Orchid Island and Taipower's Nuclear Waste

I don’t think subsidy would be a good idea - especially not in Taiwan’s culture. Exhibit A: electric scooter subsidies. AFAIK, the subsidy is only available for certain products (ie., made by certain Taiwanese companies). The vast majority of those products are shit. There is no other word to describe them. Low-tech, badly-made, ugly, rickety, unroadworthy, underpowered shit, full of cheap, unreliable components and batteries from China. They will be thrown away in 12 months and end up in a landfill. The purpose of the subsidy is to put money into the correct pockets, not to actually improve the environmental performance of road vehicles. And yet - if they wanted to subsidise something, it could be done sensibly. Rather than subsidising the scooters themselves - which they know full well people won’t buy because they can’t charge them - how about setting up public charging stations on gov’t land? Or just providing free publicity and promotion?

Likewise with solar panels. I’ve been to the PV show a few times and I make a point of asking manufacturers about their lifetime test data and expected MTTF. Not one of them had any data to offer, even the ones who said they’d get back to me later. Some of them, when I asked about their technical specs, gave me a big happy smile and said (in their best Engrish) “It’s a solar panel”. Yes, lovely. Well done. Thanks for that. No you can’t have my business card. Several of them admitted that they don’t even bother testing for lifetime. European and American companies, on the other hand, are making better products, at lower prices, unsubsidised. I wouldn’t touch Taiwan’s output with a bargepole. Come to think of it, with the possible exception of TSMC and UMC, which are world-class companies, most of Taiwan’s energy-sucking semiconductor and photonics industry ought to be left to die in a ditch, perhaps after being knocked off its scooter by a gravel truck. Ah, buggerit - most of Taiwan’s energy-sucking industry. They’re a waste of space.

But yeah - Taiwan has lots of options. But you’re asking Taiwanese politians to (a) put aside their partisan squabbles and ignorance and (b) think outside the box. Me, I’m planning a vacation in hell with my new skis.

My thoughts exactly. The benefits of losing these anachronistic industries would far, far outweigh any economic downsides.

Yup. Price increases would take care of this, I’m sure.

Centuries, in some cases :smiley:

Someone has already posted a link documenting the existing undersea cables in Europe and the technology behind it. The interesting point is what this does to stabilize the electricity markets across Europe. Solar, wind and hydropower is powered by the changing weather, their unpredictability is why many want to continue with fossil fuels and nuclear power. But, with a connected European grid… when the days are sunny, the solar power plants of Germany reach their max capacity and can export surplus power to the northern regions. When the snow melts in the spring and the dam reservoirs fill up in Norway, they can produce much more electricity than the national market needs, and export the remaining power to Germany, or whoever is the highest bidder. This ensures that there is a minimum waste of electricity wasted across the region, and there is competition in many countries, which drives innovation in power generation. Unlike the Taipower monopoly of Taiwan.

I should mention that there is already an ongoing project to make an undersea power cable to Penghu from Taiwan. So they can finally get rid of their diesel-generators.

Any idea what Taiwan Power is discarding on or near Orchid Island?

This is the location on google maps:

A google search for “Orchid Island Nuclear Waste” brings up this article from 1993.


Also the governmental FYI describes the Lanyu storage site.


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Thanks for the links, @biobio.

The map ( https://goo.gl/maps/kXwykf12BKT2 ) says there’s a port there called Longmen Port (龍門港). There’s mention of Longmen Port on Michael Turton’s blog:

The Michael Turton post above links to this Facebook post:


I’m making one last attempt to post the “non-mobile” (is that the right word? :slight_smile:) version of the Facebook video:


This United Daily News article contains some pictures apparently related to the event(s) in question:


Liberty Times:

I’m not a hundred percent sure, but the TiTV (Taiwan Indigenous Television) news video linked below appears to be about the event Michael Turton refers to:


Here’s a little information on TiTV:

I don’t know what language the TiTV news report is in, but my guess is that it is an aborginal language. The quote below is from the website Cultural Survival:

–“Taiwan Indigenous Television Approaches 10 Year Anniversary,” October 8, 2014

Edited to add:

Is this the ship in the video?


This is from the 1993 Wise International article that @biobio linked to earlier:


Does anyone know whether the above information is accurate? In May of 2010, the poster @TwoTongues pasted a Wikipedia article quote that said something similar to the above quote:

Name parts of Taiwan as you please - #21 by TwoTongues

Interestingly, though, the quote from Wikipedia was edited out of Wikipedia in February of 2012:

Orchid Island: Difference between revisions - Wikipedia

A Chinese-language Wikipedia article mentions the allegation and a similar allegation, but the article also seems to dispute them, or at least to give equal space to an opposing version of the facts.

But an English-language Wikipedia article on the Yami people also makes the allegation that the people were told that a cannery was being built.

The source cited in that Wikipedia article is a Global Voices article by I-fan Lin.

It would be nice to encounter a source that would truly settle the matter. Maybe such a source doesn’t exist.

This is from materials on the Atomic Energy Council site that @biobio linked to earlier:


I kinda don’t get that first AEC quote above. Is it that Lanyu isn’t considered part of Taiwan? I haven’t read that whole set of materials. Maybe I’m being unfair.

As to the second quote above, I wonder if the party or parties who caused the Da Fa No. 1 (大發1號 / 大發壹號) to be sent to Lanyu on that trip had gone through the process mentioned in the quote before doing so.

Charlie Jack (and other forumosans interested in the history of Taipower dumping nuclear waste on Lanyu): try to get a hold of Hu Tai-Li’s excellent documentary film Voices of Orchid Island (1993), which gives a glimpse of the different challenges facing Tao / Yami people, including the nuclear waste issue. The final third of the film juxtaposes the views of different Tao individuals, including some trying to mobilize their communities in protest, with the “official views” of Taipower officials. It’s well worth seeing.


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From my last visit to Ponso no Tao, I noticed a generational divide amongst the Tao people. The younger and older generations can’t even agree on things like changing their tribal name from Yami to Tao. Many of the elders prefer Yami because the Hanji seem prettier.

It’s interesting because the younger generation faces much greater challenges when it comes to retaining their own culture and preserving their environment, while the older generation has less trouble with those aspects.

The older generation also went through more brainwashing education, and as such often sides with those in power. The younger generations are also often forced to leave the island to earn a living, making their voices even less heard on the island.

In an society where wisdom from age is highly valued, it frustrates the younger generation to the point they sometimes feel powerless.

Perhaps things are changing, but more awareness is needed and people in Taiwan need to speak out against Taipower as well.

The Taipower port…


Thanks, afterspivak. There’s a preview (it looks like about the first ten minutes) of the film here:

I stumbled on that here:

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Wow! Forumosans are really coming through on this one. Lots of beautiful pics and rich descriptions.

I took a class in college called Cultures in Conflict (Anthropology 101). It seems like the Yami/Tao story would have made a more relevant case study than anything we saw in that course. Of course, their use as a case study may feel like even more exploitation. Maybe a home-grown anthropologist will someday do a proper update of the Martinson book. In any case, it is fascinating…

Old culture that grew within a tropical paradise dealing with issues of annexation, exploitation and marginalization by a developed society. And of course there is the flip side of Taiwan’s own oppression-related identity issues and internal strife.


9 posts were merged into an existing topic: Orchid Island: Must see things?

Lanyu residents demand removal of nuclear waste


So, what ever happened to the nuclear waste dumpsite on Orchid Island? I remember reading twenty years ago that the Orchid Island site was in a state of decay, with some of the metal drums in their concrete bunkers rusting.

The post just above mentions a protest as recently as 2017. Nuclear waste allegedly has not been dumped on Lanyu (Orchid) since 1996.

What has Taiwan done with its nuclear waste since 1996? Does anyone know about the fate of Orchid island and the dump site, or about current methods of waste containment and disposal in Taiwan?

Perhaps they are selling it to Kim Jong-un for a fast buck?

Orchid Island Dumpsite Info

Think all the waste is still in orchid island and the spent fuel rods are still in pools of water at the power stations

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They were planning to move it to Taidong a decade ago, but you can imagine why it stalled, who wants to have nuclear waste, even low level nuclear waste, right next to their home?

Back in 2016, the Atomic Energy Council sued Taipower for failing to relocate the site as promised, and required Taipower to pay 10 million in fines, and Taipower refused to pay, so in 2017 the AEC increased the fine to 30 million. Taipower went to the court, and the court absolved them of any responsibility.

The reason why the court ruled in favor of Taipower is that even though the law required the site to be moved, the residents living around target sites in Kimmen and Taidong refused to hold a referendum to block the procedure for even going through, so Taipower argues it wasn’t their fault. The courts agreed, and Taipower doesn’t have to pay for failing on their promise to relocate the site. God knows if Taipower is even trying.

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Taiwan proper doesn’t want them
The USA stores a bunch in salt mines in UTAH I read

Maybe send ours to green island
No that sucks too
How about that islet off wanli
Nobody lives there

Seems like a place where they could radioactivate the island and Godzilla will hatch and come for us ?

It’s all still there on Orchid? Did they rebuild the dumpsite, I wonder?

Howabout simply blast it all to space on Elon’s rockets – to Mars? It’s already really radioactive on Mars, anyway:

Radiation levels on Mars compared to Earth

Then, Elon can pay to clean up the old dumpsite and organize an annual music festival or even a permanent research colony. Orchid’s dumpsite would be a great environment to test out designs for habitats intended for Mars.

(Methinks they will end up burrowing deep down into that uninhabited islet, hey?)

No. The place is as dumpy as I last saw it.

My pro-nuclear-fission -power co-worker keeps suggesting blasting all nuclear waste, including the fuel rods, into the sun. I’m sure nothing bad would happen.

If we are dumping waste somewhere, how about do it to a place where we are unlikely to ever try to live there, like Venus, where it’s just way too hot and the pressure is too high to live.

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Aka colonizers.