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Anti-nuke students campaign on foot

2013/03/04 19:48:41

Taipei, March 4 (CNA) University students from southern Taiwan launched a walking campaign on Monday to oppose a controversial nuclear plant project that is still under construction.

"I was born after the first, second and third nuclear plants had already been built. I am glad that I have the opportunity to come forward and stop the construction of the fourth plant," said Huang Wei-lung at a press conference held outside the Third Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County.

Huang was one of six students who initiated the campaign to walk from the southern tip of Taiwan to Kaohsiung, 85 kilometers away, in time to take part in an anti-nuclear rally in the city on March 9.

The students, from National Sun Yat-sen University and National University of Kaohsiung, are getting help in their campaign from a volunteer with Citizen of the Earth Taiwan, an environmental group that is part of a southern Taiwan anti-nuclear action alliance.

The students explained that they launched the campaign because the lives and property of Taiwan's people are threatened by nuclear power and the cost of building the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant has risen far above its originally projected costs.

Nearly 100 people from several anti-nuclear groups and local residents of Hengchun joined the students on the five-day march.

To call attention to the potential dangers of nuclear power, civil groups from across the island will organize rallies in Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Taitung on March 9, two days ahead of the second anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.

They will advocate blocking additional funding for construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, removing radioactive waste from Taiwan's outlying Orchid Island, and immediately closing Taiwan's three operating nuclear power plants.

(By Zoe Wei, Kuo Chu-chen and Nell Shen)