A startling number of law enforcement officers at the power plant gives testament to the embattled history of nuclear power in Taiwan. Step into any trendy coffee shop or burger joint in the country and, among the vintage collectables and polaroid pictures, there is a good chance you will see an off-white cloth banner hanging on the wall, screen-printed with a turquoise outline of Taiwan, and bearing a simple message; “No nukes. No more Fukushima.” Indeed, the infamous Japanese nuclear accident in 2011 galvanized major protests across Taiwan, halting the construction of the country’s fourth nuclear power plant and casting it into a political and legal limbo. The anti-nuclear movement in Taiwan far predates the events of 2011. Organized action against nuclear power can be found as far back as Chernobyl in 1986, during a time when anti-nuclear and pro-democracy forces found common cause in opposing the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT). The KMT, which ruled Taiwan under martial law for decades, had constructed three nuclear power plants, with designs for a fourth underway. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) incorporated opposition to nuclear energy into their political platform, and as such, many activists were encouraged when the DPP’s Chen Shui-bian won the 2000 election. Their hope was that the transfer of power would not only end a half-century of continuous KMT rule but terminate Taiwan’s nuclear energy program for good.
The Diplomat 14th March 2018 read more »