Updated: 04/28/2014 13:47 | By Agence France-Presse

Taiwan uses water cannon to disperse anti-nuclear protesters

Taiwan police on Monday used water cannon to dislodge hundreds of overnight sit-in demonstrators, demanding the scrapping of a nearly completed nuclear power plant, one of the most controversial issues to have gripped the island for 30 years.


Taiwan uses water cannon to disperse anti-nuclear protesters

Taiwan police fire water cannon at protesters outside Taipei Railway Station, during an anti-nuclear demonstration on April 28, 2014 - by Mandy Cheng

Tens of thousands of anti-nuclear demonstrators blockaded one of the busiest streets in the capital Sunday, forcing the ruling Kuomintang party to yield and halt construction work at the plant.

This concession by the government led to a large number of demonstrators leaving the area, but hundreds remained, prompting police to use water canon to disperse the crowds on Monday morning.

Claiming they were attacked, club-waving riot police chased some protesters. The police also carried away some sit-in protesters lying on the ground. 

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin forecast the tough measures during a press conference Sunday night when he denounced the sit-in for disrupting the lives of ordinary people.

"The demonstrators should protest against the government rather than Taipei citizens. I may take any measures needed to ensure traffic can return normal on Monday."

A Kuomintang spokesman announced Sunday that there would be "no further construction of reactor one -- only safety checks will be done and after that it (reactor one) will be sealed for storage.

"Construction of reactor two will be terminated. In the future, any such commercial operation will be decided by a referendum," he added.

Premier Jiang Yi-hua added Monday: "In this way, we would leave an option open to our next generation when choosing energy (sources)," he told reporters. 

The power station has been one of the most contentious projects in Taiwan.

Intense political wrangling has repeatedly delayed its construction, which began in 1999 and has already cost around Tw$300 billion ($10 billion).

Concerns about Taiwan's nuclear power stations have been mounting since 2011, when Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant was hit by a tsunami which knocked out power to its cooling systems and sent reactors into meltdown.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。