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Joining Hands Across the Strait for Nuclear Safety, Ensuring the Safety of the Entire Family

  • Date:2011-10-12

Explanation on the Cross-Strait Nuclear Power Safety Cooperation Agreement

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC)
October 12, 2011

1) The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan attracted attention among Taiwanese people to the importance of nuclear power safety. The Taiwan government has proactively promoted the formation of the Cross-Strait Nuclear Power Safety Cooperation Agreement, which is expected to be signed at the Seventh Chiang-Chen Talks.

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan resulting from a massive earthquake on March 11 this year highlighted the importance of the nuclear power safety issue. Due to the geographic proximity of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, the coastal location of all major nuclear power plants of Taiwan and mainland China, and the growing frequency of exchanges and contacts between people on both sides, a nuclear power disaster on either side would inevitably impose a major impact on people on both sides. In consideration of these facts, and under the universal "safety first" principle of nuclear power application, the two sides should join hands to strengthen exchanges on nuclear power safety supervision and management as well as real-time liaison mechanisms for emergency accident reporting to prevent and reduce the occurrence of nuclear power accidents.

In order to ensure the safety of the life and property of people on both sides of the Strait and prevent possible nuclear power disasters, President Ma Ying-jeou instructed the government in March this year to actively promote the signing of a cross-strait nuclear power safety agreement. This proposal received a positive response from the Mainland side. Since mid-May this year, the competent authorities of the two sides (Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council under the Executive Yuan and the Mainland’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and National Nuclear Emergency Response Office) have carried out several talks on operational issues and extensively discussed and exchanged views on the draft structure and content of the Agreement. The two sides have so far reached consensus on the great majority of the draft and expect to sign the Agreement at the Seventh Chiang-Chen Talks. The content of the Agreement refers to the nuclear power safety demands and spirit in the international community and will help show the world Taiwan's responsible approach to nuclear power safety.

2) The two sides have agreed to establish mechanisms for "nuclear safety information exchanges" and "nuclear power plant emergency accident reporting," underscoring the importance of "safety first" values in nuclear power application.

The two sides have reached consensus on the fields of cooperation under the Agreement, agreeing to establish between their respective competent authorities a "nuclear power safety information exchange mechanism" and a "nuclear power plant emergency accident reporting and liaison mechanism" for cross-strait nuclear power plant security supervision, management, and emergency response. The signing of this Agreement will help highlight the universal value and principle of "safety first" in nuclear power application and show the world Taiwan's responsible attitude towards nuclear power safety.

3) The signing of the Cross-Strait Nuclear Power Safety Cooperation Agreement will help upgrade the safety of nuclear power plant operations on both sides and reduce the impact of accidents through hotline links to safeguard the well being of the people.

(1) The exchange of experience related to nuclear power safety can upgrade the safety of nuclear power plant operations, reduce the incidence of nuclear power plant accidents, and prevent accidents from occurring in the first place: By signing this Agreement, the competent authorities of the two sides can exchange information and experience on nuclear power plant safety supervision during peacetime to upgrade the security and transparency of nuclear power plant operations. Moreover, cooperation, exchanges, and discussions between the two sides can help reduce the likelihood of nuclear accidents, taking precautions against a calamity.

(2) The emergency accident reporting hotline will enable the prompt adoption of response and safeguard measures to protect public safety: Under this Agreement, a mechanism for the emergency reporting of nuclear power plant accidents will be established between the competent authorities of the two sides, enabling Taiwan to immediately obtain related information and rapidly adopt response and safeguard measures to contain the impact of the accident and ensure public safety. Furthermore, this Agreement requires that either side experiencing an accident should actively provide assistance to ensure the safety of the people on the other side as well as necessary assistance to grant Taiwanese businesspeople and students in the Mainland greater peace of mind.

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