Anti-nuclear campaigners in Taiwan are having their work made easier by the sheer incompetence of the industry they’re fighting against. Reuters reports that a nuclear plant near Taipei may have been leaking water for over three years.
The First Nuclear Power Plant, located at Shihmen in a remote northern coastal location but not far from densely populated Taipei, has been leaking toxic water from storage pools of two reactors, said the watchdog, called the Control Yuan.
Officials say that the water is being collected in a reservoir next to the plant and poses no threat to the environment.
The Control Yuan said there had been a catalogue of errors, including a lack of a proper plan for how to handle spent nuclear materials, and did not believe the explanations from Taipower.
“The company has yet to clearly establish the reason for the water leak,” it said.
Anti-nuclear campaigners are trying to block plans to build a fourth nuclear plant on Taiwan. Nuclear power currently accounts for 18.4 percent of electricity production in the territory.
The government wants to hold a public referendum to gain approval for the plant, which is 90 percent completed. Opposition lawmakers say the 55.1 billion yuan (NT$269.4 billion) project should be abandoned because it is unsafe. Due to Taiwan’s diminutive size, any nuclear disaster – such as that which occurred in Fukushima, Japan in 2011 – would devastate the island territory.
[Image credit: @maxchu]