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Ex-DPP leader plans anti-nuclear hunger strike
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-15 05:37 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung said Tuesday he would start a hunger strike on April 22 against the construction of the fourth nuclear plant in Gongliao, New Taipei City.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said recently that in September it would hand over an application to install nuclear fuel rods at the plant to the Atomic Energy Council for a review. The move could signal a new phase in the nearing completion of the nuclear project, which has elicited protests for decades, though especially after the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.

Lin, who has played an active role in the anti-nuclear movement for a long time, said in an open letter published Monday that the people of Taiwan should engage in any active and effective action which would force the authorities to stop the fourth nuclear plant project.

“The dispute about the fourth nuclear plant is not about wanting power or not, it’s about wanting life or not,” Lin wrote.

Taiwan has no shortage of electricity, so the construction of the plant is an unnecessary waste, he argued. If, despite an overwhelming majority in favor of halting the project, the authorities still succeeded in continuing on their present path, it meant that the democratic system had lost its function and faced a threat, he said.

The MOEA said it respected Lin’s manner of expressing his opinion, but it warned that if the fourth plant was not launched, there could be energy shortages from 2018 and cuts in power would become unavoidable in 2021. Three conventional and three nuclear power plants would gradually be taken out of service beginning in 2018, making the situation even more critical, according to the MOEA. The Cabinet unit rejected Lin’s claim that the global trend was to drop nuclear energy. Only Germany had made such a decision, with higher energy prices as a result, the MOEA said.

Lin caught the public’s attention over the past few weeks by spending time sitting down in meditation with the students occupying the Legislative Yuan in protest against the trade-in-services pact with China. He is a veteran democracy and human rights activist who led the DPP when it won the 2000 presidential election.

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