China nuclear plants a threat to Taiwan: NSB chief
By Joseph Yeh, The China Post
May 6, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan is at risk of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents as more than a dozen nuclear power plants are located along coastal areas of the Chinese mainland, National Security Bureau (NSB, 國安局) head Tsai De-sheng (蔡得勝) said yesterday.
Fielding questions at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, the nation's top intelligence chief said nuclear power will become the primary source of energy for China in the future.
As the island of Taiwan is located close to the Chinese mainland, the NSB head said Taiwan is at high risk of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents if an incident similar to Japan's Fukushima incident in 2011 occurs on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.
According to Tsai, a total of 17 sets of nuclear reactor units are currently in operation in China. The country is expected to expand and/or build another 81 units in the near future; more than a dozen of the 81 will be located in China's coastal provinces.
The closest one to Taiwan is the Fuqing Nuclear plant (福清廠) in Fujian Province (福建省), which is only 126 kilometers away from Taiwan's northern Hsinchu County, he said.
But the NSB head stressed that Taiwan has continued to beef up its responsiveness to nuclear accidents following the Fukushima incident and now Taiwan's nuclear safety is among the best in the world, placing No. 6 in a recent ranking.
Once a nuclear disaster or radioactive incident occurs, Tsai said, the NSB will escort national leaders and senior Cabinet members to a safe house as soon as possible. An annual drill has focused on having national heads evacuate in case of emergency, he added.
Tsai made the comments in response to lawmakers' questions on the government's nuclear disaster response measures during the Legislature's National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting yesterday.
Speaking during the same session, Defense Minister Yen Ming (嚴明) said the military will immediately relocate important military facilities and installations once a nuclear accident happens.