As reported by the New York Times, the massive anti-nuclear movement of Taiwan is building on the momentum of its recent success.
Construction on two new General Electric-Hitachi Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) at Taiwan's proposed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (also known as the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant) has been temporarily suspended. However, the pro-nuclear prime minister has made clear suspension does not necessarily mean cancellation.
(ABWRs were also targeted at South Texas Project in the U.S., Units 3 & 4 in addition to two pressurized water reactors already operating there. However, the proposed new reactors were cancelled in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe. The American firm, NRG of New Jersey, pulled out, leaving its Japanese partners -- including the now infamous Tokyo Electric Power Compay -- holding the bag. Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, foreign firms cannot own a majority share in U.S. nuclear power plants.)
As with two of the other nuclear power plants in Taiwan, Lungmen would also be located on the northern end of the island. However, Lungmen is located much closer to Taiwan's capital and population center, Taipei.
Along with certain of Japan's, Taiwan's nuclear power plants are on a short-list of the atomic reactors most at risk from earthquakes in the entire world.
Taiwan's anti-nuclear protests have at times seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets. Last month, 50,000 rallied in Taipei. Follow on rallies were dispersed by crowd control water cannons (just as German police have used to clear roads of thousands or even tens of thousands of non-violent protestors near Gorleben, to force delivery of high-level radioactive waste shipments to Germany's highly controversial interim storage site for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel). Ironically enough, anti-riot water cannons were also used at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan in March 2011, in a desperate ad hoc attempt to resupply vital cooling water to high-level radioactive waste storage pools.
As reported by the Taipei Times, the recent anti-nuclear protests in Taiwan included a hunger strike by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), which lasted eight days.
A referendum has been proposed to resolve the fate of Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant. However, pro-nuclear politicians have manipulated the process, making the current hurdles impossibly high in the referendum process, to the significant disadvantage of the anti-nuclear movement.
As soon as the Lungmen nuclear power plant is permanently cancelled, anti-nuclear organizers plan to press for the closure of the six reactors at Taiwan's other three nuclear power plants.
(By the way, "Nuclear Power? No Thanks!" buttons and stickers in Mandarin Chinese (see image, above left), and many other languages -- including English -- can be ordered from World Information Service on Energy in Amsterdam's webstore!)