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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Taiwan Lawmakers Fight Over Nuclear Plant Bill (Pictures)


Ruling Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Lee Cheng-min scuffles with Hsu Chung-hsin (R) from the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) before a vote over rebuilding the fourth nuclear power plant at Parliament in Taipei.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwanese lawmakers exchanged punches and threw water at each other Friday ahead of an expected vote that would authorize a referendum on whether to finish a fourth nuclear power plant on the densely populated island of 23 million people.

Nuclear power has long been a contentious issue in Taiwan and became more so following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. While many Taiwanese consider nuclear power generation an unacceptable safety risk for the earthquake-prone island, economic analyses suggest disruptive power shortages are inevitable if the fourth plant is not completed.

Construction of Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant began in 1997 but was halted while the DPP was in power between 2000 and 2008. If the referendum is passed it could become operational by 2016.
Physical confrontations broke out early in Friday's session. Associated Press television footage shows some eight people pushing and shoving in one scrum. Two people scuffled on the floor, while others tried to separate them. More than a dozen activists in bright yellow shirts chanted and waved signs on a nearby balcony, and several of them splashed water onto lawmakers below. A few water bottles were thrown into the fray.
 

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