The public awareness of nuclear power in Taiwan has increased markedly especially after the Fukushima nuclear accidents made nuclear power a contentious front-page issue. Nowadays, Taiwan produces 22% (i.e. 5028 megawatts ) of her energy from nuclear power produced by three power plants with 6 reactors. In addition to these three power plants, the under-construction nuclear power plant four has never been far away from the center of public opinion in the past 20 years. The rising environmental and anti-nuclear movements in Taiwan have created no shortage of policy disputes and public concern on the use of nuclear power for electricity generation (Hsiao.Liu et al, 1999).It seems to be an irresistible trend to make Taiwan a “nuke-free home”. But it must be a long-term process rather than an immediate action. Before we completely enable to get rid of nuclear power, there are a lot we can do to accelerate the process such as starting an energy saving revolution, developing the technology of renewable energy and even properly making use of the existing nuclear power plants.
1. The condition of Taiwan
After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, an international review of nuclear safety indicated that two of the three nuclear power plants operating in Taiwan were listed as the most dangerous in the world (Jung-Chun Ho et al, 2013). According to a survey conducted by Jung-Chun Ho et al in August 2011, 66% of the 2819 responders perceived that Taiwan's safety management of nuclear power plants was inferior to Japan's, while 40% perceived a higher possibility of nuclear accidents like that in Japan. Actually, the condition of Taiwan decides that it should create a “nuke-free home”
First of all, Taiwan is a small and geological unstable area that is frequently visited by earthquake, volcanic activity or other nature disasters. A 2011 Natural Resources Defense Council report that evaluated the seismic hazard to reactors worldwide, as determined by the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program data, placed all of Taiwan's reactors within the highest risk group of 12 reactors within very high seismic hazard areas, along with some of Japan's reactors (Jacobs Andrew, 2012).What’s more, the statistics offered by Central Weather Bureau shows that just during the past decade there were 72 typhoon have been warned including 34 moderate typhoon and 12 super ones. Earthquakes, typhoon, storm surge and mud-rock flow--those nature disasters definitely are like sword of Damocles threatening the safety of nuclear power plants.
Secondly, nearly 150 tons of nuclear waste is produced every year, which, leads to a thorny problem. Nuclear waste is so radioactive that it has to be isolated and confined in appropriate disposal facilities for a sufficient period of time until it is no longer hazardous. However, the period of time ranges from a few days for short-lived isotopes to millions of years for spent nuclear fuel. Today in Taiwan, the low-level wastes are currently...