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Nuclear safety dialogue to be transparent under new pact: MAC

2011/10/12 23:12:53

Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) Frequent and transparent information exchanges between Taiwan and China on nuclear safety will take place after both sides sign a nuclear safety pact in the upcoming top-level talks, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Lai Shin-yuan said Wednesday.

The accord demonstrates that both sides are willing to address an issue that has been of concern to the global community, especially in light of the nuclear crisis that developed in Japan after a magnitude-9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami in March, Lai said.

"We have referred to international precedent on the issue in order to craft the agreement in keeping with the global trends," Lai said.

"It shows that Taiwan is a country willing to shoulder its responsibilities."

In the future, she stressed, both sides will set up an emergency hotline in case of nuclear power plant accidents.

Experts from Taiwan and China will also periodically conduct exchange visits to share nuclear safety information through "a transparent and institutionalized channel," she said.

Addressing public concerns on whether the pact will cover certain sensitive and complex issues, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) said the agreement will not touch on matters relating to the nuclear power industry, nuclear technology transfer or disposal of radioactive waste.

"Most of China's nuclear power plants are located along its southeastern coastline, in other words, close to Taiwan," said AEC Director David Yao. "Only through open dialogue can both sides allay nuclear safety concerns."

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)