Scientist warns of dangers of Taiwan nuclear mishap via Taipei Times

A Japanese nuclear scientist and researcher says that if a nuclear accident occurred at one of northern Taiwan’s nuclear power plants, about 30,000 people would die within a short period of time and up to 7 million people could develop cancer from exposure to the nuclear radiation.
Hiroaki Koide, a nuclear reactor specialist who has been an assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute since 1974, spoke yesterday at a civic nuclear-free forum and met environmental protection groups in Taipei over the weekend.
“The evacuation efficiency in northern Taiwan is virtually zero,” he said.
According to nuclear accident simulations he has run, people living in Taipei and New Taipei City’s (新北市) Yonghe (永和), Jhonghe (中和), Banciao (板橋), Sanchong (三重), Lujhou (蘆洲) and Pingsi (平溪) would all be directly affected by radiation, leading to an estimated 30,000 deaths in the first month after any such incident and up to 7 million possibly dying of cancer in the following years.
Nuclear power plants are not designed to be constructed on fault zones, he said, adding that Taiwan and Japan are both countries which suffer frequent seismic activity.
Therefore, it is very dangerous to have plants built on unstable strata, especially when operating power plants in Taiwan are considered old and the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which is under construction, is being assembled using components from different manufacturers.
James Kuo (郭國榮), an engineer with 25 years of experience working on nuclear power at General Electric, also participated in the forum. He recently visited the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and said the nation still lacks professionalism in managing nuclear power, adding that the government often misleads people by saying that nuclear power is a cheap means of generating electricity.

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