Referendums Galore - 2018 Municipal Elections

The aftermath and cleanup of Fukushima so far has totalled above ¥21.5 trillion (US$187 billion) for the Japanese government by 2016, and that number is only going up. That’s not counting the lost of land value and agricultural value. Oh, and they are going to be dealing with it for the next million years.

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A majority of that cost was unnecessary. Breakdowns of Fukushima’s “clean-up” cost show that nearly 60% of that cost is not clean-up, but compensation for damages related to the long-term evacuation of the exclusion area around the plant. An exclusion area that should never have happened.

They are cleaning out top-soil and enforcing an exclusion zone for an area that has radition exposure levels at around 5 millisieverts per year. While that is “high” for Japan, it’s really nothing at all to worry about and is FAR below natural background radiation levels in parts of the world and nowhere near an actual dangerous level. Brazil and the Sudan have natural background radiation levels 8 times that high (40 millisieverts per year). Parts of the Middle East have average natural background radiation levels up to 200 millisieverts per year… and there is no evidence that lifetime exposures to radiation at even these high levels results in higher incidents of cancer or other negative health effects.

Regardless, I’d like to see Siemens’ calculations. I have a feeling that they are stretching things to fit their narrative.

once again, when meansuring natural background radiation, we are usually talking about gamma radiation. However, in case of nuclear power accidents, cleanups are required for radioactive particles as a result of fallout.


Background radiation is a measure of the ionizing radiation in the environment at a specific location. Ionizing radiation includes gamma radiation, X-rays, and some high-energy UV rays. Almost all ionizing UV rays get absorbed by the atmosphere and naturally occurring X-rays are not a significant source of ionizing radiation in the environment so yeah, background radiation is mostly measuring gamma rays…

Radiation from nuclear fuel, nuclear waste or contaminated particles is also gamma radiation. So what’s your point? It’s all gamma radiation. Why are you trying to distinguish between the measurement of background gamma rays and the gamma rays emitted from contaminated particles? It’s all the same kind of radiation…

yes, but natural background radiation just passes through you, while radioactive particles from fallout can get into your body and stay there.

Yes, particles from nuclear fallout can do that…

But there was NO NUCLEAR FALLOUT at Fukushima. At Chernobyl, the upper shield on the reactor blew off spewing radioactive materials into the air and the surrounding area. THAT is fallout. That didn’t happen at Fukushima. Radiation leaked into the environment and irradiated the dust and materials in the area causing the general background radiation to elevate. That’s not the same thing as radioactive fuel spewing into the environment.

You gotta be kidding.


On 30 September 2011, the Japanese Ministry of Education and Science published the results of a plutonium fallout survey, for which in June and July 50 soil samples were collected from a radius of slightly more than 80 km around the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Plutonium was found in all samples

They estimated the Pu-241 dose for a person living for 50 years in the vicinity of the most contaminated site to be 0.44 mSv. However, the Cs-137 activity at the sites where Pu-241 was found was very high (up to 4.7 MBq/kg or about 135,000 times greater than the plutonium 241 activity), which suggests that it will be the Cs-137 which prevents habitation rather than the relatively small amounts of plutonium of any isotope in these areas.

The spent fuel tank melted down to the core. They were unable to contain the contaminated water for a long time, and it was on the ground and in the ocean.

Point taken. Sorry for the inaccuracy…

But go ahead and read through the entire article you just posted. Study after study shows that the health effects of the Fukushima will likely be undetectable in the long run. Fukushima was a once-in-a-generation disaster. Something on that scale is very unlikely to ever happen again. And it’s not insignificant to note that to this point, the human life costs of nuclear power, even including Fukushima, are virtually zero.

The long-term costs associated with nuclear power are very low. Siemens’ Wind Power and Renewable Energy division using Fukushima to forecast future costs associated with nuclear power is pretty ridiculous…and again, I would love to see what numbers they are using.

The engineers who built Fukushima thought a disaster like that would never happen in the first place. When you are building these power plants on a rock full of natural disasters, from tsunamis, to typhoons, to earthquakes, to volcano, whilst knowing that averting disaster requires nothing going wrong, you are basically kidding yourself by touting how safe a design is.

If safety is truly in the minds of nuclear proponents, they’d all be promoting thorium power planets instead of plutonium.

Fukushima was a perfect storm of a disaster. Several things had to line up in order for the safety systems to fail to the extent that they did.

  • Most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Asia
  • Largest tsunami ever recorded in Japan
  • 40 year-old reactor design with outdated safety and backup systems

If the exact same disaster happened in the same spot, but that reactor was a newer model, the results would not have been the same.

But even with that crazy confluence of events, the aftermaths of nuclear power disasters have once again proven to be far less dangerous than people once worried.

I just don’t get environmentalists on this issue. We are supposedly in this dire emergency of the planet warming up due to carbon emissions and must act NOW! And here we are with a relatively inexpensive and extremely safe form of energy production that produces virtually zero carbon emissions but we can’t use it because MAYBE there will be some future disaster even though civilian nuclear power has a nearly 80-year history of causing ZERO civilian deaths (Chernobyl deaths have all been non-civilian emergency workers… less than 50 up to this point).

I will take the tiny, tiny chance of a nuclear disaster that likely won’t cause any human deaths to the certainty of death by fossil fuels every day. And I beg people to not use wind or solar as a counter-argument. I hope someday those will be viable options…but they aren’t right now. They are intermittent, we can’t really store the power right now, they are expensive and Taiwan just doesn’t have the space to power the country with those sources. We can’t wait for all of this investment into green energy to pay off. I thought we needed to act now, right?

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So it’s not just me who says that here, right? :grin:

Again, yours is the answer most often provided by those who worship at the altar of anthropomorphic climate change: punt the ball. Let us wait until a “cleaner energy source” comes along. :pray:

Are economic opportunities thus missed forever? Irrelevant, you say. My point is that more often than not for people who are convinced that human activity can slow global warming, economic opportunities are never relevant.

There is always a “cleaner energy sources can provide the power” or an idea about one or faith in one being just around the corner. No alternative is good enough. The preferred solution is always to halt or retard economic development.

No there is a cleaner energy source that can be used if they choose to do it right, natural gas . Instead of putting the cart before the horse they should provide cleaner energy to power their plant and then operate the plant.

Otherwise what they are actually doing is making dollars for shareholders (most of whom are foreign funds by the way ) by polluting the local vicinity, using cheap dirty power and adding a lot of the greenhouse gas CO2 from dirty coal. This was their play in Taicbung already.

Look around you and use the noggin that God blessed you with. See all that polluted farmland in Taiwan where they built 10s of 1000s of illegal factories . Quick money.
Was the quick money worth it…Not really. Toxic food, polluted soil and water that will cost a fortune to clean up and in many places will never be cleaned up. If they had set up in zoned areas at the start 95% of this contamination could have been avoided. Regulations exist for a reason and they can raise living standard in many cases.

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Then good for you, at least you seem to be willing to concede that economic development can continue if your conditions are met.

Regulations exist in order to minimize externalities, period. That’s the only valid reason for business regulation imo, to ensure that the price of whatever is produced covers all costs. The point of regulation is to ensure that no costs of production are borne by the non-shareholder public at large.

In most cases, though, regulation is designed to seize shareholder control, thereby to seize private assets and place them under public control. You can choose to call this “raising living standards,” but I call it theft. ymmv.

And this has strayed too far afield. I don’t think we are discussing 2018 municipal referenda in Taiwan any longer. Checking out.

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They removed it, so you could brag about the place being super-non-contaminated. Now you want to tell us they should have left it contaminated to save money, but if they had done that, you wouldn’t be able to brag about it being super-non-contaminated, would you?

What, the entirety of Brazil? It’s the 5th largest country on the planet.

No-one will ever truly cover all costs of anything.

Not true. The 1993 Hokkaido earthquake had waves reaching 31 meters. The 2011 one near Fukishima only had waves reaching 10 meters.

Just a stone throw away in Alaska, tsunami once reached 524 meters.

These things are going to happen, and plenty of these natural disasters would only get worse as climate change persists. To say because they rarely happens, so nuclear power plants do not have to put them into consideration is irresponsible.

Just from 1950 to now, Japan has had 3 tsunamis with waves over 10 meters. That’s 1 every 23 years. So what you gonna do when a 31 meter wave crashes into your power plant, which has to be built on the coast line?

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Not at all what I said… but okay.

Good point Hansioux. I heard the Fukushima plant was recommended to build a higher wall but they just wanted to save money being a private operator ?
Also where the back up power was located was dumb.

For Taiwan’s plants it would be interesting to see any review .

It think it’s possible to make nuclear plants practically safe even from massive earthquakes and tsunamis, but the costs can be really high to achieve that.

NP4 is built on a fault line…

"The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has long supported the right of referendum and passed legislation to lower referendum thresholds in late 2017, has now passed a bill that will limit the exercise of direct democracy.

The DPP-controlled Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Referendum Act on Monday that will only allow national referendums to be held on the fourth Saturday of August every two years, starting in 2021."
The DPP suffered a major defeat in the elections, winning only six city and county seats after holding 13 previously.

It also saw some of its core policies, such as the phasing out of nuclear power and opening Taiwan to food imports from Japanese areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear meltdown handily defeated in referendums.

The large number of referendums were prompted by the DPP government’s lowering of thresholds to initiate referendums in a legislative amendment in December 2017 that made it much easier than previously to bring them to a vote.

The new provision will likely make it harder for referendums to pass, as the Referendum Act requires an initiative to be supported by at least 25 percent of eligible voters and be backed by more than half of the votes cast to be approved.

Turnouts of that size may be harder to muster in late August in a non-election year than on a normal election day.

To refresh your memory, this is what Tsai said in Dec 2017
"Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday hailed a law amendment lowering of the thresholds for referendums as a “historic moment” that ushers in a new era in which “people are the masters” of the country.

In a post on her Facebook page following the passage of the amendments to the Referendum Act in the Legislature, the president said the existing Referendum Act, which is “fraught with faults,” has become history.

The new amendments have given back power to the people and broken them out of the “birdcage,” Tsai said.

it’s never about the rights of the people, but rather the complete control of citizens’ thoughts and actions by politicians

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