The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Japan has to take back radiation-contaminated containers sent to Taiwan

flag-TaiwanTaiwan returns radiation-contaminated containers to Japan Global Post 28 Aug 13 Fifteen radiation-contaminated containers from Japan have been sent back since Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March 2011, Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council told Kyodo News on Wednesday.

The council said once a container is detected contaminated with radiation at Kaohsiung port, the importer is given a choice to either clean the container if it wishes to see the container enter Taiwan or not clean the container, which will then be sent back to where it came.

The Liberty Times reported in its Wednesday issue that Kaohsiung Customs has detected 226 containers contaminated with radiation coming from or routed through Japan since March 2011.

Kaohsiung Customs are the island’s only seaport equipped with radiation detection monitors that screen more than 95 percent of all container traffic……

August 29, 2013 Posted by | incidents, Japan, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan government subverts Internet Search Results to favour nuclear energy

exclamation-flag-TaiwanTaiwanese Government Alters Search Results to Favor Nuclear Energy Policy Global Voices Advocacy,  by Oiwan Lam   14 August 2013 For several months, activists in Taiwan fighting to prevent the launch of operations at a nuclear plant they argue would be hazardous for public health and the natural environment. Alongside mobilizing public support and lobbying government officials, they are now facing a new challenge: search engine censorship. Over the last few days, searches run on Yahoo! Kimo for the names of various anti-nuclear activists have yielded links to Nuclear Safety, Taiwan Energy [zh], a website run by the Bureau of Energy and Ministry of Economic Affairs, as their top result.

text-nuclear-uranium-liesYesterday, the Ministry of Economic Affairs admitted to Taiwan Apple Daily [zh] that the government had spent 100,000 Taiwanese Yuan (equivalent to USD3500) to alter the search results for 92 keywords on Google and Yahoo! Kimo, the country’s most popular search engine. Among the 92 keywords, 63 are related to nuclear energy and 29 are the names of individuals, many of whom are anti-nuclear activists.

The website Nuclear Safety, Taiwan Energy presents scientific evidence aimed at convincing the public that nuclear energy is safe and the island’s fourth nuclear plant meets international safety standards………… Continue reading

August 16, 2013 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Fight looming in Taiwan over referendum on nuclear power

Showdown looms in legislature over nuclear plant vote, Focus Taiwan  2013/08/01 Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) Leaders of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) caucus in the Legislative Yuan vowed Thursday to push for a vote on holding a referendum to decide the fate of Taiwan’s fourth nuclear power plant, as opposition lawmakers prepared to block the procedure.

Lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) started to occupy the legislative floor in the early evening, bringing sleeping bags and preparing to spend the night in the chamber.

DPP caucus whip Wu Ping-jui said his caucus made a decision to enter the floor early in order to occupy the podium overnight. Wu said his colleagues will not “give an inch” if a motion is called Friday, as announced by the KMT majority…………

Critics of the proposed referendum have said that the high threshold for a vote to be carried means the government will have its way, which is to continue with the project in New Taipei City.

Meanwhile, as a showdown loomed in the Legislature, activists stepped up their anti-nuclear protests around Taipei Thursday……

Tsui Su-hsin, secretary-general of the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, which organized the protest, said the construction of the fourth nuclear plant is laden with problems and the government should stop its construction to prevent bigger risks in the future………….
Earlier that day, Greenpeace released a research report that said areas of northern Taiwan in the vicinity of the nuclear plant would suffer a potential economic loss of NT$33.92 trillion (US$1.13 trillion) per year if a nuclear disaster were to occur.

It mentioned the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan as an example, saying that compensation for the 2011 disaster has so far reached 2.64 trillion yen (US$26.77 billion). The nationalization of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. means that taxpayers have to cover the losses, it added.

Taipower, on the other hand, would not be able to cover such losses, the groups said………..

August 2, 2013 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan nuclear reactor in danger during typhoon

flag-Taiwanexclamation-Kyodo: Worker panicking while trying “to keep water level up” in reactor during typhoon — Seawater reportedly overran cooling water intake #Taiwan

Kyodo News,, July 16, 2013: Human error causes Taiwan’s nuclear plant shutdown [...] Chai Fu-feng, a spokesman of Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), told Kyodo News that the Unit 2 reactor of the Chinshan nuclear power station in New Taipei City was automatically shut down when instruments detected too much water in the reactor pressure vessel. [...] a plant worker switched off a draining valve to control the heat in the reactor [...] Panicking, he added water to the reactor to keep the water level up, but he added too much water too fast, which eventually caused the reactor to automatically scram, he said. [...]

World Nuclear News,, July 16, 2013: [...] winds above 117 kilometres per hour threatened transmission systems. [...] the height of the storm saw damage to Chinshan 2′s main transformer, which triggered an automatic shutdown. A few hours later seawater overran the cooling water intake bringing in plant debris that clogged the debris screen. Later inspection confirmed lightning damage to the main transformer, as well as storm damage to the switchyard insulator and 350 kV overhead lines. [...]

See also: Report: Why did neutrons levels get so high at nuclear reactor at time of typhoon? Did plant suffer a loss of ultimate heat sink, like Fukushima Daiichi? Was there adequate cooling? #Jinshan #Taiwan

July 18, 2013 Posted by | safety, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan nuclear reactor shut down by typhoon

flag-TaiwanTyphoon Soulik causes nuclear reactor shutdown By John Liu, The China Post July 15, 2013, TAIPEI, Taiwan — Typhoon Soulik’s strong winds caused one of the reactors at Taiwan’s First Nuclear Power Plant to automatically shut down as part of precautionary measures twice on Saturday. At 2:50 a.m. on July 13, strong winds knocked out systems designed to reduce the likelihood of direct lighting strikes on the facility at the plant’s number two reactor unit, resulting in an automatic shutdown. While repairs were carried out on the system, the reading for the number of neutrons became exceedingly high, once again leading to an emergency shutdown as part of protection measures.

Taiwan Power Co. (台電) nuclear energy spokesman Tsai Fu-feng (蔡豐富) said both shutdowns are part of protection measures and “there are no safety concerns.” Tsai said however that there is room for improvement in the handling of the power plant………

The typhoon also led to a significant amount of detritus blocking the water inlet. The company will not only need to acquire approval from the AEC but also fix the blockage before the power plant resumes normal function……

The AEC said similar incidents have happened at the country’s nuclear power plants, and is still waiting on Taipower’s report for a detailed explanation of the cause and description of the accompanying procedures for handling the accident……

July 15, 2013 Posted by | safety, Taiwan | Leave a comment

VIDEO: Taiwanese protest against unfair nuclear referendum

see-this.wayflag-TaiwanVIDEO: Hundreds rally against Taiwan nuclear referendum 27, 2013,  TAIPEI (AFP) - Hundreds of Taiwanese protested in the capital Taipei on Sunday over government plans to hold what they call an unfair referendum on the fate of a nearly-completed nuclear power plant.

Chanting slogans like “Stop dangerous nuclear power”, the protestors stood together in front of parliament to spell out the word “STOP” and held up black and yellow signs.

The demonstration came a few days before the ruling Kuomintang party plans to push through a bill to host a nationwide referendum that will decide whether the the island’s fourth nuclear plant should be completed.

A “No” vote would only be accepted if turnout reaches 50 percent of the island’s 18 million people, rather than a poll based on a simple majority.

“Such a design is unfair,” Liu Hui-min, a spokeswoman for the protest, told AFP.

“Since so many people have voiced against the risky power plant, the government should scrap the project instead,” referring to several public surveys which indicated around 70 percent of respondents opposed the plant.

Concerns about the island’s nuclear power plants have been mounting since the March 2011 Fukushima crisis in Japan……

May 27, 2013 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Protest in Taiwan against slanted referendum question

Nuclear referendum question protested, Taipei Tmes By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter, 19 Apr 13, Members of the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance demand that the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District, New Taipei City be discontinued without a referendum, outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. Continue reading

April 20, 2013 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Influence of USA on Taiwan govt’s nuclear power policy

flag-TaiwanNSC denies US role in nuclear energy policy, Taipei Times By Mo Yan-chih 27 Mar 13 

The National Security Council (NSC) yesterday denied that it had discussed the recent dispute over the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) with the US, saying that nuclear power issues would not affect US-Taiwan relations.

“The government never discussed nuclear power plant issues with the US and did not receive any response from the US on the matter,” it said in a press release.

Amid mounting opposition to the power plant’s completion, the Chinese-language China Times yesterday said that while Taiwan imports most of its uranium from Australia, the uranium is sent to the US to be refined into fuel for the generation of nuclear power. The Taiwanese government pays billions to the US government every year for uranium refinement and for consultations about the power plant.

Citing anonymous sources from the council, the report said that the fuel refinement business with the US plays a role in the Taiwanese government’s nuclear power policy, such as its insistence on only gradually reducing the use of nuclear energy, or aversion to abruptly suspending construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, because a policy change could jeopardize bilateral relations…….

March 29, 2013 Posted by | politics international, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s Economics Committee votes to suspend nuclear plant construction

flag-TaiwanMotions passed to cease nuclear plant construction Taipei Times, By Helen Ku, Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters 21 March 13, Motions demanding that state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台灣電力公司) suspend construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) and rejecting the company’s budget proposal for the year were passed yesterday by the legislature’s Economics Committee.

The motions, initiated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, shot down Taipower’s plan to spend NT$11.7 billion (US$392.99 million) on the plant this year, including NT$10.7 billion of construction work that has already been outsourced. Continue reading

March 22, 2013 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party launching anti nuclear campaign

ballot-boxSmDPP to launch ‘rational’ anti-nuclear campaign Focus Taiwan, By flag-TaiwanLee Shu-hua and Ann Chen, Taipei, March 3 (CNA) The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Sunday that it will launch a “rational” anti-nuclear campaign after the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) accepted the idea of holding a referendum on the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project. Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan government downgrades nuclear safety regulator

flag-TaiwanCabinet demotes nuclear safety body Taipei Times, 21 Feb 13, SAFE?With the ministerial-level Atomic Energy Council set to be disbanded, the new nuclear safety regulator will be a third-level agency under the Executive Yuan

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporterDespite mounting public concern, the Cabinet yesterday declared that the agency overseeing nuclear safety would be downgraded from a ministerial-level council as part of an ongoing government restructuring plan.

The Cabinet yesterday approved the draft organic law of the nuclear safety regulatory authority, in which the current regulator, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC), would be disbanded and replaced by a third-level independent agency subordinate to the Executive Yuan. Part of the AEC’s functions will also be transferred to two ministries in charge of economic affairs and energy and technology, as part of the government’s efforts to streamline its agencies.

As a third-level agency subordinate to the Executive Yuan, the nuclear safety regulator would have the same rank as an institution like the Aviation Security Council, according to the Cabinet’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission.

Lawmakers, anti-nuclear activists and even some AEC officials have said that the downgrade would make it more difficult for officials in charge of nuclear safety regulation to coordinate with ministerial-level bodies to ensure nuclear safety…….

February 22, 2013 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwanese lead the way in cultural opposition to the nuclear industry

flag-TaiwanDirectors seek to boost anti-nuclear bid CREATIVE PROTESTS:The directors called on artistic heavyweights to join their anti-nuclear bid, and said that art rather than rhetoric could best serve the cause By Tang Chia-ling and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer In a move to strengthen their anti-nuclear efforts, film directors Ko I-chen (柯一正) and Wu Yi-feng (吳乙峰) are considering inviting well-known people from the artistic and entertainment industries to endorse their petition against the construction of the nation’s controversy-plagued Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市).

In a statement jointly authored by Ko and Wu, which they said would be published on their Facebook pages in the near future, the pair called on heavyweights from the artistic and cultural sectors to weigh in on their anti-nuclear bid.

“We will spare no effort in inviting Taiwanese ‘living national treasures’ to join our cause, such as globally acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) and Cloud Gate founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民),” Ko said.

The statement also urged the government to scrap a budget proposal to invest several billion NT dollars more in the contentious plant, “for the sake of offering peace of mind to the many parents in the country and their offspring.” Continue reading

January 19, 2013 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s anti nuclear groups organise for a nuclear free country

Taiwan’s Nuclear-free New Year’s Wish, Global Voices,  by I-fan Lin  6 January 2013  Every year, Taiwanese gather around Taipei 101, the tallest building in Taiwan to see fireworks and celebrate the coming of the new year.

This year, the celebration was very special as popular singers, environmental and youth activists worked together to present a nuclear-free homeland as Taiwanese people’s common wish [zh] for 2013. Singers performed in new year’s eve parties and sang anti-nuclear songs. Environment groups organized a joint signature campaign to build consensus among Taiwanese for a nuclear-free policy.

The most eye-catching action was delivered by a number of youth activists under the Citizens No Nuke [zh, en, jp, de] network, who projected an anti-nuclear sign on Taipei 101 during the annual fireworks. They uploaded their action to Youtube afterwards.   …..     Is Taiwan ready to become a nuclear-free country? On Jan 9, 2013, the Legislative Yuan will start to examine the draft law on the promotion of a nuclear-free homeland [zh], which was proposed in 2005. If this draft law is passed, the three nuclear power plants will cease to operate once their service lives have expired and the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant will be stopped.

Currently, the residents affected by the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant are pressing for a referendum [zh] to stop its construction in 2013.

January 7, 2013 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

High radiation levels on orchid island, Taiwan

Japanese professors detect high radiation on island in Taiwan Japan Times, Kyodo TAIPEI, 20 Nov 12,  — Two Japanese scholars say they have detected high levels of radiation on Orchid Island, a temporary underground storage site of low-level radioactive nuclear waste off Taiwan’s southeastern coast.TAIPEI — Continue reading

November 22, 2012 Posted by | environment, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Call for INDEPENDENT radiation monitoring in Lanyu (Orchid Island)

Thirty years after the storage facility was built without prior consultation and communication with Lanyu residents, the government has yet to conduct a complete investigation of nuclear radiation on the island

The council was accused of malpractice concerning nuclear waste repackaging in Lanyu last month.

Groups urge Lanyu radioactivity checks, Taipei Times, 20 Nov 12, DODGY TESTS:The Atomic Energy Council said that the devices used in previous radioactivity checks by Japanese experts had been affected by electromagnetic waves By Chris Wang and Lee I-chia   Staff reporters Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers and several academics yesterday told a press conference that the nuclear radiation level in Lanyu (蘭嶼), also known as Orchid Island, was a serious concern and demanded a complete investigation into potential radiation threats on the island. Continue reading

November 21, 2012 Posted by | environment, Taiwan | Leave a comment


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