After seven years’ negotiation, China has agreed to cooperate with the state-owned Taiwan Power Company on the disposal of nuclear waste. Although the agreement does not contain concrete proposals, it is the first step towards Taiwan shipping nuclear waste to the mainland.
Taiwan Power has been hard-pressed to find storage for the low-radiation waste produced by its three nuclear plants. The company signed an agreement on waste disposal with North Korea in 1997, but the deal was not implemented because the company did not have permission from the Taiwan government.
Last year the government faced protests when it announced plans to build an undersea storage site near an outlying group of islands.
Taiwan now stores more than 170,000 barrels of radioactive waste, including 97,000 at a facility on outlying Orchid Island, where residents have forced the company to halt further shipments. The rest is stored at the three plants, where facilities are over capacity.
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