Academics urge public to vote for nuclear power shutdown

Hundreds of researchers in Taiwan have signed an open letter urging the public to vote to continue the phase out of nuclear power in an upcoming referendum. Last year, Taiwanese legislators added a clause to the island’s electricity act to shut down all nuclear power plants by 2025, writes Andrew Silver for Nature.

But many people disagree with the plan. In October, proponents of nuclear power gathered enough signatures – more than 1.5% of the electorate in Taiwan – to force a referendum that will ask the public to agree to removing the phase-out clause from the act. They argue that nuclear power is an inexpensive, low-emission and stable technology for power generation with manageable waste. The vote will be held on 24 November, along with multiple other referendums and local elections.

Fifty academics, including environmental sociologist Chiu Hua-Mei at National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, released the letter on 3 November, asking the public to vote to keep the clause. More than 400 others have now signed the letter. Chiu says that earthquakes and tsunamis, events that can damage nuclear power stations with devastating effects, are major threats to Taiwan, and there is no feasible long-term solution yet for dealing with the radioactive waste. “It’s too risky for Taiwan to use nuclear power,” she says.
Full report on the Nature site