Two environmental groups issued online statements over the weekend to mark the 34th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on Sunday and call for the abolition of nuclear power in Taiwan.
The government should bolster safety mechanisms at the nation’s nuclear power plants, safely handle nuclear waste and educate the public on the risks of nuclear energy ahead of a referendum next year on whether to resume work on the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, which was caused by an explosion at the plant’s No. 4 reactor during maintenance, resulted in several thousand deaths, and the area around the plant would remain uninhabitable long into the future, it said.
The anniversary of the 1986 disaster should highlight the dangers of using nuclear power, it added.
Taiwan’s three operating nuclear power plants have been in operation for nearly 40 years, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
“Can the plants still safely operate, or should they be decommissioned? Policies on the plants are a major compromise between power needs and hopes for decommissioning,” it said.
Some people are concerned that the plants could be contaminating the air or the water supply, it added.
Radioactive waste from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan has still not been completely cleaned up, showing that coping with nuclear disasters is beyond human capability, the union said.
The dangers of nuclear power — as evidenced by the atomic bombs used in World War II, and the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters — should not be overlooked in favor of the economy’s demand for power, it said.
The government should focus its efforts on energy transformation and push for the development of renewable energy, it added.
There is a pressing need to combat climate change, but nuclear power is not a viable alternative, the union said.
“There is a cheaper, faster and safer option to reduce carbon emissions, and that is for the government to put all of its effort into energy efficiency and the development of sustainable energy,” it said.
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
CONTROVERSY: NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang said an outcry over overseas Taiwanese not paying premiums, but having coverage, is pushing rule amendments Rules changes are being considered that would force Taiwanese who permanently live abroad to pay National Health Insurance (NHI) premiums for the period they were overseas before they can re-enroll in the system, National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Director-General Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) yesterday said. The case of a married Taiwanese couple who lived in the US for about 30 years, but returned to Taiwan in April and tested positive for COVID-19 has again sparked public debate over why Taiwanese living abroad are allowed to use NHI resources, — although the couple’s expenses were not covered by the NHI. An often cited example
AN EXAMPLE: After attending a memorial service for Lee Teng-hui, Mori said the former president’s career reflected the importance of peace and democracy Using military force to resolve conflict is no longer workable in this new era, which requires peaceful discussion, former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori said yesterday before leaving Taipei. Mori made the remarks at a news conference in front of the EVA Sky Jet Center at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), after leading a delegation to attend the official memorial service for former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水). This was Mori’s second trip to mourn Lee; his last was on Aug. 9. Although he walked with a crutch, Mori, 83, chose to stand right in front of