Damage Beyond Bankruptcy
Taipei Times, Nov. 9, 2011:
COSTLY:Japan-based writer Liu Li-erh said the rising costs of the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant should be a warning, particularly around the Taipei metropolitan area
Saying that the compensation for damage caused by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan was way beyond what Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) or the Japanese government could afford, a Japan-based Taiwanese writer yesterday urged Taiwan to abandon all nuclear power.
Writer Liu Li-erh (???), who has lived in Tokyo for 30 years, made the appeal at a press conference held at the legislature.
Liu said the president of TEPCO had remarked that nuclear power was actually a very expensive power source when compensation fees are calculated, and that a professor from the University of Tokyo [Dr. Tatsuhiko Kodama] has even estimated that it would cost up to ?800 trillion, amounting to approximately 10 years of the national budget, if the soil and road surface of radiation-affected areas are to be cleaned up.
The damage is so much that the Japanese government would go well beyond bankruptcy, Liu said.
A trip to Tokyo, where people from prefectures far and near congregate for weekend demonstrations these days, always reminds me that the crisis is real, and all the more urgent because so many are not speaking, not acting, and not thinking deeply about the future.
Although it’s their own future, and that of their children and grandchildren, a good majority of folks are choosing to step back and remain silent these days. Read more about this silent majority in an excellent article by Kevin Dodd, from his blog,Senrinomichi. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an uncomfortable and eerie silence, often descending when I most want to tell friends about where I’ve been (Tokyo), what I’m doing (reading and educating myself), and what I’m thinking ( The nuclear power industry is insidious and rotten to the core. The central government is equally corrupt. The whole system could potentially continue for years to come if people don’t find the courage to seize the moment…). I have found that certain friends will listen politely, wait for me to finish, then change the subject. Other friends listen with interest and sympathy, venture their own opinions, but would not–in a million years–accompany me to a demonstration in Tokyo. Mind you, the majority of my friends agree with my anti-nuclear sentiments (in varying degrees), but they are not personally engaged. They have not been changed in a essential way by the March 11th quake and the ensuing nuclear crisis, and their complacency serves to increase my own sense of urgency and frustration.