Following the first anniversary of the Tokaimura nuclear accident in Japan on Sept. 30, Japanese anti-nuclear activists accompanied by Taiwanese legislators highlighted the dangers of nuclear plants yesterday in Taipei by releasing updated information on the accident.
Speaking through a translator Theodore Kay (
"The Japanese people were told that the probability of such an accident was pretty low, but it still happened," said Ban, adding that it had caused two deaths in the past year and left 310,000 residents within 10km of the reprocessing plant living with nuclear fallout.
Ban said that the residents had organized an association to seek compensation from the Japanese government by following a precedent set in the aftermath of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.
New Party legislator Josephine Chu (
KMT legislator Jao Yung-ching (
Since this type of reactor has already been the source of problems in Japan, Jao argued, Premier Tang should consider alternatives, including renewable sources of energy, such as solar energy and wind power.
In the book published by the CNIC, Criticality Accident at Tokaimura: 1mg of uranium that shattered Japan's nuclear myth, CNIC activists reveal the hidden dangers of nuclear plants, which they claim are seldom addressed by government agencies and suppliers of nuclear power.
"Criticality," according to the report, occurs when "a nuclear chain reaction becomes self-sustaining."
The accident at the reprocessing plant operated by the JCO Co in central Japan on Sept. 30, 1999, is now regarded as Japan's worst nuclear accident and the world's worst since Chernobyl in 1986.
"The potential dangers could be far more serious because about three million times the amount of uranium that caused last year's accident is still being processed at the plant," said Ban.
Ban also said that he was "astonished" by what he observed at nuclear power plants in Taiwan because "safety was simply ignored."
"At the Second Nuclear Power Plant (
Ban said that nuclear waste could be very dangerous and that a serious fire occurred at Tokaimura in 1997 when workers mixed nuclear waste with asphalt.
Pan Han-chiang (
"The nuclear industry in Japan could be revived by this purchase. Further exports will increase nuclear risks in other countries," said Pan.
Pan said that Japanese activists had expressed their concern over exports by their nuclear industry because they could "become the source of another atrocity similar to those committed by the Japanese during World War II."
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