Apr 272014

The Taiwan authority on Sunday afternoon agreed to halt the construction of the island’s fourth nuclear power plant that triggered safety concerns.

Taiwan halts nuclear construction amid protest.

Taiwan halts nuclear construction amid protest. 

Construction of the plant’s No.1 and No.2 reactors will be halted. The No.1 reactor is undergoing safety inspections but will not be activated afterward, said Fan Chiang Tai-chi, head of the Culture and Communication Committee of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Party.

The administrative authority also promised to convene a meeting to discuss the future electricity supply of the island, he said.

The two-point consensus were announced after a meeting between Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou, administrative head Jiang Yi-huah and 15 KMT mayors and county heads.

Thousands of people on Sunday afternoon occupied the Zhongxiao West Road, a busy street in front of the train station in Taipei, where they sat or lied down on the ground to protest against the plant.

The traffic authority estimated that 77 bus lines and about 450,000 passengers had been affected by the traffic gridlock.

The demonstrators have vowed to continue their grip on the street until the authority responded to their demands, including scrapping the plant and lowering the turnout threshold for holding a “referendum.”

The Taiwan authority and the KMT on Thursday agreed to hold a “referendum” on whether to activate the plant. Taiwan’s current act requires participation of at least half of the island’s eligible voters to make a “referendum” valid.

Civic groups have long protested against the plant, which is under construction in New Taipei City, over safety fears. Protests have escalated since Tuesday when former DPP chairman Lin Yi-hsiung staged a hunger strike to demand construction of the plant be scrapped.

The Taiwan Power Company, which is in charge of the island’s power supply, has said if the plant stopped construction, the heavy debt would cause the bankruptcy of the company.

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