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President lauds Swedish, Finnish models for nuclear waste storage

President lauds Swedish, Finnish models for nuclear waste storage

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday that the successful experience of Sweden and Finland in finding permanent storage sites for their nuclear waste might be a model Taiwan could follow. Ma pointed out that finding a place to store nuclear waste is a problem in Taiwan because whatever site is chosen, there will always be opposition from anti-nuclear activists and local residents. Sweden and Finland are expected to complete building underground repositories for storing their radioactive waste in 2027 and 2022, respectively, the president noted. In Sweden, the choice of Osthammar as the storage location obtained the support of over 80 percent of local residents, he said. "We very much hope to learn from the Swedish and Finnish experience," Ma said while receiving several experts from the two Nordic countries who are in Taiwan to attend a conference on radioactive waste disposal. In the 1980s, Sweden once voted in a referendum to shut down all of its nuclear reactors. The country, however, has reversed course and is now planning to build new reactors. Ma said he was told that the Swedish government has been very successful in communicating with its people, who are convinced that nuclear power needs to be maintained to meet the needs of the country's economic development. In the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan, Taiwan unveiled a goal of gradually phasing out the use of nuclear power, he noted. Until that happens, however, Taiwan must find an alternative to nuclear energy, which currently supplies 18.4 percent of the country's electricity, he said. (By Lee Shu-hua and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-07-24 04:16 GMT+08:00