Nuclear generator may be retired early: Taipower CNA April 13, 2015 TAIPEI--The state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower, 台電) warned Sunday that the No. 1 generator at the country’s first nuclear power plant may have to go offline sooner than expected because of limited storage space for spent nuclear fuel. On Feb. 17, Taipower issued an invitation for foreign companies to tender for the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from Taiwan’s first and second nuclear power plants but withdrew the request on April 2 amid a budget controversy.
Taipower had allocated NT$11.257 billion (US$360 million) for the overseas reprocessing of 1,200 clusters of spent fuel rods, 300 of which were to be shipped out by the end of the year.
But lawmakers failed to approve the budget in March, saying that Taipower and the Ministry of Economic Affairs were trying to initiate a bidding process with foreign companies without legislative oversight and were accessing the nation’s nuclear back-end management fund before the establishment of legal guidelines for its use……..
Taipower said that if the fuel storage problem is not resolved in time, the No. 1 generator would have to go offline in mid-2016, ahead of the decommissioning of the first nuclear power plant in New Taipei City, which is scheduled to begin in 2018 and be completed by 2023.
The generator, in fact, has been down since last December due to a component failure, and the Atomic Energy Council has not yet given approval for it to be put back online……..
Several civic groups, including Mom Loves Taiwan and Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, have lodged strong protests against Taipower’s proposed reprocessing of nuclear fuel.
The groups have said is “absurd” to consider sending fuel rods overseas for reprocessing since Taiwan should be phasing out nuclear power.http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2015/04/13/433515/Nuclear-generator.htm
45,000 people join anti-nuclear rallies in Taiwan, Straits Times, MAR 14, 2015 TAIPEI (AFP) – Thousands of people took to the streets in Taiwan on Saturday to call for the island to scrap its use of nuclear energy and to voice opposition to controversial plans to ship nuclear waste abroad, organisers said.
Protesters in central Taipei waved placards and dressed in T-shirts emblazoned with slogans including “Goodbye to nuclear energy” and “We don’t need nuclear power”, just days after Japan marked the fourth anniversary of an undersea earthquake which triggered a massive tsunami and nuclear disaster.
Taiwan’s government has faced growing public pressure over its unpopular nuclear energy facilities……….
We urge the government to reform its energy policy and focus on green energy and saving energy,” said one of the rally’s organisers Tsui Shu-hsin.
“Politicians should listen to the voices of the people… so Taiwan can become nuclear-free.” The government says that Taiwan will run out of energy if it ditches nuclear power, which currently supplies about 20 per cent of the island’s electricity.
The Taipei rally drew around 30,000 people, while two other rallies held simultaneously across the island had a combined turnout of 15,000, according to estimates by organisers. Police estimates were not immediately available.
Organisers were also collecting signatures in a bid to stop a plan by the state-run Taiwan Power Co to process its nuclear waste abroad, which they said was aimed at extending the operations of two plants which are approaching capacity.
The plants, which currently store the spent fuel rods, were launched in 1978 and 1981 and will each be decommissioned once they have been operational for 40 years.
“Taiwan is earthquake-prone like Japan and it is smaller so nuclear facilities are much closer to our homes,” said Wu Bor-chyun, a banker who was living in Japan at the time of the 2011 nuclear accident.
“Nuclear power is not safe and it is very costly. Taiwan should heed the lessons in Japan.”http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/45000-people-join-anti-nuclear-rallies-taiwan-20150314#sthash.Y0GCWbnB.dpuf
Questions raised over nuclear waste management, Taipei Times By Tang Chia-ling / Staff reporter 9 Mar 15 The Atomic Energy Council (AEC) has detected greater-than-class-C (GTCC) nuclear waste at the nuclear-waste storage facility on Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) in Taitung County, despite the facility being designed for only low-radioactive materials, raising questions over the management of nuclear waste.
The council originally ordered Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) to introduce new rules on nuclear-waste classification by the end of last year, after it discovered the GTCC nuclear waste on the outlying island.
However, Taipower has failed to meet the deadline due to technical difficulties in compiling a nuclear-waste inventory, so the deadline has been extended, the council said.
According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission classification system, nuclear waste with a concentration of cesium-137 or strontium-90 greater than 4,600 and 7,000 curies per cubic meter respectively, or with a concentration of nickel-63 greater than 700 curies per cubic meter, is considered GTCC waste.
Citing a report by the Institute of Energy Research, Yang Mu-huo (楊木火), adviser to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀), said GTCC waste is mainly made up of components of decommissioned nuclear reactors and resins derived during the maintenance of nuclear power plants.
Class B nuclear waste is required to be stored in containers for 300 years, while class C waste needs to be stored for 500 years. GTCC waste is generally unacceptable for near-ground storage and requires a special disposal plan, the report shows.
Yang questioned why storage canisters designed for storage of up to 100 years had been used for the waste on Orchid Island and why authorities did not propose a special disposal plan for the GTCC materials……..http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2015/03/09/2003613111
2015-03-01 Taipei, A national anti-nuclear alliance calling for energy reforms is set to hold a protest march around Taiwan on March 14 to mark the fourth anniversary of Japan‘s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Stop Nukes Now , formed by 126 anti-nuclear organizations, announced that the march will take place simultaneously in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Tainan to convey people’s hope for the government to abolish nuclear power and reform Taiwan’s energy network.
Activists petition against nuclear-waste reprocessing http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/02/25/2003612205 By Tang Chia-ling Anti-nuclear group Mom Loves Taiwan has launched a petition against state-run Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower) call for bids to reprocess about 1,200 bundles of spent fuel rods from the Jinshan and Guosheng nuclear power plants, which Taipower announced on Tuesday last week, one day before Lunar New Year’s Eve.
Taipower has obtained a budget of NT$11.25 billion (US$353 million) to deliver 480 and 720 bundles of spent fuel rods from the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant, in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門), and the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant, in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里), respectively overseas for reprocessing. The reprocessing is to be implemented over four years, with the first batch scheduled to be shipped by the end of this year.
The campaign, dubbed “Help Taiwan & Save The World!! Stop Taipower’s Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Project,” had gathered about 270 signatures as of press time last night. Many signatories are from Japan, where the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant disaster took place in 2011.
The organization hopes to obtain 500,000 signatures and present them to Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) in the hope that the government will block the project.
Mom Loves Taiwan chief executive Yang Shun-mei (楊順美) said shipping highly radioactive nuclear waste overseas to be reprocessed only means that the waste will be shipped back to Taiwan 20 years later.
She said that nuclear waste reprocessing is a dying industry and that the French-based firm Areva, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, is a case in point.
She said that Avera is reportedly the company to which Taipower plans to send its fuel rods for reprocessing. She said the move would salvage the company from insolvency at the cost of polluting the environment, while bolstering nuclear arms production, and above all, no one would responsible for overseeing the reprocessing operations.
Taiwan Environmental Protection Union member Gloria Hsu (徐光蓉) said that Taipower did not inform the public of the actual cost of nuclear-waste reprocessing and that time and again it has requested more funds from the legislature shortly after its budget has been passed.She added that it did this while constructing the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
Nuclear backers, critics clash at public meeting, Taipei Times By Sean Lin / Staff reporter 22 Dec 14 Anti-nuclear energy activists clashed with their pro-nuclear counterparts on Saturday at an event in Taipei held to gather public opinions in preparation for next month’s energy conference.
The conference is set to focus on identifying alternative energy sources after the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) was suspended over widespread protests about the safety risks of the facility.The wide divide among advocates and critics of nuclear energy became clear soon after the northern preliminary meeting began……………
Taoyuan Local Union director-general Pan Chung-cheng (潘忠政) said he suspects that the Atomic Energy Council has mobilized many state-sponsored and pro-nuclear academics and members of related groups to attend the meetings because the public generally opposes nuclear energy.
“The government can work with academics and provide all these scientific facts about the benefits of nuclear power, but at the end of the day, the decision as to whether to adopt nuclear energy should be decided by the public,” he said.
“I do not think they really understand how people feel about nuclear energy and their actions are a violation of democratic values,” he said.http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2014/12/22/2003607328
Oct 31, 2014
TAIPEI – Taiwanese authorities are considering requiring production area certificates for all food imports from Japan and radiation check certificates for some, according to informed sources.
The authorities plan to implement the new policy in 2015 after gauging public opinion.
Following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Taiwan banned imports of food products from five prefectures, including Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba.
In addition, radiation checks have been conducted on vegetables, fruit and fisheries products imported from Japan.
Production area certificates are currently not required.
Under the envisioned policy, Taiwan would require production area certificates for all food imports from Japan and radiation check certificates by the Japanese government for those subject to current radiation checks and certain other products, such as tea and biscuits.
Consumer groups in Taiwan have been calling for stronger regulations on Japanese food imports.
Source: Japan Times
Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) Sweets, cookies and teas and tea products imported from Japan into Taiwan will be subject to tests for radioactive substances beginning next year, the acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director-general said Wednesday.
Chiang Yu-mei said that under the proposed measure, importers of the Japan-made items will not be able to apply for the necessary imported food inspections unless the products come with radiation examination certificates from the Japanese government.
The new measure is expected to take effect next year, Chiang said in response to a post by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen on her Facebook page that criticized the government for not checking Japanese green tea products for radioactive substances.
In the post dated Oct. 29, Lin questioned the surge in green tea drinks imported from Japan into Taiwan over the past three years even though green tea leaves in Japan had tested positive for radioactive substances since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
“Do you know that since the Fukushima disaster, imports of Japanese green tea have increased dramatically? Do you know that Japanese green tea has often tested positive for radiation?” Lin asked in her post.
In defending Taiwan’s practices on Japanese food imports, the FDA has repeadly stressed that Taiwan suspended imports of food items from five Japanese prefectures near the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant days after the facility suffered a meltdown in March 2011.
The temporary ban, imposed on foods from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures, remains in effect today, the agency said.
In addition, batch-by-batch inspections for radioactive substances have been enforced on eight major types of foods produced in other parts of Japan since then, the FDA said
The tests cover fresh and chilled vegetables and fruits, frozen vegetables and fruits, live and chilled fishery products, frozen fishery products, dairy products, products for infants, mineral water or other types of drinking water, and seaweed, it said.
(By Chen Ching-fang and Elizabeth Hsu)
Source: Focus Taiwan
Nearly 59 percent of people polled in April by Taiwan’s Commonwealth magazine, a politics and economics publication, said they wanted the fourth nuclear power plant stopped because they fear a disaster akin to Japan’s 2011 Fukushima earthquake and reactor meltdown. Like Japan, Taiwan sits in a highly seismic area.
Taiwan’s Nuclear Future and Authoritarian Past The intense debate in Taiwan over nuclear power has echoes of a less democratic past. The Diplomat, By Brent Crane May 21, 2014 Last August, chaos erupted in Taiwanese parliament. Opposing lawmakers thrust hard-clenched fists at one another while fervent activists tossed opened water-bottles from the stands like Molotov cocktails. Politicians and otherwise civilized men wrestled like teenage boys on the floor amid shouts, screams and camera flashes.
The Legislative Yuan had initially assembled to discuss the conditions of a national referendum deciding the fate of Taiwan’s fourth nuclear power plant in Gongliao, New Taipei City. The controversial plant, known ominously throughout the country as Nuke 4, remains a rallying cry for opponents of one of Taiwan’s most charged political subjects: nuclear power. The debate has been energized in recent weeks after former opposition party leader and staunch nuclear energy opponent Lin Yi-hsiung went on hunger-strike in protest of the government’s unwillingness to make concessions with Taiwan’s antinuclear lobby. On the surface, the conflict appears rather black-and-white: it’s the safety-conscious, environmentalists and academics versus the pragmatic economists and government bureaucrats. But the nuclear power debate in Taiwan is about much more than just safety and economics. It’s about reconciling Taiwan’s autocratic past with its democratic present……….
On the Taiwanese political front today, only reunification is as hotly debated as nuclear energy. The antinuclear camp, which polls suggest finds support from up to 70 percent of the 23 million Taiwanese, advocates full denuclearization of the island. Simply put, their biggest beef with nuclear power in Taiwan is that it poses too great a safety risk. The disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011 represents the type of nightmare scenario that antinuclear activists conjure up when they denounce the energy source. After all, Taiwan is highly prone to typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes. In late September 1999, for instance, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake killed 2,415 people in central Taiwan, injuring more then 11,000. Last September, Typhoon Usagi left Taiwan with 35 dead and with more than $4.33 billion in damages. The list goes on. And Taiwan’s compact size ensures that any plant destruction or malfunction on the scale of the Fukushima fiasco would be disastrous for the island, whose densely packed urban centers are never too far from any of the country’s four plants.
Yet despite the risks, the ruling KMT party remains firmly pro-nuclear, and has proven resilient in weathering the antinuclear storm. ……In true Jeffersonian fashion, the electorate, though hollering at an often unresponsive government, are demanding that their voices be heard. And with the ebb and flow of the youth-led Sunflower Movement, a government accountability project akin to Occupy Wall Street, Taiwan’s political atmosphere has been particularly energized lately………
Opposition to Nuke 4 has galvanized tens of thousands of Taiwanese to hold demonstrations throughout the country in recent years. Clearly, the anti-nuclear camp is no longer a fringe element. On the contrary, opposition to nuclear power has become a household inclination, with some studies showing 55 percent to 70 percent of the population anti-nuclear………
Of course, shifting an entire country from autocracy to democracy is no easy task. But Taiwan’s nuclear energy debate is a reminder that its transition isn’t yet wholly complete. http://thediplomat.com/2014/05/taiwans-nuclear-future-and-authoritarian-past/
the only sane thing is to stop making the stuff
Taiwan in talks with China, France for nuclear waste deals Global Post 12 May 14, Taiwan has been talking with China and France over the possibility of managing the island’s radioactive nuclear waste, Taiwanese officials said Monday.
Hwang Jung-chiou, chairman of the state-owned electric power utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), told Kyodo News that they have been in contact with France with the intention of sending shiploads of spent fuel rods there for reprocessing, adding that Taiwan has obtained consent from the United States. A civil nuclear agreement between Taiwan and the United States, renewed in December last year, allows the transfer of nuclear waste from Taiwan to France and other countries or destinations agreed upon by Taipei and Washington for storage and reprocessing.
Hwang made the remarks after the construction of an interim dry storage facility for spent fuel rods his company plans to build in New Taipei City hit a snag.
The water pools at the First Nuclear Power Plant in Chinshan, 41 kilometers away from the capital Taipei, are nearing full capacity.
Taipower is building an above-ground facility at the reactor site for storing the used fuel before a deep geological disposal site is available.
Taipower’s plan is to begin building the final repository in 2044 and commence operation in 2055.
However, local opposition to the interim facility has forced the New Taipei City government to hold off from giving a green light to the proposal……..
Apart from talking with France on reprocessing high-level radioactive waste, Hwang said they are also talking with China over the possibility of disposing low-level nuclear waste there.
Taipower began to ship low-level radioactive nuclear waste to an underground storage site on Orchid Island off Taiwan’s southeastern coast three years after Taiwan’s first nuclear power plant came online in 1979.
Over 97,000 barrels of such waste were shipped to the island, which is home to some 4,000 Tao Aboriginal people, before they began to disintegrate in 1992, leading to efforts to replace the eroded containers with new ones beginning in 1996.
While Orchid Island is a temporary disposal facility, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced that Wuciou Island in the Kinmen archipelago, near the coast of mainland China, and Daren Township of Taitung County in eastern Taiwan have been chosen as possible sites of permanent storage.
However, strong opposition has made the two local governments reluctant to hold regional referendums on the issue. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140512/taiwan-talks-china-france-nuclear-waste-deals
Officials downplay nuclear plant flaws GLOSSING OVER FAULTS:A ‘Liberty Times’ report said a Taipower employee alleged that a report on the safety of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant omitted the plant’s flaws Taipei Times By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter, with CNA 12 May 14, Officials yesterday sought to play down leaked test results indicating possible flaws in a containment structure of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, saying the problem will be fixed as part of ongoing tests and inspections.
Taiwan Power Co (Tai-power, 台電) chairman Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) said that finding and sealing leaks in the primary containment structure of the plant’s first reactor were normal steps in safety inspection procedures.
Hwang said similar leaks were discovered during inspections carried out on the nation’s first, second and third nuclear power plants, all of which are operated by the state-run Taipower.
The company is also responsible for the nearly completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).
Answering questions at a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee, Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Minister Tsai Chuen-horng (蔡春鴻) said the council would strictly review Taipower’s safety reports on the plant to ensure the leakage rates of the reactor containment building are within safety standards.
Tsai’s remarks came in response to a report by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) yesterday which said it received an anonymous report from a person who identified himself as a worker at the plant saying that during the integrated leak rate test (ILRT) and structure integral test (SIT) conducted at the plant’s No. 1 reactor from Feb. 26 through March 5, leakage rates were found to be too high.
The company had reported them as normal.
Meanwhile, outside the committee meeting room, Green Citizen Action Alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) criticized Taipower for claiming that the structure had no problems in its publicized safety test report on its Web site last month.
He alleged that the company only reported the good parts, but not flaws, which he said should be considered lying to the public…….http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2014/05/13/2003590217
China nuclear plants a threat to Taiwan: NSB chief By Joseph Yeh, The China Post May 6, 2014, TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan is at risk of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents as more than a dozen nuclear power plants are located along coastal areas of the Chinese mainland, National Security Bureau (NSB, 國安局) head Tsai De-sheng (蔡得勝) said yesterday……As the island of Taiwan is located close to the Chinese mainland, the NSB head said Taiwan is at high risk of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents if an incident similar to Japan’s Fukushima incident in 2011 occurs on the other side of the Taiwan Strait……
Once a nuclear disaster or radioactive incident occurs, Tsai said, the NSB will escort national leaders and senior Cabinet members to a safe house as soon as possible. An annual drill has focused on having national heads evacuate in case of emergency, he added.
Tsai made the comments in response to lawmakers’ questions on the government’s nuclear disaster response measures during the Legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting yesterday.
Speaking during the same session, Defense Minister Yen Ming (嚴明) said the military will immediately relocate important military facilities and installations once a nuclear accident happens.http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2014/05/06/407029/China-nuclear.htm
Hunger Striker Ends Fast, but Not Fight, Against Nuclear Power in Taiwan NYT, By AUSTIN RAMZY MAY 1, 2014, A former head of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party has announced that he is ending his hunger strike, but not his campaign, against nuclear power on the island.
The former leader, Lin Yi-hsiung, 72, began his protest on April 22, and it drew attention from Taiwan’s leaders and from protesters, who converged on central Taipei in recent days to say they were inspired by Mr. Lin’s sacrifice.
In announcing the end of his fast on Wednesday, Mr. Lin thanked protesters for their recent campaign against nuclear power.
“Over the past half month, the people of Taiwan’s outstanding display has been unprecedented, which leaves one feeling moved, full of admiration and deeply appreciative,” he wrote in a blog post.
On Monday, the government announced that it was halting work on the Lungmen nuclear power plant in northeast Taiwan, about 20 miles outside Taipei, pending a referendum on its future. The project, known as No. 4, was started more than a decade ago and has cost more than $9 billion………
The 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan has raised concerns among many people in Taiwan about the safety of nuclear power, particularly with a plant that is near the ocean and the island’s largest urban area.
After Sunday’s demonstration, which the police estimated drew 28,500 people and organizers say had as many as 50,000, a smaller number of protesters converged on a main street near Taipei’s main train station. They were forcibly removed by the police using water cannons.
With the halt to construction on the plant and the end of Mr. Lin’s hunger strike, the momentum for antinuclear demonstrations has ebbed somewhat. But smaller protests have continued outside the legislature building this week, and Mr. Lin has called on his supporters to continue pushing for the shutdown of Taiwan’s three other nuclear power plants.
“If work on No. 4 doesn’t resume, it’s no longer an issue,” he wrote. “Nuclear opponents should take a step forward to ensuring the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 nuclear power plants are closed on schedule.” http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/hunger-striker-ends-fast-but-not-fight-against-nuclear-power-in-taiwan/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
Taiwan uses water cannon to disperse anti-nuclear protesters The West Australian, 28 April 14, Taipei (AFP) – Taiwan police on Monday used water cannon to dislodge hundreds of demonstrators blocking a main road in the capital to demand the scrapping of a controversial nuclear power plant.
An estimated 28,500 anti-nuclear demonstrators had blockaded one of Taipei’s busiest streets Sunday, forcing the ruling Kuomintang party to yield and halt construction work at the nearly completed plant.
The concession prompted many demonstrators to leave but hundreds remained, causing police to use water cannon to disperse them on Monday morning…….
A Kuomintang spokesman announced Sunday there would be no further work on this reactor. After safety checks, it would be sealed.
“Construction of reactor two will be terminated,” the spokesman said. “In the future, any such commercial operation will be decided by a referendum.”
The government has already offered to hold a referendum on the future of the power plant, but opponents say the vote’s proposed terms would be too restrictive.
Protest organisers said they would keep watching to see if the government fulfils its promises……..
Like Japan, Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes. In September 1999 a 7.6-magnitude quake killed around 2,400 people in the island’s deadliest natural disaster in recent history……https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/world/a/23032473/taiwan-uses-water-cannon-to-disperse-anti-nuclear-protesters/
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