The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft law to set up a radioactive waste management center that would involve the public in decisions regarding the permanent disposal of such waste.
The Cabinet is pushing for the establishment of such a center to ensure the health and safety of the public, as Taiwan's nuclear power plants will gradually be decommissioned after their operating licenses expire, Premier Lin Chuan (??) said.
In order to reach the goal of making Taiwan nuclear-free by 2025, the government will begin to decommission the country's nuclear power plants within 10 years, while nuclear waste temporarily stored on Orchid Island and elsewhere will be moved to permanent disposal sites, Vice Economics Minister Yang Wei-fuu (???) said at a press conference.
It is "urgent and necessary" to establish a credible and specialized center to handle the final disposal of radioactive waste, he said.
The center, which will be supervised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, will be responsible for selecting sites for radioactive waste storage and permanent disposal facilities, as well as for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, supervision and closure or decommissioning of such facilities, according to the draft law.
It will also be responsible for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste overseas and for the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel outside of Taiwan.
To ensure public participation, the draft law stipulates that the number of fair and impartial members of society, local residents and civic society group representatives should consist of not less than one third of the center's board of directors, which will number between 11 and 15.
Yang said the center's budget will be supervised by the Legislative Yuan and all its finances will be transparent and open.
The draft law will still have to be passed by the Legislative Yuan before it becomes law.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel