Thu, Mar 28, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Nuclear plants and shoddy work

By Han Pao-teh 漢寶德

Today, some underdeveloped countries are trying hard to catch up with the advanced countries because their people also have a strong will to better themselves, and this is reflected in their attitude toward industrial production.

After several decades of development, Taiwan is gradually transforming into a developed country. As “MIT” (“Made in Taiwan”) becomes a symbol for high-quality products, Taiwanese are proud of the achievement, but have we gotten rid of our careless and superficial work attitude? Can we complete our work seriously without strict supervision? I doubt it. Maybe this is why Taiwan has lagged behind South Korea among the four Asian Tigers over the past 10 years.

Since the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is a project involving high technology, outsiders can only speculate about the quality of its operations. Nevertheless, we all witnessed the civil engineering flaws in the construction, so it is easy for us to make judgements.

China may surpass Taiwan soon if we cannot change our national characteristic of not paying sufficient attention to the quality of our work.

I bought some clothes made in China some years ago. Despite their glamorous appearance, many flaws soon appeared. However, in recent years, the quality of clothing made in China has clearly improved. The quality of industrial products is actually a cultural phenomenon that involves the public’s character.

Masking an inferior product with an attractive veneer is a kind of fraud. In Taiwan, strange objects have often been found in cracked concrete pillars after earthquakes, and this is why we have no confidence in the safety of the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

Han Pao-teh is director of the Museum of World Religions.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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