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Streaming video

Title Foreign Correspondent: Taiwan
Published Australia : ABC, 2013
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Description 1 online resource (streaming video file) (27 min. 13 sec.) ; 164155806 bytes
Summary It's a disintegrating nuclear waste dump in a paradise - nearly 100,000 barrels of low level radioactive material sitting on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire - the most earthquake prone region in the world. Many of the barrels are rusted and ruptured. The indigenous Tao people of Orchid Island fear widespread contamination and want to know why and how the promise of a fish cannery and jobs actually turned out to be the delivery of a nuclear dump and a toxic legacy. As they rage against a powerful mainland nuclear power company, many more Taiwanese - shocked by Japan's Fukushima disaster - are joining in.A massive earthquake and series of tsunami triggered 2011's Fukushima nuclear disaster and exposed major shortcomings and widespread complacency in safety and preparedness but the shockwaves reverberated well beyond Japan.Further along the fault lines of the Pacific Rim of Fire lies Taiwan - another heavily industrialised, modern economy highly reliant on nuclear power. On the mainland, home to three nuclear power-plants (with another on the way) concern is growing about the threats posed by reactors on shaky ground. And because of its disputed nationhood, Taiwan can ship its waste for processing overseas, so the occupants of a little Taiwanese island are also up in arms about the dumping of waste on their beachfront.30 years ago the indigenous Tao were told their island home had been chosen as the location of a fish cannery and with it would come employment and economic growth beyond their subsistence existence. Instead, they got a nuclear waste facility and they now worry about the impact of a growing stockpile of waste on their farms and fishing grounds. Tens of thousands of the barrels of waste are now corroding and the islanders are not happy."More than 70,000 barrels, it sounds scary just saying that figure. There should not be a leak in a single barrel. Even a leak in a single barrel, doesn't that pose a huge risk to us?" - Lin Shih-Lan, Tao leaderAs the ABC's correspondent in Tokyo, Mark Willacy has spent the past couple of years reporting on the aftermath of the massive tsunami and the nuclear mayhem at Fukushima. He's seen, at close quarters, the consequences of a catastrophic nuclear power plant failure and he's investigated the flawed assumptions and faulty safeguards that amplified the crisis. So Willacy is ideally placed to examine the nuclear industry of another earthquake prone island nation - Taiwan - and he sees many worrying parallels with Japan. Both possess a powerful nuclear industry, questionable standards and an underestimation of the threat posed by tectonic activity. 90 percent of the world's earthquakes occur along the ring of fire.But industrial activity and a a power-hungry population are voracious consumers of energy so it needs to come from somewhere.On the main island of Taiwan the government is building a fourth nuclear power station just kilometres from an active seismic fault and only 8 kms from the capital, Tapei. There are fears the two reactors are susceptible to a Fukushima style disaster. The controversial construction has been dogged by design flaws and problems.The government is now promising to hold a referendum on its future. But if the reactor doesn't go ahead, the country's nuclear future is in question, along with the $9 billion already spent on the plant. And the state owner power company, Taipower, would face bankruptcy and any undertaking to relocate the nuclear dump from Orchid Island would vaporise
Event Broadcast 2013-04-09 at 20:00:00
Notes Classification: NC
Subject Nuclear power plants -- Environmental aspects.
Nuclear power plants -- Natural disaster effects.
Radioactive pollution.
Radioactive waste disposal in the ground.
Taiwan -- Lan Island.
Form Streaming video
Author Willacy, Mark, host
Gow-Tay, Chih, contributor
Jiapakto, Syaman, contributor
Koide, Hiroake, contributor
Shih-Lan, Lin, contributor
Tsai, Frank Fuh-Feng, contributor