3. Risks related to the Nuclear Energy
Taipei is within 50km from Gongliao where the 4th nuclear plant is being built, within 40km from the First Nuclear plant and within 35km from the Second Nuclear Plant. So here you are, 3 nuclear plants near your capital, where around 8million people are living, on a sismic area, facing the Pacific just on the way of typhoons and tsunamis… Well, that sounds… dangerous.
Taipower has raised its standards after Fukushima and Longmen problems, however the risk is still there.
Lack of experience:
Longmen is a complex project, and a lot of irregularities have been found, casting a doubt on whether the place is safe. Furthermore, as of today, experts disagree on whether there is a sismic fault line just above the plant or not. see articles for more info, there’s a ton about it.
The Cost of the 4th Nuclear reactor has kept increasing since the 1991, here’s how it looks like:
|Time||Additional Budget (Billion NTD)||Total Budget (BillionNTD)||Notes|
|2013||10,2||283,8||As per Legislative Yuan data|
|2013||50||330 (minimum)||As per Legislative Yuan data|
The Phasing out of Nuclear I, II, III:
as per Taipower’s own words, in the 2012 Sustainability report, page 29, under “Phase out of Nuclear Plan”: “The phase out of Nuclear Plant #1 is complicated and the time frame is tight. In addition, this plant will operate until 2018. We do not have any experience in phasing out a nuclear power plant and we do not have comprehensive legal framework for such a task yet.” Words that speak for themselves…
Nuclear Waste handling: Longtan set a precedent:
Around 60km south from Taipei, in Longtan, Taipower has recently admitted to have secretly stored high grade nuclear waste in the end of the 80’s, and isprobably being still storing dangerous material there. In the past, as much as 8 explosions of hydrogen occured, that have been deemed as inoffensive and meaningless by the management.
The issue, while not fully clear, shows that Taipower is not ready to be transparent about its operations. I propose you to watch a documentary about the Lanyu island to understand more about the issue of storing nuclear waste, see bibliography below.