Environmentalists to hold anti-nuclear rally in June

Taipei-Environmentalists will hold a rally on June 5 to oppose the use of nuclear power and keep the 4th Nuclear Power Plant mothballed ahead of an August referendum on the plant's fate.

At an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, a nationwide anti-nuclear alliance of more than 100 groups urged the public to push back against groups that support the development of nuclear power, citing the harm left by the devastating earthquake.

Independent lawmaker Freddy Lim (???), who attended the event, said the issue of nuclear energy has gone beyond politics, and people should take the responsibility to say no to it instead of leaving nuclear waste to the next generation.

The alliance urged the public to voice its opposition during a national referendum vote in August, when one of the questions will be: "Do you agree that the 4th Nuclear Power Plant be activated for commercial operations?"

As to recent disputes over whether a controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project located near an algae reef in northern Taiwan should be relocated to avoid damaging the environment, the activists said they welcomed more discussion.

The government has warned that any relocation of the LNG project could hamper Taiwan's efforts to curb the use of coal, which has triggered discussions over the possibility of reactivating the 4th Nuclear Power Plant.

In 2020, just over 45 percent of Taiwan's power generation was from coal, roughly the same level as in 2015, while LNG accounted for 35.70 percent and nuclear power for 11.24 percent of the total.

The government wants to phase out nuclear power by 2025 and replace it with renewable energy and burn more natural gas instead of coal, but to do that it needed more storage capacity for LNG.

The site for the new LNG terminal off the coast of Taoyuan has always been controversial, however, because of environmental concerns.

Rather than opting to store and burn more fossil fuels, some have advocated reconsidering nuclear power, including opening the 4th Nuclear Power Plant, which was mothballed before construction was completed amid protests.

But Tsuei Su-hsin (???), secretary-general of the Green Citizens' Action Alliance, disagreed that nuclear power could provide a solution.

Tsuei said she believed that environmentalists supportive of algae reef protection are also against nuclear energy, and she urged pro-nuclear power politicians to stop manipulating the issue.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel