Time for a Czech Up
Thousands of Austrian environmental activists blocked border crossings between their country and the Czech Republic on Friday to protest a new Czech nuclear power plant just 40 miles from the Austrian border that is scheduled to start up soon. Austria, which decided to be nuke-free in 1978, is also threatening to try to block the Czech Republic’s efforts to join the European Union if the Soviet-designed Temelin nuclear plant goes online. On Sept. 7, the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution urging the Czech Republic to carry out additional environmental studies before activating the plant. Meanwhile, controversy is brewing in Taiwan as newly elected President Chen Shui-bian decides whether to call for a halt to construction of the country’s fourth nuclear power plant, which is already one-third finished. Many Taiwanese object to the plant, noting that the country doesn’t know what to do with the nuclear waste it already has.