The National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform yesterday called on Japan to refrain from dumping contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant into the ocean, warning it that it might cause up to 40 years of environmental consequences.
The group held a protest in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei, prompting the ministry to promise to relay a message to Japan through the nation’s representative office in Tokyo.
The groups first placed a large sheet featuring cutouts of marine creatures on the ground and later added radioactive warning symbols to the sheet, representing the impact of the water from the wrecked plant on the ecosystem.
After Tokyo in May began soliciting ideas on how to dispose of the contaminated water, civil organizations in Taiwan jointly sent a letter to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry urging it not dump it into the ocean, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.
However, Japanese media last month reported that Tokyo is planning on releasing the plant’s “treated” wastewater into the ocean, Tsuei said.
Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅), an attorney with the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, said that many migrating fish species that are important to the ecosystem travel along the Kuroshio Current that runs along the east coasts of Taiwan and Japan.
The water would contaminate their habitat, affecting the fishing industry and health of consumers, and racking up costs related to radiation detection, Tsai said, citing data from the Atomic Energy Council.
Japan should continue treating the wastewater on land, she added.
Tsai also called nuclear power operators selfish for not hesitating to pollute the oceans to save relatively little money, adding that the government is biased in their favor.
The supposedly cheap cost of nuclear power is an illusion, as the health and safety costs are passed onto others, she added.
As nuclear particles are carried by currents around the globe, the contamination might affect marine ecosystems intermittently for 30 or 40 years, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan deputy executive director Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳) said.
Ever since the plant was affected by an earthquake and a tsunami in 2011, Tokyo Electric Power has been continuously filling tanks with water used to cool damaged reactor cores, he said.
“The Fukushima nuclear disaster has not yet been solved,” but keeps on polluting, Tsai Chung-yueh said.
Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Deputy Secretary-General Hsieh Bor-huei (謝柏輝) received the complaint, saying that the ministry takes the matter very seriously.
Since the issue involves matters of environmental protection, and public health and safety, the ministry has many times expressed its concern to the Japanese government, he said.
Not only Taiwan and the international community, but also the Japanese public do not agree with the plan, Hsieh added.
Tokyo is still carefully considering its options before making a final decision, Hsieh said, adding that the ministry would relay the group’s message and urge the government to abide by the principle of transparency while evaluating its options.
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
A student at a Taichung high school who committed suicide in February last year was bullied by school officials, the school said on Saturday, reversing its previous findings after the student’s father asked that the case be reinvestigated. In a statement, Feng Yuan Senior High School said its latest investigation found that four staff members — the director of student affairs, the chief military instructor and two safety instructors — bullied the student, who killed himself on Feb. 18 last year. That contradicted its previous conclusions that the staff’s actions had not amounted to bullying. The student’s father said his son was subjected