Tokyo-based writer Liu Li-erh (劉黎兒) yesterday warned fellow Taiwanese about the perils of nuclear power by describing them as “sleeping on top of 230,000 nuclear bombs.”
Liu, who has lived in Tokyo for more than 30 years, made the remarks in a speech about nuclear power safety at an event organized by the Eball Foundation, which is headed by Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).
Liu said that her calculation was based on the size of the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by the US near the end of World War II.
“A nuclear reactor produces on a daily basis radioactive materials equivalent to three to four times the amount contained in the Hiroshima atomic bomb,” she said.
“Taiwan has six operating nuclear reactors. So every day that nuclear power is generated, Taiwan produces nuclear waste materials equivalent to 20 times the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima,” Liu added.
In the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, which led to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster, Liu has became an outspoken critic against nuclear energy and has published three books advocating that Taiwan should stop using nuclear power.
Liu said that the international community has raised several warnings about the safety of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) since the Fukushima disaster.
She added that more than 220,000 people took part in anti-nuclear demonstrations held across Taiwan on March 9 this year.
“This shows that people do not want Taiwan to become the next Fukushima,” she said.
“Nuclear power safety concerns all people in Taiwan. We must learn from the lessons of the Fukushima disaster,” she added. “If nuclear power is not stopped, I fear that our next generation may not have a future.”
Construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant started in 1999 and the facility was scheduled to become operational in 2015. Construction is about 90 percent completed and has become the subject of an intense political struggle, because opposition groups have demanded that it be stopped and that nuclear power be abandoned.
Additional reporting by CNA