Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) yesterday described the government’s emergency procedures at the Hengchun Nuclear Power Plant in the south as “very sloppy, like child’s play.”
Pan made the remark at a press conference held along with several residents of Hengchun Township (恆春), Pingtung County, where the nuclear power plant is located.
Chang Ching-pin (張清彬), a Hengchun resident, said there are no broadcast systems in neighborhoods close to the plant, “so if any nuclear incidents take place, the plant is unable to inform nearby residents in good time.”
Chang added that while the emergency drills are conducted every two years, they have been very sloppy.
The latest was held in September last year, Chang said. The plant chose 120 residents who lived nearby and gave each of them NT$1,000 for taking part in the two-day drill.
“However, it was not really a proper drill. All the volunteers followed a schedule like actors in a movie,” Chang said.
Pan said there are 60,000 residents in Hengchun and about 6 million people visit neighboring Kenting (墾丁) each year. While the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) has designated Pingtung County Route 155 as the evacuation route in the event of an emergency, “the condition of the road between the nuclear power plant and Lung-chuan-li (龍泉里) is very bad and even though the AEC has promised to improve the road, the project keeps being delayed.”
It would be impossible for the government to evacuate people smoothly if a nuclear incident occurred now, Pan said, urging the government to immediately set up a broadcast system and fix the road.
In response, Atomic Energy Council Minister Tsai Chuen-horng (蔡春鴻) said the council would listen to the advice and improve emergency procedures at the plant.
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