Fri, Jan 10, 2003 - Page 4 News List

No decision on storage site for nuclear waste

OFFERS WELCOME Communities which would like to host the site should tell Taipower, the company's chairman said

CNA , TAIPEI

Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) Chairman Lin Neng-pai (林能白) said yesterday that Taipower has yet to decide where to build a permanent nuclear waste storage site, but will consider the places that welcome Taipower to store its nuclear waste.

Lin made the remarks when he was reporting on Taipower's operation plan and its budget for the new year at the Economics and Energy Committee in the legislature.

Legislator Chiou Chuei-chen (邱垂貞) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party as well as his colleagues from the opposition parties expressed concern about the nuclear waste storage site and the relocation of nuclear waste from Lanyu, located some 42 kilometers off Taiwan's southeast coast.

At present, 97,672 barrels of low-grade radioactive waste from Taipower's three nuclear power plants are stored on Lanyu.

The Tao aborigines on Lanyu demanded that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) honor his campaign promise to relocate the waste during his presidency, which will end May 20, 2004. In recent years, the Tao have staged many large demonstrations to push for early removal of the waste.

The Tao are opposed to any extension of the lease contract, which was signed between Taipower and the Tao association in 1982 and will expire at the end of this year.

Chiou asked about the new storage sites, citing reports that Taipower is eying Tungchiyu on the outlying island of Penghu and Pengchiayu of Keelung.

"We have yet to decide on a permanent site, " said Lin, adding that he did not know where the reports had received their information.

Legislator Lee Ya-chin (李雅景) of the opposition KMT said that Tapu township of his constituency in Chiayi County welcomes Taipower to build a permanent storage site as long as the government compensates the township residents.

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