On Sept. 21-25, 2019, we held 2019 No Nukes Asia Forum – Taiwan. After 5 day's discussion and visiting, we reached the conclusions and declarations stated below.
Ⅰ. From our long experience and from our discussions in this forum, we have come to the following realizations of the current situation:
- Nuclear power is not a wise choice for humanity. It destroys the land and health of this and innumerable future generations. The urgent transition to renewable energy sources is the only credible response to the climate emergency. This transition must be done without causing any harm to Indigenous communities.
- Nuclear power is not a clean, safe, affordable or renewable energy source. It cannot be accepted as a response to climate change simply because it has lower carbon emissions than fossil fuels. It must be considered within the life span of nuclear chain. Beginning form uranium mining to nuclear waste processing and storage, including nuclear power plant construction and fuel processing carbon emission steps should be calculated as a whole. Furthermore, it releases radioisotopes and waste heat and generates radioactive wastes.
- Nuclear power cannot be an energy solution while it is insoluble with its nuclear waste issue and climate crisis makes it more risky because of uncertain access to cooling water. We cannot accept to use our planet's precious water to cool nuclear power plants while the world itself will be experiencing droughts and disasters.
- Nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and chemical weapons are closely entwined; they are a massive threat to the environment and to world peace.
- Indigenous and minority peoples, especially those who live in remote areas and who often have little political power or voice - have long been the victims of radiation contamination from mining, nuclear weapons testing, nuclear power plant operation, and nuclear waste disposal – as seen in Australia, Taiwan, China, India, U.S.A., and the South Pacific. The myth of "economic development" cannot morally justify destruction and death for a minority. Expropriation and contamination of their land must be recognized as both cultural and physical genocide, and rectified not just with monetary compensation, but with restoration of their land rights, improving radiation monitoring, access to health services and comprehensive rehabilitation of the land.
- Many nuclear reactors are now approaching the end of their operational life. This poses serious challenges, including decommissioning, land cleanup, radiation testing, and management of nuclear waste (including so-called temporary storage), must all be subject to rigorous and ongoing independent monitoring.
- Nuclear energy is shrinking in developed countries, while in China, India and other developing countries new plants are being planned and constructed, often under authoritarian governments that readily cover up technical shortcomings. Despite the experience of Fukushima, some countries are planning to restart inactive reactors and revive designs for plants that were shelved. The continued operation of older reactors brings them into a stage of higher risk.
- We need energy democracy. This can be built by improving the transparency of media, government and industry; promoting communication in society; allowing sufficient time and place for education and debate on policy. In citizens' electoral or voting processes, there must be complete disclosure of information, including conflict of interest.
Ⅱ. To meet this situation, we must learn from each other and cooperate with each other, closely share information, and continue joint actions to support the anti-nuclear movements of all countries. The further task is to stimulate citizens and local communities to develop and utilize green renewable energy, with the ultimate goal of a future that is a nuclear-free Asia and nuclear-free earth. Specific actions to be taken at this time are as follows:
- Urge all Asian countries to support, sign and ratify the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
- Contest the nuclear industry and countries exporting their nuclear plants and technology in order to make a profit from harming the planet and its people.
- Urge IAEA to take responsibility to guide and to convince the countries especially which are very well known with their fault lines, such as India, Taiwan and Turkey, to stop their nuclear projects by learning from lessons such as of earthquake and consequences of Fukushima nuclear disaster.
- Urge all parties and governments to acknowledge, support and compensate the victims of radiation contamination from uranium mining, radioactive waste dumping and nuclear testing, including those in Australia, India, South Pacific, China, Mongolia, Russia, Taiwan, and Japan.
- Urge the people of Taiwan to participate in signing the petition for a referendum on "Abolish Nuclear, Get Renewable". The uncompleted Nuclear Power Plant No. 4 must be fully dismantled while it is still not radioactive. The site should be transformed to renewable energy generation and/or local needs. For the nuclear power plants that must be decommissioned in the near future, nuclear waste must be dealt with responsibly. Burning of low-level nuclear waste should be stopped, and the nuclear waste dump should be removed from Orchid Island.
- We reject the new ICRP draft on radiological protection. Its revision of reference levels for exposure doses suggests that staying in place after an accident poses a lower radiological risk than evacuating.
- We condemn the verdict of the Tokyo District Court, which found three former TEPCO executives not guilty in the criminal lawsuit concerning the Fukushima nuclear accident. We declare our support for the victims of the Fukushima NPP accident.
- We acknowledge that 2020 will be a significant year in Japanese nuclear-free politics with the hosting of the summer Olympics and the 75th anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The true ideals of the Olympic spirit must not be subverted for partisan or propaganda use to distract from the continuing and unresolved human and environmental impacts of the Fukushima crisis.
For more information on the No Nukes Asia Forum and Taiwan's nuclear debate, see:
- A video on the 25-year history of the No Nukes Asia Forum: www.youtube.com/watch?v=89BE9kbJpP0
- Videos from NNAF 2019: www.youtube.com/user/toach2000/videos
- Tony Boys, Oct 2019, 'Can Taiwan Phase out Nuclear Power? – Report on the NNAF 2019 Field Trip to Taiwan's NPPs', http://www.cnic.jp/english/?p=4592
- Yesil Gazete, 25 Oct 2019, '10 countries gathered for 'Nuclear Free Asia'', https://yesilgazete.org/blog/2019/10/25/10-countries-gathered-for-nuclea...
Vice President Chen reiterates government's commitment to nuclear-free Taiwan
Vice President Chen Chien-jen said Sept. 23 that the government remains committed to phasing out the use of nuclear power by 2025. At the reception held at the Presidential Office for delegates who had attended the No Nukes Asia Forum (NNAF), Chen said that the government has launched numerous energy transformation policies in recent years, such as promoting renewables and allowing existing nuclear power plants to come to the end of their lifetimes. This progress makes the country an ideal location for the NNAF, he added.
Chen's remarks came while receiving representatives and academic scholars from Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and the U.S.
According to Chen, the government recognizes the importance of listening to different voices in society given the strong opinions on both sides of the nuclear power debate. To achieve sustainable development and ensure the people's safety, however, the use of atomic energy must be phased out, he said.
Founded in 1993, the NNAF is an annual gathering that brings together experts and academics from various groups across Asia to discuss and share their visions on how to end the use of nuclear energy.
Reprinted from: Taiwan Today, 24 Sept 2019, 'VP Chen reiterates government's commitment to nuclear-free Taiwan', https://taiwantoday.tw/news.php?unit=2%2C6&post=162784&unitname=Politics...