Orchid Island is a 45-kmē volcanic island off the eastern coast of Taiwan in the Pacific. It is governed as Lanyu Township of Taitung County of the Republic of China. The island is the homeland to the Tao Taiwanese aborigines (also known as the Yami people), who call the island Ponso no Tao ("the island where we live").Since 1982, Taipower Company has been dumping nuclear waste on this island and surrounding sea.In January 19, 1946, the island was designated as Hongtouyu Township ("Red-headed Island") of Taichung County. November 24 of that year, it was renamed to Lan Yu, or Orchid Island, named after the local Phalaenopsis orchids. From 1958 to 1972, thousands of convicts were sent to a prison on this island.