about 100,000 barrels of nuclear waste from the nation's three operational nuclear plants. Threatening of lives and health on the island population is highly concerned. Another worry surges from the location of Taiwan, an island situated in faulted zones. Earthquakes happen frequently, rising the possibility of potential crisis.
The crowd advocates the government to block additional funding for construction of the 4th nuclear plant. Other main demands of the demonstration are- removing the nuclear waste out of Lanyu, gradually halting the operation of the existing three nuclear plants, pursuing zero-growth in the national electricity demand. "We're human. We don't want nukes!" shouted by the protesters, "We don't want to leave our children in danger and let them protest desperately again in the future!" For the callings outside his office, President Ma posted on his facebook page shortly after that he would listen carefully to various voices of society and be willing to talk with the opposition groups.
However, since the construction of 1st nuclear plant in the 70s, Taiwan had been relying on nuclear power for decades. Responding to the opposition voice, the government usually emphasized on the cost of breaking the contract, unemployment problem and the rapid increases in electricity bills of citizens in the future if the construction was halted. The government seeks referendum on this issue, yet the fairness and objectivity of referendum is still controversial.
The marching started at 2 pm of Taiwan time (GMT+8), and will be back sitting down in front of Presidential Office at night. The sit-in demonstration in front of Presidential Office will continue until the flag rising ceremony of next morning at 8 am on March 10th.