Saying that the compensation for damage caused by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan was way beyond what Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) or the Japanese government could afford, a Japan-based Taiwanese writer yesterday urged Taiwan to abandon all nuclear power.
Writer Liu Li-erh (劉黎兒), who has lived in Tokyo for 30 years, made the appeal at a press conference held at the legislature in the company of Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇).
Tien said that, according to a Sept. 30 report in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, the Japanese government has asked TEPCO to pay out ￥4.54 trillion (US$58.4 billion) in compensation to the 150,000 residents living within 20km of the plant who were forced to evacuate within two years.
Having recently published a book against nuclear power, Liu said the president of TEPCO had remarked that nuclear power was actually a very expensive power source when compensation fees are calculated, and that a professor from the University of Tokyo has even estimated that it would cost up to ￥800 trillion, amounting to approximately 10 years of the national budget, if the soil and road surface of radiation-affected areas are to be cleaned up.
The damage is so much that the Japanese government would go well beyond bankruptcy, Liu said.
Noting that even Tokyo, which is more than 200km away from Fukushima Dai-ichi, was affected by the radiation, Liu expressed concern that there are about 6 million people living within 50km of the Jinshan and Guosheng nuclear power plants in New Taipei City (新北市), who would have nowhere to evacuate if an accident occurred.
Liu added that the disposal of used fuel rods is also an unsolvable problem for many countries. With 59,000 used rods in Japan and 15,000 in Taiwan, the governments could only continue to search for places to store them, but the amount of radiation from the used rods in Taiwan amount to the radioactive dust produced by about 230,000 atomic bombs, she said.
She said many people thought it was a waste of money to have spent NT$320 billion (US$10.6 billion) to construct the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City, and not allow it to operate, but it would actually cost twice that amount to retire the plant after it begins operations.
“There is no safety as long as nuclear power exists,” she said, urging the government to put a stop to nuclear power to avoid possible irreparable destruction.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said he does not foresee a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan in the next decade, although it is “perfectly possible” that China could seek to weaken the island’s status. “I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see,” Kissinger said yesterday in an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. Kissinger, 98, who also served as national security adviser and helped pave the way for then-US president Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, said that “everyone wants to be a China hawk” and
Taiwanese actress Big S, also known as Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛), and Chinese restaurateur Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲) officially announced their divorce yesterday, stating the decision was cordial and that they would be raising their two children together. The statement came by proxy through the couple’s legal counsel, filed by both Wang and Hsu. Hsu and Wang thanked fans for their love and support, with the couple saying that fate had blessed them with a time of happiness, and that they were grateful for their time together. They said that while they walked hand-in-hand as husband and wife, they would continue a cordial relationship as
UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS: Tortuous and possibly criminal penalties doled out by nine officers to a napping cadet have sparked calls for standardized discipline rules Defense experts called on the Ministry of Defense to create a standard code for maintaining discipline, after local media on Saturday reported that nine officers were reprimanded for administering inappropriate punishments to a conscript in Kinmen. Earlier last week, a boot camp recruit surnamed Chung (鍾) was stripped of his shirt and had icepacks placed against his armpits and crotch as a punishment for napping during physical training, the Kinmen Defense Command confirmed on Saturday. The command cadre of the battalion, including the battalion commander, the political warfare officer and the sergeant who ordered the drill have been transferred and could face
CCP IDEOLOGY: MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng said the CCP’s consolidation around one leader would shrink the space for economic and private endeavors Beijing plans to intensify its unification campaign, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official said yesterday in an assessment of statements by Chinese leaders, while stressing the importance of consensus among Taiwanese. At a conference on Chinese development and security prospects in the Taiwan Strait, MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) noted key developments in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rhetoric. Much attention has been given to the sixth plenum of the CCP Central Committee, which on Nov. 11 issued the party’s third-ever “historical resolution,” paving the way for Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to retain power through next year’s leadership reshuffle, Chiu said. According