[QODLink]
101 East

Standing on shaky ground

Resistance is growing in Taiwan against a toxic nuclear waste dump situated in an earthquake-prone zone.

Last Modified: 05 Jun 2013 14:58
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Thirty years ago, the indigenous Tao inhabitants of Taiwan's Orchid Island were told their home had been chosen as the location of a fish cannery and with it would come employment and economic growth beyond their subsistence existence.

Instead, they got a nuclear waste facility, and they now worry about the impact of a growing stockpile of low-level radioactive waste on their farms and fishing grounds. Tens of thousands of the barrels of waste are corroding, and the islanders fear widespread contamination.

Taiwan sits on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the most earthquake prone region in the world, and after the Fukushima disaster, concerns are growing about its nuclear power plants sitting on such shaky ground.

But the islanders face a fierce fight, a powerful mainland power company and, because of its disputed nationhood, Taiwan is allowed to ship its waste for processing overseas.

Taiwan is home to three nuclear power plants and on the main island, the government is building a fourth nuclear power station just kilometres from an active seismic fault and only 8km from the capital, Taipei.

There are fears the two reactors are susceptible to a Fukushima style disaster. The controversial construction has been dogged by design flaws and problems.

The government is now promising to hold a referendum on its future. But if the reactor does not go ahead, the country’s nuclear future is in question, along with the $9bn already spent on the plant. Moreover, the state owned power company, Taipower, would face bankruptcy and any undertaking to relocate the nuclear dump from Orchid Island would vaporise.

Should earthquake-prone Taiwan pursue or abandon nuclear power? Share your thoughts with us @AJ101East #TaiwanNuclear.

101 East  airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630. 

Click here  for more  101 East 

363

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.
join our mailing list