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Anti-nuclear groups to campaign during Ho-hai-yan rock festival

2012/07/09 22:37:38

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Anti-nuclear groups plan to conduct a petition campaign this month against Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant entering into service soon.

The campaign will be carried out during an upcoming rock festival to be held near the plant in New Taipei City, campaigners said Monday.

The Taiwan Environmental Protection Union and Yenliao Anti-Nuclear Self-Help Association said they will collect signatures for their petition for a local referendum against the nuclear plant during the Ho-hai-yan Gongliao Rock Festival July 11-15.

A temporary booth will be set up to gather more signatures for the anti-nuclear gesture. The booth will be set up at Fulong Railway Station near Fulong Beach, where the festival will be held.

The groups have been petitioning after the New Taipei City Council approved a referendum bill in late June, which allows the municipality to hold referendums on public issues.

Construction of Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant puts the site at risk of coastal erosion, while the plant's future operation may pollute the Fulong waters and increase seawater temperature, said environmental activist Kao Cheng-yan.

The possible consequences are likely to affect the future of the rock festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, added Kao.

The fourth nuclear power plant project was proposed in the 1980s and was given the green light in March 1999. However, the project has been delayed and was once suspended due to controversy over nuclear safety concerns.

State-run Taiwan Power Co. President Lee Han-shen said in March that over 96 percent of the plant had been completed, and expressed hopes for formal operations to begin in 2014.

(By Zoe Wei and Liu Shih-chun)