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Taiwan: Radwaste to North Korea

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(January 24, 1997) The Taiwan Power Company stopped dumping nuclear waste on its only disposal on Lanyu island last July, because of capacity problems. It is now looking for another site, and is considering the offshore island of Matsu, the eastern counties of Hualien and Taitung, and the southern county of Pingtung.

(465.4622) WISE Amsterdam -The utility gave U.S.$1.8 million to each of the local governments to þappreciate their participationþ, and promised U.S.$109 million for the local government and the residents of the final site. After environmental protests, Taiwan Power promised to remove all the nuclear waste from Lanyu until 2002.

In a surprise statement on January 13, Taipower announced it would ship 60,000 barrels of nuclear waste to North Korea within the next two years. The deal was signed on January 11. Under the contract, Taipower has an option to ship a total of up to 200,000 barrels of nuclear waste to North Korea. Company president Hsi Shih-chi would not disclose financial arrangements with impoverished North Korea, which presumably extracted a substantial cash payment in exchange for agreeing to take the waste. According to Taipower, this deal will allow them to remove the waste from Lanyu before 2002. But the company continues to contact the Marshall Island and Russia for further contracts.

Sources: Reuter, 1 & 13 January 1997
Contact: WISE-Tokyo