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Cabinet passes draft law on radioactive waste management center
Organization: Department of International Cooperation        Publish Date: 2016-11-22 17:29
Sources: Focus Taiwan; China Post

The Cabinet approved a draft law to set up a radioactive waste management center regarding the permanent disposal of such waste on Nov. 17, 2016.

As Taiwan's nuclear power plants will gradually be decommissioned after their operating licenses expire, the Cabinet is pushing to establish such a center to manage the permanent disposal of radioactive waste and ensure the health and safety of the public, Premier Lin Chuan said.

In order to reach the goal of a "nuclear-free homeland" 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. Setting up a credible and specialized agency overseeing this process is urgent and necessary, Vice Economics Minister Yang Wei-fuu said at a press conference.

The agency, which will be supervised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, will be responsible for selecting sites for radioactive waste storage and permanent disposal facilities, and for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, supervision and closure or decommissioning of such facilities, as well as for the overseas processing of permanent disposal of radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel, according to the draft law.

The board of the agency will likely have 11 to 15 members. In order to involve the public in decisions, the draft law stipulates that at least one-third of board director seats should be filled by fair and impartial members of society, local residents and civic society group representatives. The agency's budget will be supervised by the Legislative Yuan and its finances will be transparent and open, Yang said.
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