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Apple Daily: Taiwan unprepared for nuclear disaster

2016/03/14 19:22:00

A safety drill at Taiwan;s second nuclear power plant in New Taipei in 2011.

We are certain that the government is completely unprepared to face the dangers of nuclear power. In an incident of radioactive contamination, government chaos is almost guaranteed.

Two days ago, people in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taitung held anti-nuclear rallies. Former national policy advisor Rex How (郝明義) said the reality is that even if there are 100 benefits of nuclear power, they are useless if the government cannot dispose of the country's nuclear waste.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and others have also urged the complete scrapping of nuclear power plants, addressing the issues of nuclear waste and promoting alternative forms of energy.

There is no nuclear reactor that does not break. The safety of the people cannot depend on luck or probability, or even pro-nuclear officials whose interests are intertwined with the massive budgets for nuclear plants.

If the government sincerely cares about nuclear disaster, it would not have built nuclear power plants, or it would have conducted regular nuclear disaster drills after the plants were built.

In the case of a nuclear disaster, which agency will be in charge? Have evacuation measures been drafted? How will food and water be supplied? Where will relief stations be set up? How will banks meet the urgent needs of victims? How will resources be distributed?

Nuclear waste is the biggest debt that this generation has left for the next generation. The disposal of nuclear waste has become a big problem. The best place to dispose of it would be underground, on an uninhabited island.

Meanwhile, alternative energy is not a problem at all. In addition to solar power, the successful extraction of oil from shale has greatly reduced the prices of petroleum and natural gas.

The key, however, is still whether energy generation and the business of power distribution can be operated independently, to encourage the private sector to sell its own electricity. (Editorial abstract -- March 14, 2016)

(By Christie Chen)