A Cooling Dip ?  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The Age reports on some risky outdoor adventure activity in Taiwan - going to the beach - Swimmers dive in to nuclear reactor cooling water. Apparently no three-eyed fish have been found nearby (thus far) and the plant owners are keen to encourage the activity - its perfectly safe (not to mention too cheap to meter) !

As Taiwan heats up, swimmers seek relief in the sea ... many at a beach next to a nuclear power plant that spews cooling water straight into the ocean. They try not to think about it.

"I haven't evaluated the safety here. That's something scholars and experts should research more," said fire department employee Hsieh Rong-chan, 36, as he suited up for diving, adding that the water at least looked clean.

State-run Taiwan Power Co's 340-hectare No. 3 Nuclear Power Station opened in 1985 beside a stretch of sand famous among visitors to Kenting, a cluster of beach communities that draw thousands of beach-goers. Taiwan's two other nuclear power plants do not border swimming beaches.

The brown domes of two nuclear plant towers loom in clear view of sunbathers on the white sands, while snorkelers paddle in a coral-rich inlet right next to the open, cement-sided cooling water outtake channel.

"Taiwan people think that if you can't see the danger, then danger basically doesn't exist," said You Hui-chin, 37, as she dipped her toes in a tidal pool a few dozen metres from the cooling water outlet, and watched her twin 4-year-old sons barge further into the ocean.

Some swimmers at Nanwan believe that as long as they only swim next to the nuclear plant occasionally, rather than every day, they will survive. Others are surprised to find the nuclear plant and refuse to touch the water. ...

Kenting locals report no illness or mutated fish.

The power company acknowledges coral blanching from the outtake water, which is 31 to 32 degrees Celsius, higher than normal ocean temperatures. They will spend a one-off $70,000 to protect the surrounding coral reefs.

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