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Taiwanese waste to Russia

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(November 24, 1995) Officials in the Russian harbour of Murmansk said on November 17, that a first shipment of nuclear waste from Taiwan will arrive in the Russian Arctic port next April.

(443.4384) WISE-Amsterdam - Taiwan replied and said the following day that it has not decided whether to ship its nuclear waste to Russia but added that negotiations with Russian counterparts are underway.

"We are still in the stage of discussion with our counterparts in Russia ... there is no time-table and no substantial plan at the moment," a senior official at state-run utility Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) told Reuters. The Taipower official, who declined identification, said Taipower signed a letter of intent with a Russian nuclear research body in June, but did not reach any agreement on disposing of the island's nuclear waste in Russia. "Russia is a possible site and we do not rule out the possibility of shipping our nuclear waste to Russia in the future," the Taipower official said.

Russian journalists said the ecology committee of the regional authority in Murmansk announced that 2,000 litres of low-level radioactive waste would arrive in the city, little more than 100 km (60 miles) from the Norwegian and Finnish borders, for onward carriage to a Russian waste processing plant in the Moscow area.

Taipower operates Taiwan's three nuclear power stations and a fourth is under construction. Waste is currently dumped on Orchid Island just off Taiwan's southeast coast, but the site will be full within two years. Construction of additional nuclear dump sites in Taiwan proper is strongly opposed by local environmentalists. Besides Russia, Taiwan has considered sending waste to China, the Marshall Islands in the Pacific and elsewhere.

Source: Reuter, 18 Nov. 1995

Contact: For A Nuclear Free North, Igor Kudrik, Maklakova-9-21, 183073 Murmansk, Russia
or Anti Nuclear Coalition for Taiwan, Box 843, Tunghai University, Taichung 40704, Taiwan, Tel & Fax +886-4-359 5622