The Jakarta Post
Tens of thousands marched in Taiwan Saturday to call for an end to nuclear energy on the island, ahead of the third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, organizers said.
Worries about Taiwan's atomic facilities have grown since a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011, crippling a nuclear power plant in Fukushima.
Protesters demanded the government immediately halt construction of a new nuclear power plant and remove nuclear waste from an offshore islet, while moving to stop using nuclear energy altogether, said Liu Hui-min, a spokeswoman for the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform.
'We urge the government to face anti-nuclear demands from the people instead of trying to stall the issues or suppress different opinions,' she said.
The Taipei event drew over 50,000 people, while three other rallies held simultaneously across the island had a combined turnout of more than 30,000, according to an initial estimate by organizers.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes, raising fears that its nuclear facilities could be vulnerable.
Its three existing nuclear plants supply about 20 percent of Taiwan's electricity. Construction of the fourth was originally due to be finished by 2004, but political wrangling has delayed the project.
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