Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday presided over a nuclear crisis drill at the Neihu Refuse Incineration Plant amid promises to seek closer cooperation with adjacent New Taipei City (新北市), where two nuclear power plants are located and a third is being construced.
The drill came six days after New Taipei City held a similar drill. Hau denied that Taipei had fallen behind its neighbor in organizing the drill, adding that the city would work with New Taipei City and the central government next month when a comprehensive drill is held.
“Taipei would be on standby during a nuclear crisis, and we held the drill today to test our capabilities as a support member in a [nuclear] crisis,” he said.
The drill yesterday simulated a crisis at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli District (萬里), New Taipei City. The Taipei City Government set up radiation detection stations along major highways and at railway stations and MRT stations, and sent out firefighters and police to help evacuate local residents while assisting people who were wounded.
The New Taipei City Government, the Atomic Energy Council and the Ministry of National Defense also sent officials and staff to participate in the drill.
According to Taipei City’s -Department of Environmental -Protection, which coordinated the drill, in Neihu District (內湖) alone, the city could provide 116 places to serve as refugee centers for over 32,000 people if a nuclear crisis occurred.
Hau said the drill was aimed at finding flaws and correcting mistakes immediately. The city government will establish a cooperation mechanism with New Taipei City, the Atomic Energy Council and Taiwan Power Co to monitor -radioactivity levels and exchange information effectively.
Taiwan has two operating nuclear power plants in New Taipei City’s Wanli and Shihmen (石門) districts, and another planned within 30km of Taipei City in Gongliao District (貢寮). There is also a nuclear power plant in Pingtung County in the south.
Hau said the city would hold two large-scale drills on May 5 and May 6 to test the city’s readiness for natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis.