Annual nuclear safety drill to be held in Pingtung next week

Taipei-Taiwan will hold its annual nuclear safety drill next week at the third nuclear plant in Pingtung County, testing the potential impact of earthquakes, an Atomic Energy Council (AEC) official announced Monday.

The safety simulation is conducted at different nuclear plants every year, with scenarios designed around the geographic location of each facility, AEC Deputy Minister Liu Wen-chung (???) said.

Taiwan currently has three active nuclear power plants, one in Pingtung's Hengchun Township, southern Taiwan, and two others in Wanli and Shimen, New Taipei.

Working in collaboration with the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR), Liu said this year's exercises will feature maritime evacuation of impacted residents via boats at Houbihu, which is the largest fishing harbor in Pingtung and located near the third nuclear power plant.

The maritime evacuation is the first ever held during an annual drill, AEC official Liao Chia-chun (???) said.

Liao said although earthquake impacts have always been part of past drills, the exercises this year will be primarily based on an NCDR disaster analysis that includes the simulated collapse of buildings and roads.

According to the AEC, the drill from Sept. 9-11 will feature the combined efforts of local governments, the Coast Guard Administration, the military and members of the public.

Furthermore, dignitaries from Taiwan's foreign embassies as well as nuclear disaster experts from the United States and Japan have also been invited to observe this year's simulation, it said.

During the drill on Sept. 10, residents living in or around the area where the exercises are to be held will be alerted via cell broadcast service (CBS), which is the government's disaster warning system, Liao said.

The CBS is a public warning system designed for the simultaneous delivery of messages to multiple cellphone users in a specified area.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel