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2022-08-20 14:25
Taiwan Power Company

The Lanyu Low-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Site Has Become an Orchid Restoration Base! Taipower Collaborates with Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center to Restore Endangered Orchids and Recreate the Island of Orchids

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Taipower Collaborates with Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center to Restore Endangered Orchids and Recreate the Island of Orchids
Taiwan's orchids are internationally famous. The species Dendrobium miyakei Schltr. has been certified by the Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Show as a world champion. Lanyu or "Orchid Island," in Taitung County, is also named so because of the orchids on the island. With an area of only 50 square kilometers, there are 1,050 species of plants, of which as many as 65 species are orchids. However, due to its reputation, the orchids on Lanyu have been harvested excessively, and more than half of the species are at risk of extinction. Taipower teamed up with the world's largest tropical plant conservation center - Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center (KBCC) - to restore orchids, turning the Lanyu Low-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Site into an orchid restoration base. It took 4 years to successfully nurture nearly 10,000 orchid seedlings, and more than 3,000 orchid seedlings have been transported back to Taipower's Lanyu Low-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Site, which will then be adopted by local residents and groups, allowing these precious orchids to return home.
Taipower held its "2022 Environmental and Ecological Restoration - Lanyu Orchid Returning Home" event at the Lan An Cultural and Educational Foundation this morning (August 20). The Vice President of Taipower, Fu-Tien Chien, handed the orchid to the mayor of Lanyu Township, Syaman Galamu, symbolizing the homecoming of the restored orchids. Other guests including Senior Collection Manager of KBCC Jun-Ming Chen; Tao Member of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Sinan Rapongan; CEO of the Lan An Cultural and Educational Foundation Mei-Mei Dong; principal of Lanyu High School Wen-Qian Lian; head of Dongqing Village Chin-Fa Chang, and local villagers also participated in the event to jointly witness the great achievement. Fu-Tien Chien said that Taipower's Lanyu Power Plant marks its 40th anniversary this year. In addition to making continuous efforts towards providing local people with stable electricity, Taipower also looks forward to contributing to the local area through orchid restoration activities and working together with everyone to rebuild the island of orchids.
Taipower has teamed up with the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center (KBCC) to restore Lanyu orchids. KBCC continues to collaborate with domestic and international research institutions and universities, including Academia Sinica, the Council of Agriculture, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Duke University, etc., and has collected more than 33,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants, including more than 9,000 species of orchids. In 2017, the CEO of KBCC, Chia-Wei Li, visited Lanyu to collect orchid seedlings. Owing to the assistance of Taipower in arranging the itinerary and transportation for the trip, an opportunity for further collaboration was formed. In 2018, Taipower officially collaborated with KBCC to launch the "Cultivation and Restoration Project for Four Rare Orchid Species on Lanyu," which led to a 4-year restoration project that continues up to the present.
Jun-Ming Chen, the Senior Collection Manager of KBCC in charge of the restoration project, said that in addition to preserving orchids, it's more important to allow these native and rare plants to return home and flourish again. KBCC collaborated with Taipower to select four orchid species that are rapidly declining or even endangered: Dendrobium miyakei Schltr., Bletilla formosana f. kotoensis (Hayata), Tuberolabium kotoense Yamam., and Vanda lamellata Lindl. After going deep along the forest trails and cliffs, such as to Tianchi Lake, to collect the seedlings of native orchids and pollinate, propagate, and domesticate them in the greenhouse, the seedlings are transported to the Lanyu Low-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Site for further cultivation and care. In addition, the successfully cultivated Dendrobium miyakei Schltr. and Bletilla formosana f. kotoensis (Hayata) were made into specimens and collected in the National Museum of Natural Science's specimen library.
Jun-Ming Chen said that the key to this restoration project is to return orchid seedlings to Lanyu so that native orchids can be cultivated on Lanyu again through the adoption and care of local residents. Since Taipower has been working in Lanyu for many years, in addition to providing a restoration site, it also acts as a bridge to connect between KBCC and the local communities on Lanyu, including institutions, organizations, and villagers, and establish a follow-up mechanism for orchid adoption, so that the restored orchids can truly return home to grow and flourish with island residents.
Taipower's Lanyu Low-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Site is the only dedicated nuclear waste storage site in Taiwan, storing low-level radioactive waste generated from nuclear power plants as well as other activities in various fields such as medicine, agriculture, industry, and academic research nationwide. In the current orchid restoration and returning home project, the Site acts as a restoration base. The space on the Site was utilized to build a restoration greenhouse of approximately 132 m2 in size, equipped with shading nets, seedling racks, and ventilation as well as watering systems. With good care, the four endangered orchid varieties were cultivated under a stable environment. Moreover, by adjusting the conditions in the greenhouse, the orchids gradually adapted to the natural climate and environment of Lanyu. Since the start of the project, more than 3,000 orchid seedlings have returned to Lanyu, their native land.
Taipower explained that Taiwan's unique environment and excellent orchid restoration technology are the keys for Taipower to implement the orchid restoration project. The current restoration project also includes the important adoption and maintenance system. During the project, Taipower continued to interact closely with the local communities of Lanyu to establish an orchid adoption mechanism. Hundreds of individuals and groups have enthusiastically participated in the adoption program, including the county council member of Taitung County's Bi-Mei Huang; Mayor of Lanyu Township, Lanyu Township Office representative; Lanyu High School; Yeyou Elementary School; Langdao Elementary School; B&B and restaurant owners, and local villagers, etc. Through integrating the project with courses in local schools, the concept of ecological restoration has been delivered to students, allowing orchids to be seen everywhere in Lanyu's mountains and fields, living up to its reputation as the island of orchids.

Spokesperson: Chief Engineer, Chin-Chung Wu
Tel: (02) 2366-6271 / 0910-192-766
Email: u850899@taipower.com.tw
Contact Person: Director of Department of Nuclear Back-end Management, Hsueh-Chih Chang
Tel: (02) 2365-7210 #2200 / 0978-921-880
Email: u808220@taipower.com.tw