Friday, 1 April 2011

On Radioactive Waste At Lanyu (蘭嶼)

My comment awaiting moderation at I-Fan Lin's latest piece at GV Taiwan:

* * *

I can agree with you that the nuclear waste should never have been deposited on Lanyu on the basis of deception - that is outrageous.

However, your report fails to mention two key points:

(1) According to the AEC, the radioactive waste stored on Lanyu is low-level waste, i.e. waste comprised of radioisotopes that DO NOT have half-lives of "thousands of years" but more likely closer to five or ten years*. Assuming that is true, then it would follow that since deposits ceased in 1996, much, if not all of the waste deposited in Lanyu would now be only minimally radioactive and of little, if any, danger to the people and wider ecology of Lanyu.

(2) The AEC recognized the problem of drum rust and decay your report refers to back in 2007 when it ordered Taipower to initiate a program of repackaging the waste into fresh drums - this program is due to be completed later this year.

*I don't however have access to any actual data other than through the AEC, but whilst I cannot verify the truth of this, I do think it is probably true given that the AEC has other forms of treatment and management for the more highly radioactive forms of waste.

* * *

The Atomic Energy Council's website is here, from which the relevant information can be found under the "Radioactive Waste Management" directory and the sub-heading of "LLW Management".

And for the cynical among you - no, this is not an April Fool's post, so do f*ck off with that crap. (I really dislike the nationalization of holidays and other "special" days such as this and the upcoming wank-fest that will be "Earth Day" and the like; I take my holidays at a time of my own choosing.)


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