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.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by