Sat, Mar 09, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Nuclear disaster waiting to happen

By Adam Chimienti

As in the case of Long Island, the Atomic Energy Council knows that it cannot successfully stage an evacuation of the Taipei metro area, so why is a 17 percent amount of the power supply worth such a risk?

This failure to guarantee safety is salient when innovation, conservation and renewable energy sources could easily become the deciding factor for Taiwan as they are in Germany’s ongoing nuclear phase-out, and Japan’s successful weathering of two months without nuclear power last year.

Instead of continually looking at costs that would result from a breach of contract at the Longmen (龍門) plant the nation’s leaders should consider the potential costs that would result from what some experts think could be an inevitable catastrophe.

Long Island’s activists have been eager to share their successful strategies with other states trying to close down dangerous nuclear plants. Perhaps Taiwan’s activists can learn from them. Maybe those lessons could hold the key for a nuclear-free Taiwan.

The undeniable powers of logic, justice and hope are squarely on the side of the antinuclear movement in Taiwan and the rest of the world. On this upcoming anniversary of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster and with a fateful referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) likely, now is the time for Taiwanese to win a victory that will become a reference point for other movements around the world.

Adam Chimienti is a doctoral candidate at National Sun Yat-sen University’s Institute of China Asia Pacific Studies.

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