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Taiwan environmentalists mark Chernobyl nuclear disaster anniversary, call for renewables not nuclear

Anniversary of Chernobyl sees anti-nuclear appeals.

Two environmental groups issued online statements over the weekend to mark the 34th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on Sunday and call for the abolition of nuclear power in Taiwan.

The government should bolster safety mechanisms at the nation’s nuclear power plants, safely handle nuclear waste and educate the public on the risks of nuclear energy ahead of a referendum next year on whether to resume work on the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, which was caused by an explosion at the plant’s No. 4 reactor during maintenance, resulted in several thousand deaths, and the area around the plant would remain uninhabitable long into the future, it said.

The anniversary of the 1986 disaster should highlight the dangers of using nuclear power, it added.

Taiwan’s three operating nuclear power plants have been in operation for nearly 40 years, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

“Can the plants still safely operate, or should they be decommissioned? Policies on the plants are a major compromise between power needs and hopes for decommissioning,” it said.

Some people are concerned that the plants could be contaminating the air or the water supply, it added.

Radioactive waste from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan has still not been completely cleaned up, showing that coping with nuclear disasters is beyond human capability, the union said.

The dangers of nuclear power — as evidenced by the atomic bombs used in World War II, and the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters — should not be overlooked in favor of the economy’s demand for power, it said.

The government should focus its efforts on energy transformation and push for the development of renewable energy, it added.

There is a pressing need to combat climate change, but nuclear power is not a viable alternative, the union said.

“There is a cheaper, faster and safer option to reduce carbon emissions, and that is for the government to put all of its effort into energy efficiency and the development of sustainable energy,” it said.

April 28, 2020 - Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan

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