In Taiwan, the first plant has a resistance of 0.3G while the second is 0.4G. Their quake resistance is far below the Japanese plant.
At the International Conference of Nuclear Regulation, held by the AEC in Taipei City on Sept. 22, Japanese academic Shigeru Takahashi mentioned the necessity of strict safety checks for nuclear power plants that have operated for more than 30 years, which would apply to both the first and second plants. Taiwan should learn from Japan’s post-nuclear disaster review and implement strict safety checks for the two plants.
In addition, the operation licenses for the four nuclear reactors at the first and second plants will expire in December 2018, July 2019, December 2021 and March 2023 respectively, so they will not continue to operate for too long. Rather than spending a lot of money improving their quake-resistance, why not decommission them earlier than planned?
The German authorities once demanded that a nuclear power plant in Wurgassen replace the core shield after cracks appeared. However, rather than pay for the expensive replacement materials, the owner of the plant decided to decommission it after operating for 23 years. Taiwan should follow this example.
If there are safety concerns about nuclear plants, it is necessary to invest huge amounts of money on improvements.
Instead, the government should seriously consider decommissioning the plants early, especially since some cracks have appeared in the core shields of all four nuclear reactors at Taiwan’s first and second nuclear plants. These have yet to be replaced due to the cost constraints and the situation in Taiwan is even more pressing than in Germany.
Tsai Ya-ying is a lawyer.
Translated by Eddy Chang