A child at an anti-nuclear protest in Taipei. (File photo/Ko Cheng-hui)
A Taipei-based environmental protection NGO has decided to hold an anti-nuclear parade in March in an attempt to stop a controversial planned nuclear power plant from being given the green light to begin commercial operations.
The planned parade is slated for March 9, two days before the second anniversary of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, a spokesman for the Green Citizens' Action Alliance said Friday.
According to the preliminary plan, Taipei and Kaohsiung will be the locations for simultaneous protest parades. However, the alliance is still working on details of the event, which will be the follow-up to an anti-nuclear flag-raising campaign the organization launched last October, the spokesman said.
The alliance seeks to make the public consider seriously whether or not Taiwan is the right place for nuclear power, the spokesman said.
On Oct. 10 last year, as the Republic of China (Taiwan's official name) celebrated its Double Ten National Day, the Green Citizens' Action Alliance launched a campaign calling for people nationwide to hoist anti-nuclear flags instead of the national flag.
Since then, over 4,000 white flags bearing the slogans "No Nukes — No more Fukushima," printed in both Chinese and English, have been hung at more than 4,000 different locations around Taiwan, according to the organization.
Taiwan has three operating nuclear power plants, two of which are situated in New Taipei in northern Taiwan, while the other is in Pingtung county in the south.
Since 1999, the state-run Taiwan Power Co has been constructing a fourth, also on the New Taipei coast. Because of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, however, commercial operations at the No. 4 plant have been indefinitely postponed from the scheduled 2011.
The incident in northeastern Japan in 2011, the most serious nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986, although in this instance no one died or absorbed especially high levels of radiation, boosted anti-nuclear voices in Taiwan as public fears mounted that a similar disaster could strike Taiwan, which like Japan is located in an area of major seismic activity.
Out of concern over nuclear safety, the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party has drafted a nuclear-free homeland bill, which is being reviewed at the Legislative Yuan. Under the draft bill, Taiwan must become nuclear-free by 2025.