(September 26, 1997) On September 21, almost 300 Taiwanese anti-nuclear activists staged a mock blockade to protest the construction of the country's fourth nuclear power plant. A walk around the island started to gain support for a public referendum on the continuation of the construction.
(478.4740) WISE Amsterdam -The mock blockade on September 21, called "Anti-nuke landing, land-and- sea blockade", was organized by some 10 public anti-nuclear and environmental protection groups from around the island. "The establishment of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant will bring permanent damage to marine life in the area," said Cheng Ching-tung, a Yianliao resident.
After boarding 106 fishing vessels -- all flying banners that read "Oppose the Fourth Nuclear Plant" -- the activists surrounded and firebombed a ship with mock nuclear reactors off Yianliao township. The machinery was marked with effigies in a hand-shake pose, symbolizing the deal between the United States and Japan on supplying the equipment to Taiwan. Activists dropped nets to show their determination to prevent the machinery from being delivered. The activists said the two reactors of the plant are scheduled to arrive at the site, north of the capital Taipei, in November of this year, coming from Japan. Taiwan approved plans to build the US$4.1 billion, 2.700-megawatt nuclear power plant in 1994 after six years of delays and protests following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union. But only in September last year did Taipower give notice that General Electric could start construction (see WISE NC 459.4552: Taipower: GE can start constructing NPP). Taiwan's fourth reactor actually means the country's fourth nuclear complex with two reactors each: so, reactors seven and eight.
On land, at least 70 activists held a public teach-in to educate residents on the dangers of establishing nuclear reactors and to espouse lack of faith in the government's commitment to environmental protection.
An around-the-island walk was also launched with nearly 30 activists participating. The walk is part of the campaign aimed at promoting islandwide support for a public referendum on the question of whether or not work by Taipower on the fourth nuclear plant should be allowed to continue. Taipower has been warning that 'massive investment in the plant (done already) will be wasted and power shortages in Taiwan will be exacerbated if the construction project is suspended'. The march will be held in Taipei on October 26. It will be the core of a huge nationwide anti-nuclear demonstration.
- China News, 22 September 1997
- CNA, 19 September 1997
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