Anti-Nuclear Declaration of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
1 October 1992 [Chinese]
We firmly believe that the whole universe is the creation of God, and that humankind is called to protect the integrity and harmony of the whole natural order. Therefore, we need to change our present human-centred behaviour, allow nature to be self sustaining, and so insure the ongoing welfare of succeeding generations.
Looking at our Taiwan homeland, we see the environment being destroyed by people's greed and selfishness, and with the addition of mistaken political policies, all of this leads to a loss of harmony between people and nature. This is all the more critical when we see people in every country of the world gradually recognizing the inherent destructive qualities of nuclear power and, in mass, halting construction of future nuclear plants and abandoning present ones; at the same time, however, our own authorities stubbornly push through with the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Station, ignoring the great threat to Taiwan's survival and development, and ignoring the people's wishes and the warnings of scholars and experts.
Because of this, we earnestly present to the Government the following statements:
The moment a nuclear power station experiences a disaster, its destructive radiation poisons the environment for thousands of years to come, and our most advanced technology, even down to the present day, finds it difficult to control. Especially with Taiwan being so small and the population so large, and being situated in an area of frequent earthquakes and typhoons, together with the fact that the authorities' supervision and safety control have never been put to the test, the possibility of a disaster is increasingly greater. Such a disaster is something Taiwan could never survive.
The handling of nuclear waste is known all over the world as a thorny problem, and so we should cease using nuclear power which produces such ecologically harmful and life threatening waste. At present, the Government ignores the objections of the Yami people on Lan Yu (Orchid Island) and, contrary to humanitarian principles, continues to place nuclear waste in the residential area of this minority people.
The cost of nuclear generated electricity is very expensive. From the building of the plant, operation, handling of nuclear waste, through the period needed for radiation decline after plant closure, the abandoning of the land sight, and right down to the continuing needs of a quality environment - all of these stages are very costly indeed. Therefore, the Government has a responsibility to make an all-out effort to develop solar power, natural gas and other kinds of electric generators as safe alternatives to nuclear power.
The people of Taiwan, mislead by a government policy which places economic benefit before all else, frantically chase after a life style of high consumption, with the result that natural resources are consumed at a rapid rate. The Government should use the channels of education and mass media to increase environmental awareness, and also help people change their life style, give up the trend of high material consumption, and so raise the quality of life.
Humankind and the whole ecological system are mutually interdependent and co-existent. Therefore, we strongly oppose this policy of nuclear development which so seriously damages Taiwan's ecology and environment. We solemnly appeal to all Christians and all members of society, to honestly face the potential tragedy which any nuclear power station could bring upon us; we urge everyone to actively participate in the anti-nuclear movement, and at the same time actively pursue a simple life style, and treasure the natural resources God has bestowed upon us. Let us spare no effort for the ongoing welfare of the people and land of Taiwan.
"The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his." (Psalm 24:1)
God has called Humankind to be stewards of the earth: "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." (I Cor 4:2)
D. S. Chen, Moderator of the General Assembly
C. S. Yang, Secretary-General
1 October 1992