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Taiwan Anti-Nuclear Protests May Derail $8.9 Billion Power Plant via Bloomberg

Taiwanese protesting against the completion of the island’s fourth nuclear power plant vowed to continue their campaign after mustering more than 68,000 people in weekend marches across major cities.

As Japan marks the second anniversary of the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, Taiwan’s Longmen Nuclear Power Plant, the NT$264 billion ($8.9 billion) project that state-run Taiwan Power Co. is building, has drawn new criticism. The company missed a deadline to start commercial operations at the end of 2012.

“Nuclear power is toxic,” 87-year-old Wu Lien-mien, who has spent her life in Gongliao, 25 miles east of Taipei, where the plant is, said at the protests. “It is dangerous. I would have come to protest even if I were 100.”

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou is caught between a pledge to reduce carbon emissions to year-2000 levels by 2025 while also phasing out nuclear power, which accounts for about a fifth of Taiwan’s electricity. Opposition parties are against the construction of nuclear reactors and Ma has supported calls to put the issue to a referendum.

“We’ve heard Taiwanese people’s concerns and we’ll seek to address their concerns in a neutral and unbiased manner,” said Roger Lee, spokesman of Taiwan Power. “We’ll continue to communicate with the public over the nuclear power plant.”

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  1. kojimaaiko says

    President Ma’s dilemma between reducing carbon emissions and phasing out nuclear power is tricky, that echoes with the logic repeated in “Nuclear Renaissance”. We need to recognize the fact that nuclear power does emit carbon dioxide throughout the whole process from uranium mining, uranium enrichment, transportation, to radioactive waste disposal. It should be also recognized that the operation of nuclear power plant itself emits tremendous heat that directly raises air and sea temperature to the level that its ecology is affected.



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