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Drones a threat to nuclear facilities

Korea Times 6th Oct 2019, National infrastructure sites are vulnerable to possible drone strikes, with a growing number of intrusions at nuclear power plants here using the small unmanned aircraft being confirmed, according to a lawmaker, Sunday.
Rep. Lee Sang-min of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) said the
Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) reported 13 cases of the
illegal flying of drones near the power plants from 2015 to 19. Ten of the
13 cases occurred just in 2019 ― and six took place near the Kori Nuclear
Power Plant in northern Busan in August.
https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2019/10/133_276717.html

Bulletin of Atomic scientists 4th Oct 2019, A terrorist attack by swarming drones may seem farfetched, and it is important not to engage in hyperbole. However, scenarios similar to this are playing out around the world, often in a hostile manner. Once again, the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia should give pause for concern. At least 18 drones and seven cruise missiles were reportedly used to break through national defenses and strike the designated targets in Abqaiq and Khurais.
The use of these systems in swarms makes tactical sense, as it increases
the likelihood of a successful strike, by overwhelming and saturating
defenses. Drones may also be used to help identify targets, allowing
secondary systems to strike with precision. In a different, but not
unfamiliar manner, swarms have been used for saturation, spotting, and
strike purposes by both criminal gangs and terrorists.

https://thebulletin.org/2019/10/the-dark-side-of-our-drone-future/

October 10, 2019 Posted by | safety, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan about to close second nuclear reactor

Taiwan to shut down 2nd nuclear reactor within days, July 12, 2019 (Mainichi Japan) TAIPEI (Kyodo) — Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council agreed on Friday to shut down a second nuclear reactor on Monday when its 40-year operating license expires, moving the island a step closer to nuclear-free status.

July 13, 2019 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

No to nuclear power: Taiwan’s president reaffirms anti-nuclear stance

Taiwan’s president reaffirms anti-nuclear stance at march  https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190428/p2g/00m/0in/056000c, April 28, 2019 (Mainichi Japan) TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday reaffirmed her opposition to nuclear power before marching with anti-nuclear protesters, reviving an issue that has proven politically divisive in the past.

April 29, 2019 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

$70 billion price tag for restarting Taiwan’s No. 4 nuclear plant project , and that’s not counting wastes costs

Restarting No. 4 nuclear plant project could cost NT$70 billion: AEC Focus Taiwan, 2019/03/14   Taipei, March 14 (CNA) It could cost an estimated NT$60-70 billion (US$1.94-2.26 billion) and take at least 10 years to revive the mothballed fourth nuclear power plant at Longmen in New Taipei’s Gongliao District, Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Minister Hsieh Shou-shing (謝曉星) said Thursday.

However, Hsieh said that a decision to search for a final disposal repository for radioactive waste has not been reached and he declined to answer the question of when the location of a final repository can be determined, because no cities or counties in the country are willing to have such a facility in their localities.

Hsieh was responding to a legislator’s questioning about restarting the nuclear plant project during a legislative hearing, as the topic has sparked considerable debate after pro-nuclear energy activists recently proposed a referendum on the issue……..

 the ministry also cited Taipower estimates that it would require about NT$47.8 billion to revive the nuclear plant and put it into commercial operation, adding that the amount could be even higher than that.

(By Liu Lee-jung and Evelyn Kao) http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aeco/201903140013.aspx

March 16, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan conference urges phasing out of nuclear power

Lee Yuan-tseh pushes nuclear phase-out http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2019/03/12/2003711332  By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter Local industries should upgrade their production techniques to curb carbon emissions, and the nation should phase out nuclear power to avoid leaving more nuclear waste to future generations, former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) told an energy conference in Taipei.The conference was hosted by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) and other anti-nuclear groups, following another energy forum on Sunday organized by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and former premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) that called for maintaining nuclear power.

Advocates of nuclear power have gained more momentum after most people voted in favor of abolishing the “nuclear-free homeland by 2025” policy in a referendum on Nov. 24 last year.

Attendees — including Democratic Progressive Party Legislator-at-large Chen Man-li (陳曼麗) and New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) — first prayed for victims of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster on March 11, 2011.

Phasing out nuclear power is not only a security concern, but would also curb nuclear waste, said Lee, Taiwan’s first Nobel laureate in chemistry in 1986, adding that the older generation should not leave nuclear waste to future generations for their own convenience.

The nation needs to develop small-scale renewable energy generation systems to curb fossil fuel pollution and global warming, he said.

The global community might start tracking companies’ carbon footprints in two or three years, so local firms should start cutting their use of fossil fuels, he said, reiterating his suggestion that the government implement a carbon tax to curtail emissions.

The TEPU is working on two referendum proposals, including one recommending that the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant compound be converted into a site for renewable power research and development, union founding chairman Shih Shin-min (施信民) said.

The second proposal asks: “Do you agree that any construction or extended operation plans for nuclear power plants can only begin after they are approved by local referendum voters within the 50km-radius of the plants?”

The proposals are aimed at countering two referendum proposals by nuclear power advocates that seek to continue construction of the mothballed plant and to extend the permits of three operational nuclear power plants, Shih said.

The annual parade against nuclear power is scheduled for April 27, which would focus on renewable power development, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) said.

Separately, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wrote on Facebook that the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster pushed Taiwanese to seriously consider energy issues and the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration to mothball the plant.

While people hold varied views about when the nuclear-free homeland policy should be achieved, it is the nation’s common goal to ensure that the next generation has safe power generation, Tsai wrote.

March 12, 2019 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan to abolish nuclear power in 2025

Nuclear power to be abolished in 2025 http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2019/02/01/2003709035

REFERENDUM No. 7:The government is to bar capacity expansions at coal-fired power plants and abide by local governments’ tightened environmental regulations

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday published a revised national energy strategy that calls for the abolition of nuclear power by 2025 and reductions in the use of fossil fuels.

Although Taiwanese in November last year voted against the government’s 2025 deadline to abolish nuclear power, the energy source would still be completely removed from the nation’s energy mix after that year due to inevitable constraints, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) told a news conference in Taipei.

Resistance from local governments, difficulty in procuring replacement parts for aging reactors, finding storage space for spent fuel rods and the inability to complete the stay-of-decommissioning application process have all but ruled out the use of nuclear power beyond 2025, Shen said.

Other remedies, such as reactivating decommissioned nuclear plants, are also unlikely due to the lengthy budget approval process at the legislature, Shen said, adding that General Electric Co is no longer able to provide technical support for reactors that were installed decades ago.

As for referendum No. 7, which called for the reduction of thermal power by at least 1 percent per year on average, Shen said that the goal is achievable this year and next year.

Achieving the goal would not increase the risk of energy shortages and 15 percent reserved power generation capacity could be maintained, he said.

However, energy shortages could happen in 2021 due to an anticipated rise in consumption, Shen said.

Resistance from local governments, difficulty in procuring replacement parts for aging reactors, finding storage space for spent fuel rods and the inability to complete the stay-of-decommissioning application process have all but ruled out the use of nuclear power beyond 2025, Shen said.

Other remedies, such as reactivating decommissioned nuclear plants, are also unlikely due to the lengthy budget approval process at the legislature, Shen said, adding that General Electric Co is no longer able to provide technical support for reactors that were installed decades ago.

As for referendum No. 7, which called for the reduction of thermal power by at least 1 percent per year on average, Shen said that the goal is achievable this year and next year.

Achieving the goal would not increase the risk of energy shortages and 15 percent reserved power generation capacity could be maintained, he said.

However, energy shortages could happen in 2021 due to an anticipated rise in consumption, Shen said.

February 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

The pitfalls of Direct Democracy- Taiwan’s referendum and the vote on nuclear power

How Direct Democracy Went Nuclear in Taiwan, A contentious vote on Taiwan’s nuclear future showed how the country’s public referendums went haywire. The Diplomat , By Nick Aspinwall, January 18, 2019 It only took one month for Huang Shih-hsiu, a 31-year-old nuclear energy advocate, to upend a core energy policy of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. The policy, prior to its downfall, stated that Taiwan would decommission its three active nuclear power plants by 2025.

It makes for an entangled web of policy which, ideally, a direct democracy would sort out through a patient and measured process of public debate, consultation with experts, and consensus-building to avoid polarization and finger-pointing. Everyone does seem to agree on one thing, however: This did not happen in Taiwan.

Will the World Learn From Taiwan?

Matt Qvortrup, a professor of political science at Coventry University and leading referendum expert, has watched referendums surge in popularity throughout Europe and, gradually, to corners of the world like Taiwan, whose large-scale plebiscites provided lessons for global democracies in what, or what not, to do.

Qvortrup is a believer in referendums, but with conditions. “Democracy is discussion and deliberation,” he says, and that does not happen when voters are rushed to the polls. “To have meaningful democracy,” he says, “you need to have time to debate things.” Taiwan’s CEC-sanctioned TV debates were held in a cramped three-week window – five public forums each for 10 referendum questions.

He noted that debate on the high-interest issue of same-sex marriage dominated much of Taiwan’s already congested pre-referendum discourse, drowning out interest in the intricacies of energy policy. “That’s bad, because people will be voting on things they haven’t had the opportunity to talk about,” Qvortrup says.

Chao of RSPRC agrees, saying there was far from enough time for voters to have an informed debate. Shortly after the referendum, his center published a study showing that voters were not informed on nuclear power – most were unaware of the details of Tsai’s phaseout proposal, and 44 percent believed nuclear power provides most of the island’s energy. (It produces just over 8 percent, far behind coal-fired power.)

“For democracy to work, it has to be limited to relatively few issues,” says Qvortrup. “If you have too many issues on the ballot, people just get saturated. They turn off, they can’t be bothered. You need to save up your civic reserves.”

Taiwan’s nuclear power plebiscite was not even the only energy-related measure on the ballot: Two separate measures, both successful, called for Taiwan to reduce thermal power and stop expansion of coal-fired power plants. A measure to maintain Taiwan’s ban on food imports from the Fukushima disaster area also passed, angering Japan.

The team at Cofacts, a collaborative social media fact-checking platform that monitored online discussion leading up to the referendums, says it observed a combination of disinformation and voter apathy ahead of the energy plebiscites. “In comparison to other issues, nuclear power was one of the less popular topics,” writes Rosalind, a Cofacts editor, in an open response to questions from The Diplomat. “Even when people talked about it, they were actually talking about air pollution, reducing thermal power generation plants, new alternative energy, and polluted foods.” This did not allow voters to consider the nuances of the issues, such as whether Taiwan does in fact face a looming electricity shortage, says Rosalind.

“The people wanted to be on the ‘winning’ side of these yes/no questions, even though most of them did not know the referendum topics until the day of the election,” says Cofacts founder Johnson Liang. He notes that online discussion on nuclear power paled in comparison to talk of the same-sex marriage referendums. “There were way too many topics to vote [on] within a timespan that is too short, and they did not have time to follow the television debates.”

It takes a resonant message to cut through an overload of information and mangled discourse, and Huang Shih-hsiu had one: Nuclear Mythbusters ran with the slogan “Nuclear energy is green energy,” sizing it up against a future coal-fired dystopia and dismissing the present-day viability of affordable renewables, all while cutting through the opposing stance that nuclear power is an environmental crisis waiting to happen.

This approach has always been effective, but it’s especially potent in the digital age, says Dion Curry, senior lecturer of public policy at Swansea University. Public figures with “little political power, but immense media power” – he cites Brexit’s Nigel Farage as an example – can strategically reach voters through targeted Facebook ads and participation in social media “echo chambers,” he says………. https://thediplomat.com/2019/01/how-direct-democracy-went-nuclear-in-taiwan/

January 21, 2019 Posted by | politics, Reference, Taiwan | 1 Comment

Covert nuclear development in Taiwan was stopped, because a senior scientist feared danger

Colby Cosh: How Canada almost left the door to the nuclear club ajar … again, National Post, 14 Jan 19, 

Covert nuclear development in Taiwan was finally stopped cold because a senior scientist became convinced nukes were dangerous 

Maybe you have heard the story of how India got the Bomb with Canada’s inadvertent help. We sold India a nuclear reactor called CIRUS in 1954 on an explicit promise that the facility would only be used for peaceful purposes. When India astonished the world with its first nuke test in May 1974, having upgraded the fuel output from CIRUS, it duly announced that it had successfully created a Peaceful Nuclear Explosive. The permanent consequence was, for better or worse, a nuclear-armed Subcontinent.This is old news to enthusiasts of Cold War history. Here’s the new news: it almost happened twice. Canadian technology was almost used by another country to break into the nuclear club.

In November, historians David Albright and Andrea Stricker published a new book called Taiwan’s Former Nuclear Weapons Program: Nuclear Weapons On-Demand. The book pulls together the previously sketchy story of Nationalist China’s covert nuclear research, which had its roots in the postwar exodus of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang party (KMT). Albright and Stricker describe decades of effort by the offshore Republic of China on Taiwan to play a double game with nuclear weapons. ………

The key to the story is the 40-megawatt uranium-fuelled Taiwan Research Reactor (TRR), supplied, like CIRUS, by Canada. TRR was very similar to CIRUS in design and capability. The pile went critical in January 1973, giving Taiwan an indigenous source of plutonium. Under the sales agreement, the reactor was to be “safeguarded” by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), answering to its inspectors and accounting for the whereabouts of its fuel. But Taiwanese nuclear agencies immediately began to behave suspiciously, talking to some of the slimier European industrial concerns about buying reprocessing equipment that would allow weapons manufacture

……….Covert nuclear development in Taiwan was finally stopped cold because one of the Republic’s senior scientists, Chang Hsien-yi, became convinced that nukes were dangerous to the existence of the Republic……….  Email: ccosh@postmedia.com | Twitter:       https://nationalpost.com/opinion/colby-cosh-how-canada-almost-left-the-door-to-the-nuclear-club-ajar-again

January 15, 2019 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan Food Imports from Fukushima-Affected Areas Become Wedge Issue with Japan

Japanese government keeps on trying to ram food exports from Fukushima radiation affected areas down the throats of their Asian neighbors ….
CJCS_meets_with_Japan_Prime_Minister_Shinzo_Abe_36478259912.jpg
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe
December 17, 2018
IT IS UNSURPRISING that Taiwan will not be admitted to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CFTPP) because of the referendum vote against food imports from Fukushima-affected areas held in late November concurrent with nine-in-one elections. Namely, the issue of food imports is one upon which Taiwan has long been pushed around by larger, more powerful countries, who dangle the threat of being denied admittance to international free trade agreements if Taiwan does not allow food imports.
The Abe administration has in the past made allowing food imports from Fukushima-affected areas a condition for stronger diplomatic relations with Japan. This would be part of a more general effort by the Abe administration to promote the prefecture of Fukushima as safe, with concerns that lingering radiation may still cause harmful effects in the region after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The Abe administration has thus attempted to promote food exports from the area, as well as to encourage tourism to the area.
Concerns over whether food from Fukushima is safe are valid, seeing as this is an issue of contention in Japan itself. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is deeply wedded to the Japanese nuclear industry, with an unusual willingness to push for nuclear energy in spite of outbreaks of large-scale public protest. Concerns have also been longstanding that the LDP has been unwilling to provide accurate nuclear assessments for the Fukushima area, or sought to mislead through official statistics.
After the results of the referendum in late November, in which 7,791,856 voted against allowing food imports from Fukushima, the Japanese government initially expressed understanding regarding the results of the referendum, suggesting that not allowing food imports from Fukushima would not be an obstacle for Japan-Taiwan relations going forward. However, this appears to have not entirely been the truth.
Indeed, as the KMT was a powerful force behind the push for the referendum, it is likely that the KMT sought to use the issue of food imports from Fukushima-affected areas as a means to not only to attack the DPP with the accusation that it was endangering public safety but also sabotage closer relations between Japan and Taiwan. Apart from that the KMT’s Chinese nationalism has a strong anti-Japanese element, the KMT is pro-unification and so opposes closer ties between Japan and Taiwan, seeing as Japan could be a powerful regional ally that interceded on behalf of Taiwan against Chinese incursion.
The CFTPP is a regional free trade agreement that is the form that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) took on after America withdrew from the trade agreement under Donald Trump. Despite the fact that the TPP was orchestrated under American auspices as a means to counter growing Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific region, the Trump administration favored protectionism instead of free trade, seeing free trade as overextending American resources rather than expanding its economic reach.
Japan subsequently became the dominant power among former TPP signatories, continuing to push for the agreement because it was still beneficial to Asia-Pacific nations to economically integrate as a regional bloc against the threat of China.
This would not be the first time that food imports have been used as a condition of Taiwan’s admittance to or denial from the TPP framework. America previously made allowing American beef imports into Taiwan to be a condition of Taiwan’s possibly entering into the TPP, seeing as there were in concerns in Taiwan that the use of the hormone ractopamine—banned in most of the world’s countries but not in America—was unsafe. This, too, was a valid concern regarding food safety, but the KMT was interested in the issue because it hoped to use this as a wedge issue to sabotage relations between Taiwan and the US.
Now that Japan is the primary driving force behind the CFTPP, as the renewed version of the TPP, food imports from Fukushima-affected areas have taken priority as the issue which would determine Taiwan’s admittance or non-admittance to the CFTPP. As free trade agreements are more generally a way for large, powerful countries to coerce smaller, weaker countries into relations of economic subordination, this would be nothing surprising.
More generally, free trade agreements have also long been held over the heads of Taiwanese voters in order to influence how they vote, as observed in the examples of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement or the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement under the Ma administration. But in light of the issue of food imports from Fukushima-affected areas being a contested issue in Taiwan, it remains to be seen whether the CFTPP will become a significant wedge issue in Taiwanese politics going forward.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CFTPP) held over Taiwan , because of its referendum rejecting food from Fukushima

FOOD IMPORTS FROM FUKUSHIMA-AFFECTED AREAS BECOME WEDGE ISSUE WITH JAPAN https://newbloommag.net/2018/12/17/fukushima-food-cftpp/18DECEMBER 2018  by Brian Hioe

I T IS UNSURPRISING that Taiwan will not be admitted to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CFTPP) because of the referendum vote against food imports from Fukushima-affected areas held in late November concurrent with nine-in-one elections. Namely, the issue of food imports is one upon which Taiwan has long been pushed around by larger, more powerful countries, who dangle the threat of being denied admittance to international free trade agreements if Taiwan does not allow food imports.

The Abe administration has in the past made allowing food imports from Fukushima-affected areas a condition for stronger diplomatic relations with Japan. This would be part of a more general effort by the Abe administration to promote the prefecture of Fukushima as safe, with concerns that lingering radiation may still cause harmful effects in the region after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The Abe administration has thus attempted to promote food exports from the area, as well as to encourage tourism to the area.

Concerns over whether food from Fukushima is safe are valid, seeing as this is an issue of contention in Japan itself. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is deeply wedded to the Japanese nuclear industry, with an unusual willingness to push for nuclear energy in spite of outbreaks of large-scale public protest. Concerns have also been longstanding that the LDP has been unwilling to provide accurate nuclear assessments for the Fukushima area, or sought to mislead through official statistics.

After the results of the referendum in late November, in which 7,791,856 voted against allowing food imports from Fukushima, the Japanese government initially expressed understanding regarding the results of the referendum, suggesting that not allowing food imports from Fukushima would not be an obstacle for Japan-Taiwan relations going forward. However, this appears to have not entirely been the truth.

Indeed, as the KMT was a powerful force behind the push for the referendum, it is likely that the KMT sought to use the issue of food imports from Fukushima-affected areas as a means to not only to attack the DPP with the accusation that it was endangering public safety but also sabotage closer relations between Japan and Taiwan. Apart from that the KMT’s Chinese nationalism has a strong anti-Japanese element, the KMT is pro-unification and so opposes closer ties between Japan and Taiwan, seeing as Japan could be a powerful regional ally that interceded on behalf of Taiwan against Chinese incursion.

The CFTPP is a regional free trade agreement that is the form that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) took on after America withdrew from the trade agreement under Donald Trump. Despite the fact that the TPP was orchestrated under American auspices as a means to counter growing Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific region, the Trump administration favored protectionism instead of free trade, seeing free trade as overextending American resources rather than expanding its economic reach.

Japan subsequently became the dominant power among former TPP signatories, continuing to push for the agreement because it was still beneficial to Asia-Pacific nations to economically integrate as a regional bloc against the threat of China.

This would not be the first time that food imports have been used as a condition of Taiwan’s admittance to or denial from the TPP framework. America previously made allowing American beef imports into Taiwan to be a condition of Taiwan’s possibly entering into the TPP, seeing as there were in concerns in Taiwan that the use of the hormone ractopamine—banned in most of the world’s countries but not in America—was unsafe. This, too, was a valid concern regarding food safety, but the KMT was interested in the issue because it hoped to use this as a wedge issue to sabotage relations between Taiwan and the US.

Now that Japan is the primary driving force behind the CFTPP, as the renewed version of the TPP, food imports from Fukushima-affected areas have taken priority as the issue which would determine Taiwan’s admittance or non-admittance to the CFTPP. As free trade agreements are more generally a way for large, powerful countries to coerce smaller, weaker countries into relations of economic subordination, this would be nothing surprising.

More generally, free trade agreements have also long been held over the heads of Taiwanese voters in order to influence how they vote, as observed in the examples of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement or the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement under the Ma administration. But in light of the issue of food imports from Fukushima-affected areas being a contested issue in Taiwan, it remains to be seen whether the CFTPP will become a significant wedge issue in Taiwanese politics going forward.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Japan, politics international, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan Votes to Maintain Import Ban on Fukushima Food Imports

December 4, 2018 Posted by | environment, politics international, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan doesn’t know what to do with radioactive trash, so decommissioning of 1st nuclear power plant is delayed

Decommissioning of 1st nuclear power plant facing major delay Focus Taiwan 2018/12/03 Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) By Elizabeth Hsu Taiwan is scheduled to begin decommissioning the first reactor of its oldest nuclear power plant in New Taipei on Dec. 5 after 40 years of service, but the deadline will not be met because of questions over how to deal with the plant’s nuclear waste.

The plan to decommission the two reactors in the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant included the construction of an outdoor storage yard at the plant site for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The facility was built in 2013 but has yet to pass a New Taipei government inspection needed to obtain an operating permit, leaving the decommissioning process in limbo.

Hsu Tsao-hua (徐造華), a spokesman for Taiwan Power Company (Taipower), which runs Taiwan’s three nuclear power plants, said that if the storage facility cannot be used, the 816 fuel rods still in the Jinshan plant’s first reactor will have to stay where they are, and the plant’s safety equipment will have to be kept running.

Though the company has planned an indoor storage facility, it will take at least 10 years to build, which could delay the decommissioning process by at least a decade, Hsu warned………..

The thorny spent fuel storage and EIA review issues that will cause the Jinshan plant to miss the scheduled deadline come down to politics, and at least to some extent to the New Taipei  government’s attitude on the issue.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) has declared that his city “can never be the permanent storage place for nuclear waste.”

His position has been at odds with the general stance of his party, which advocates the use of nuclear power as the country moves toward its ultimate goal of becoming a nuclear-free homeland. ……

“Nuclear waste represents pain in the heart of New Taipei (citizens),” said Hou, after the city has co-existed with two nuclear power plants for nearly four decades.

He also argued that nuclear waste should never be stored in a heavily populated city, and he urged the central government and Taipower to find a permanent storage location as soon as possible, a mission the utility has struggled with for years.

New Taipei is the most populous city in Taiwan with a population of 3.99 million as of November, government statistics show.

Even if the decommissioning of the Jinshan power plant were to start on time, it would still be a long process.

Under Taipower’s plan, it would involve eight years to shut the plant down, 12 years to dismantle it, three years to inspect its final condition and two years to restore the land. http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aeco/201812030020.aspx

December 4, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan still on track to become nuclear-free, despite pro-nuclear referendum

Anti-nuclear group undeterred by passing of pro-nuclear referendum  http://m.focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201811250029.aspx  By Wu Hsin-yun, Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Taiwanese on Saturday voted against the government’s policy of phasing-out nuclear power by 2025, prompting an environmental group opposed to nuclear power to reaffirm its support for the phasing out of all nuclear power plants.

The anti-nuclear group National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform said in a statement issued Sunday that it is wrong to return to nuclear power and promised to continue to campaign for an end to the use of nuclear power in Taiwan.

The statement came after Taiwanese voted in 10 referendums alongside Saturday’s local government elections, including one that asked: “Do you agree with abolishing the first paragraph of Article 95 of the Electricity Act, which means abolishing the provision that ‘all nuclear-energy-based power-generating facilities shall cease to operate by 2025’?”

As a result, 5,895,560 votes were cast in favor of repealing the nuclear phase-out, and 4,014,215 against the initiative, according to the Central Election Commission.

For a referendum to pass, the number of voters in favor of a proposition must exceed the number who vote against it, and reach a minimum of 4,939,267 votes, or one quarter of the 19,757,067 voters eligible to cast votes in the referendums.

Commenting on the referendum result, the anti-nuclear group said that not all those who voted in favor of stopping the nuclear phase-out are unconditional supporters of nuclear power, but rather some lack confidence in Taiwan’s energy transformation.

The result does not mean those who voted in favor of repealing the nuclear phase-out do not support the government’s nuclear-free, carbon reduction and renewable energy policy, the group said.

Currently, the decommissioning of the No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants in New Taipei is underway and cannot be reversed according to the law, the group said.

The result of the referendum is most likely to impact the No. 3 nuclear plant in Pingtung and possibly postpone its decommissioning, it added.

However, as the No. 3 nuclear plant is near the active Hengchun fault line, the group said the geological environment is not suitable for extending the operational life of the nuclear plant to be or installing new units at the plant.

Taiwan can not withstand a nuclear disaster and the passage of the referendum does nothing to guarantee safety, the group noted.

The group stressed Taiwan is on the path to a nuclear-free homeland and carbon reduction and should not return to nuclear power and coal-fired plants.

Under the Referendum Act, a law repealed in a referendum has to be rescinded three days after the result is officially announced by the Central Election Commission, Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said Sunday.

This means the first paragraph of Article 95 of the Electricity Act will be removed.

However, “the government’s goal of making Taiwan a nuclear-free homeland by 2025 remains unchanged,” Kolas said, adding that in practice it may not be possible to postpone the phase-out of the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 nuclear plants.

According to the law, applications for postponement are required to be submitted 5-10 years before the scheduled retirement dates of nuclear plants, Kolas said, adding that any such applications cannot be made within the statutory time period.

As to whether the currently-mothballed No. 4 nuclear power plant will start commercial operations, Kolas said it is estimated any such reversal would take 6-7 years and cost NT$68.8 billion (US$2.22 billion).

Even if the nuclear plant is activated in 2019, it would not be ready to begin commercial operations in 2025, when the government’s goal of a nuclear-free homeland will be achieved, at which point Taiwan will have no need for nuclear power, she noted.

November 25, 2018 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan votes to maintain ban on food from Fukushima disaster areas

 

yfujgjkgkihk.jpgIn this file photo dated Aug. 27, 2018, senior officials of the Kuomintang, Taiwan’s major political party, hold a press conference in Taipei to state their opposition to lifting a ban on food imports from Fukushima and four other Japanese prefectures. The banners read “oppose nuclear food.” (Mainichi/Shizuya Fukuoka)

TAIPEI (Kyodo) — A referendum on maintaining a ban on food products from five Japanese prefectures, imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, saw the restrictions kept in place on Saturday, dealing a major blow to the government of President Tsai Ing-wen and the island’s relations with Japan.
For a referendum to deliver a decisive result in Taiwan, the “yes” vote must account for more than 25 percent of the electorate, or about 4.95 million voters.
The Central Election Commission website showed that more than 15 million of the 19.76 million eligible voters cast their ballots. More than 6 million voters approved the initiative, well over the 25 percent required.
The referendum is legally binding and government agencies must take necessary action.
The result dealt a significant blow to the Democratic Progressive Party government which proposed easing the ban after coming to power in May 2016, but backed away when the main opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) questioned the new government’s ability to ensure the safety of the imported products.
Government officials responsible for the policy declined to comment on Sunday, only saying it is a matter for President Tsai to decide.
Tsai announced her resignation as DPP leader on Saturday following her party’s disastrous defeat in key mayoral elections that day, races viewed as indicators of voter sentiment ahead of the next presidential and island-wide legislative elections in 2020.
Some worry that the result of the referendum on Japanese food imports will have a negative impact on the island’s relations with Japan. Taiwan’s representative to Japan, Frank Hsieh, said the initiative was a KMT scheme aimed at undermining bilateral relations between Taiwan and Japan at a time when the two are seeking closer ties as a way of protecting themselves from an increasingly belligerent China.
He also warned that if the referendum is successful, Taiwan would pay “a grave price” that will affect all its people.
China is the only other country still restricting comprehensive imports from Fukushima Prefecture and nearby Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi, and Chiba prefectures.
The referendum, initiated by the KMT, was one of 10 initiatives put to a vote in conjunction with Saturday’s island-wide local elections.
Voters approved two other referendums initiated by the KMT. One sought to stop the construction of new coal-fired power plants or the expansion of existing ones, and the other asked voters if they wanted to phase out thermal power plants.
Beijing will be happy about the result of a referendum on the name the island uses when competing at international sports events. It had sought to change the name used to participate in future international events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan.”
The CEC website showed that more than 8.9 million cast their ballots. About 3 million of the eligible voters approved the initiative, less the 25 percent needed for the referendum to count.
The referendum was highly unpopular among athletes, who were worried that a successful outcome would hamper their right to compete, as the International Olympic Committee resolved in May that it would stand by a 1981 agreement that Taiwanese athletes must compete as “Chinese Taipei.”
The IOC had also warned that Taiwan would risk having its recognition suspended or cancelled if the referendum was successful.
China was annoyed by the proposal and pressured the East Asian Olympic Committee to revoke Taichung’s plan to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games.
Beijing said that if the referendum was successful, it would not sit idly by and would “definitely respond,” without elaborating.
There were also five referendums relating to same-sex marriage — three initiated by opponents of same-sex marriage and two by supporters.
The CEC website showed that all three of the anti-same sex marriage initiatives passed, while both the pro-same sex marriage referenda failed.
The result also puts the Tsai government in an awkward position as Taiwan’s highest court, the Council of Grand Justices, ruled 18 months ago that the government must, within two years, amend the Civil Code or enact a special law legalizing gay marriage.
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20181125/p2g/00m/0in/010000c?fbclid=IwAR0ZlvV-JO_PHes83Gn8mutF6jKkFBzyx6iAYPJPw_2FA-tSqx3W71k9y2c

November 25, 2018 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan to host Asian anti-nuclear forum in 2019 

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201811200015.aspx   Taipei, Nov. 20 (CNA) Taiwan is set to host the annual No Nuke Asia Forum (NNAF) next year, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) said Tuesday.

Founded in 1993, the NNAF is an annual gathering that brings together experts and academics from various anti-nuclear groups across Asia to discuss and share their visions on how to counter nuclear energy.

Taiwan’s upcoming referendum on the government’s policy of phasing out nuclear power in Taiwan by 2025 has been a topic of popular discussion at this year’s NNAF, which was held in the Philippines Nov. 11-15, the TEPU said.

TEPU Chairman Liu Chih-chien (劉志堅), who attended the event, said Taiwan’s efforts to phase out nuclear energy also garnered widespread support from members from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and India.

During the forum, the union also came to share Taiwan’s past experiences, including a referendum that helped stop the ongoing construction of the country’s fourth nuclear plant in 2014, Liu said.

According to the TEPU, the 26th Asian anti-nuclear forum is scheduled to be held toward the end of 2019.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Ko Lin)
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November 22, 2018 Posted by | ACTION, Taiwan | Leave a comment