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Official willing to visit China over waste disposal issue

Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Chairman Tsai Chuen-horng said Monday that he would be willing to visit China for talks on Taiwan's search for low-level radioactive waste disposal sites, if he is given an opportunity.
Fielding questions in the Legislative Yuan, Tsai said he would go to China to discuss the matter, if such disposal sites and skilled personnel and nuclear waste management expertise were available there.
Tsai stressed, however, that for safety reasons there must be at least one location in Taiwan for the disposal of nuclear waste.
The AEC head made the remarks in response to questions raised by ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators mainly on issues pertaining to reducing carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining economic growth.
KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao asked Tsai whether nuclear power output should be increased, since reducing carbon dioxide emissions is the centerpiece of the KMT administration's energy policy. Lai cited France as a prime example of the use of nuclear power to help reduce greenhouse gases.
Tsai stopped short of giving a direct answer, saying only that nuclear power and carbon dioxide reduction are two issues that should be considered under the broader perspective of the country's overall energy policy.
Noting that Premier Liu Chao-shiuan, immediately after taking office May 20, expressed the hope that construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant be completed on time or even ahead of schedule, Lai said the handling and management of low-level radioactive waste has thus become crucial.
Lai asked Tsai whether he would be willing to contact China over nuclear waste disposal.
In his report to the legislature, Tsai said storing low-level radioactive waste abroad could be feasible, but only if the recipient side is willing and capable.
Tasi also mentioned that the three nuclear power plants currently in operation in Taiwan produced 259 barrels of low-level radioactive waste in 2007, representing a year-on-year decline of 21 percent from 2006 when the waste totaled 327 barrels.
Meanwhile, he added, Taiwan Power Co. has chosen eight possible sites -- Wanan township on the outlying Penghu island and seven others in Taiwan proper, including Mudan township in the southern Pingtung County and Daren and Dawu townships in the eastern county of Taitung -- to build storage sites for low-level radioactive waste.


Updated : 2021-04-14 01:58 GMT+08:00