Japanese nuclear experts, lawmakers in Taipei this week
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-24 11:49 AM
Nuclear experts and Diet members from Japan will be in Taiwan this week to exchange opinions on Japan's experience of dealing with nuclear energy, a topic which is hogging headlines across the island recently. Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Woody Duh told a committee at the Legislative Yuan Wednesday that the delegation will take part in a forum Sunday to explain some of the successes and difficulties the Japanese have met in trying to restart nuclear power plants that were shut down following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

Akito Arima, former president of the University of Tokyo, is leading the delegation of nine nuclear experts and eight Diet members, including Hiroyuki Hosada, on the visit to Taiwan. They will arrive Friday, April 25, and return to Japan Tuesday the 29th.

Duh’s remarks came during a committee hearing in which government officials briefed legislators and answered questions about the future of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and government strategies for dealing with potential nuclear disasters.

Taiwan’s three operating nuclear power stations now provide about 20 percent of the island's electricity supply. Many environmental activists and academics are calling for construction of the fourth plant to be halted following a string of construction delays and management blunders.

In addition to concerns about growing stockpiles of nuclear waste, critics say that adding a new nuclear power facility in earthquake-prone Taiwan's heavily populated north will only make matters worse.

The DPP announced Wednesday it is organizing a 7-kilometer run in Taipei Saturday to urge the Legislative Yuan to pass a special law authorizing a referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

Two other events organized by anti-nuclear groups are scheduled to take place in front of the Presidential Office on Saturday, and more events are planned by anti-nuclear groups for northern, central and southern Taiwan to press the government to stop construction of the new plant.

The builder and future operator of the facility, Taiwan Power Co., said it will deliver the first of a series of safety reports in June and will apply for an operating license for the plant in September.

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