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» Taiwan seal off nucelar power plant under construction

Taiwan’s government said it would seal off a nuclear power plant under construction that has been criticized by the public as unsafe, pending a referendum on its future.

Deputy economic affairs minister Woody Duh said maintenance fees could reach 4 billion New Taiwan dollars ($133 million) to shutter the power station for three years — the estimated time required to organize and hold the referendum.

In April, the government said it would halt construction after an estimated 28,500 protesters blockaded a main street in Taipei demanding the plant, which was due to open next year, be scrapped. Police used water cannon to dislodge hundreds who refused to leave the scene, in clashes that left 40 people injured.

Concerns about Taiwan’s nuclear power facilities have mounted in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Like Japan, Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes. In September 1999 a 7.6-magnitude quake killed around 2,400 people in the island’s deadliest natural disaster in recent history.
<Media Report>
Taiwan to put near-completed nuclear plant on hold (Japan Times)

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