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» Taiwan plans to process nuclear waste abroad

Taiwan  unveiled plans to process nuclear waste abroad for the first time as its power plants approach capacity — but environment groups slammed the proposal as “too risky.”

The government is under growing public pressure over its unpopular nuclear policy, as concerns over the safety of its plants have grown since the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Authorities were forced in July to seal off a new power plant due to open next year, pending a referendum on its future.

But the government says Taiwan will run out of energy if it ditches nuclear power — the three plants currently operated by state-owned Taipower supply 20 percent of the island’s electricity.

The new proposals, announced on Tuesday by a special government task force, pave the way for used nuclear fuel rods stored at two plants to be shipped abroad to be processed.

A reduced amount of nuclear material would then be sent back to Taiwan and re-stored at the sites, which are due to come out of commission within the next few years and are reaching storage capacity.

The government and Taipower say the processing plan could significantly reduce the amount of used nuclear fuel and that only a few countries have the technology to carry it out.

But the plan sparked opposition from environmental protection groups that questioned the safety of shipping the fuel.

<Media Reoprt>
Taiwan reveals new plans to send nuclear waste abroad (Japan Times)

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