Taiwan will go ahead with the construction of a controversial nuclear power plant despite protests from a number of environmental groups. "To me this is a bitter decision and unavoidable responsibility,' justified the country's premier Chang Chun-hsiung. The us $5.5 billion, 2,700-megawatt nuclear power plant, Taiwan's fourth, was stopped when the cabinet decided to hold it up in October 2000.

This decision had infuriated the country's main opposition Nationalist Party, which had initiated the project (see Down To Earth , Vol 9, No 19, February 28, p12). Chang said the decision to resume the construction was made for the sake of "political stability and economic development.'

Residents of Kungliao, near Taipei, where the plant is located, are angry over the decision. "We are disgusted with politicians who betray their conscience, lie to their voters and abandon their principles,' said Chao Kuo-tung, chief of Kungliao's township.

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