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Taiwan's Nuclear-free New Year's Wish

Every year, Taiwanese gather around Taipei 101, the tallest building in Taiwan to see fireworks and celebrate the coming of the new year.

This year, the celebration was very special as popular singers, environmental and youth activists worked together to present a nuclear-free homeland as Taiwanese people's common wish [zh] for 2013. Singers performed in new year's eve parties and sang anti-nuclear songs. Environment groups organized a joint signature campaign to build consensus among Taiwanese for a nuclear-free policy.

The most eye-catching action was delivered by a number of youth activists under the Citizens No Nuke [zh, en, jp, de] network, who projected an anti-nuclear sign on Taipei 101 during the annual fireworks. They uploaded their action to Youtube afterwards.

Below is an explanation of their action in the group's website [zh, en, jp, de, fr, ko]:

Taiwan bears critical risk as two nuclear power plants, NPP1 and NPP2, which the seismic resistance coefficient is estimated evidently less than that of Fukushima Daiichi NPP, are located tightly alongside the active fault zone of the volcanic arc…According to nuclear energy researcher Koide Hiroaki, once the radioactive materials of NPP4 Taiwan are released, the exposure to the Northern region will result in 30,000 death immediately and 7 million residents with chronic diseases or cancer. The radioactive material will spread out through sea current and atmosphere, bringing the disaster to neighboring countries, and eventually global-wise. Every person in the world inevitably shares the potential risk and consequences of nuclear power technology.

Regardless of the debates and anxiety from the society, or the technical issues of safety and management, the officials of the government haven’t clarified the problems without the determination of self-responsibility. The discontent of the situation has reached a critical point.

It is time to end the technopoly… With no pains or bloods split, we declare that Taiwan as a democratic country, our will not to be dominated by the privileged 1%. And without the responsibility of our government to the beings of the Earth, the 99% will join together and exercise for their right.

We are the 99%, and you will see us in the end.

Anti-nuclear sign projected on Taipei 101. Image from Citizens Nonuke Organization.

Anti-nuclear sign projected on Taipei 101. Image from Citizens Nonuke.

There are some comments under the Youtube video. ksutgman found the action meaningful:

謝謝 好感動 這比101煙火 好看精彩100萬倍

Thank you. I am moved. This is a million times more fabulous than the fireworks at Taipei 101!

While some people found this alien-like sign ruined the fireworks, 朱想容 said:

惶恐這個反核標誌,卻不去反思台灣的核電多可怕,我該說什麼呢?

If you are afraid of this anti-nuclear sign but you do not think about the danger of the nuclear power plants in Taiwan, what can I say?

Though many netizens are excited about the action, the management of Taipei 101 is unhappy [zh] and is considering taking legal action against the activists. Sophia Hong pointed out that while an image projection that harms no one is disturbing to some, people should pay attention to the Tao people who have been living with nuclear waste everyday for 30 years:

Anti-nuclear sign projected on Taipei 101. Image from Citizens Nonuke Organization.

Anti-nuclear sign projected on Taipei 101. Image from Citizens Nonuke.

你覺得核廢料那些玩意是合理應該出現在別人的島上,讓別人生活何止充滿惶恐,他們一輩子要面對的是健康上的恐懼!!!!

Do you think it is reasonable that something like nuclear waste is present on other people’s island? The nuclear waste not only fills their lives with great fear but also makes them face health threats for their whole lives!!!!

Is Taiwan ready to become a nuclear-free country? On Jan 9, 2013, the Legislative Yuan will start to examine the draft law on the promotion of a nuclear-free homeland [zh], which was proposed in 2005. If this draft law is passed, the three nuclear power plants will cease to operate once their service lives have expired and the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant will be stopped.

Currently, the residents affected by the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant are pressing for a referendum [zh] to stop its construction in 2013.

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