Taiwan’s nuclear waste problem and Tsai Ing-wen’s dream
Taiwan’s president-elect Tsai Ing-wen wants to make Taiwan a nuclear free and a coal-less homeland by 2025.
Minister of economic affairs Teng Chen-chung says it is possible to make Taiwan nuclear free by 2025 but it is not possible to make Taiwan a coal-less homeland by then.
Taiwan’s major carbon polluters are electric power generation, steel, oil refining, petrochemical, and cement industries.
Mayor Eric Chu of New Taipei City says that if the government cannot properly dispose of nuclear waste, then it is not qualified to use nuclear power. He adamantly opposes converting the original nuclear plant facility into a local nuclear waste storage site within New Taipei City.
Taiwan’s No. 1 nuclear power plant plans to decommission its first and second nuclear power generators on December 5, 2018 and in July, 2019. However, the problem of where to store the 7400 spent nuclear fuel rods and 60,000 barrels of nuclear waste is yet to be solved. Suggestions include finding an offshore island for storage or converting the decommissioned nuclear power plant from a wet storage to a dry storage site. If this plan is adopted, the decommissioned No. 1 nuclear facility can store 1680 spent fuel rods, and a second storage facility can be built to store another 5700 spent nuclear fuel rods. This second storage facility can be built in 5 years.