In a bid to find a final depository for low-grade radioactive waste, the Executive Yuan yesterday approved a draft bill allowing the Cabinet to finalize a storage site within 63 months after the law takes effect.
The draft will proceed to the Legislative Yuan for further review and final approval.
Addressing the weekly closed-door Cabinet affairs meeting, Cabinet Spokesman Chuang Suo-hang (莊碩漢) said the long-standing problem of the storage of nuclear waste is a government priority.
"It's such a highly sensitive public issue that the government is obliged to help find the final storage location of low-grade radioactive waste to ensure the sustainable development of the country and to achieve the ultimate goal of a nuclear-free home," Chuang said.
Under the draft, the Ministry of Economic Affairs would establish a committee in charge of finding potential locations for the site three months after the law takes effect.
The committee will consist of government officials, academics and experts with the number of government officials not exceeding half of the total number.
Within six months of the committee's establishment, it should present a proposal to the economic ministry regarding potential storage sites.
Within 15 days of receiving the proposal, the economic ministry should make public the proposal in government bulletins or the media for 30 days, the bill says.
The economic ministry and the Cabinet's Atomic Energy Council should integrate the opinions voiced by the public regarding the proposal and make necessary revisions before promulgating it in two months' time.
Six months after the revised proposal is declared, the committee should reveal to the public potential sites with the committee recommending a selection of sites to the economic ministry after another six month period.
The economic ministry should then hold public hearings within 15 days whilst soliciting public opinions for 30 days.
In the final stage of deliberation, the economic ministry should consult with the atomic energy council regarding the final choice of the storage site within two months.
Once the final storage site is picked, the ministry and the council will either choose or designate a managing unit of the site.