Nuclear A Potential Source Of Power For Malaysia, Says Expert

Posted on July 14, 2010. Filed under: Energy |

(Bernama) — Malaysia needs to look closely into the possibility of developing a competitive and stable source of power for long-term use, a chemical engineering expert, Dr Rosalam Sarbatly said Wednesday.

Rosalam is an associate professor and the Dean of Universiti Malaysia Sabah School of Engineering and Information Technology.

According to his research entitled “Nuclear As A Potential Source of Power”, nuclear power was an option for energy as it could provide highly reliable, competitive, stable and environment-friendly power supply.

“A stable nuclear power supply which is not influenced by the market, is easy to get, the cost for operating the nuclear plant is stable and it is expected to be capable of offering a much lower electricity tariff.

“When a competitive and stable source of power is in place, inadvertently, it will boost the growth of industry and provide more job opportunities,” he told Bernama here Wednesday.

However, Rosalam said a detailed study should be carried out pertaining to issues on national and international policies, risks, environmental impact assessment, economic, and social and human capital development as well as a suitable location.

He said the study should focus on the best interest and wellbeing of the people.

In order to ensure a more competitive and stable power supply, the electrical grid system and the development and operation cost of the nuclear plant should also be considered.

“The main challenges in developing the grid system are the vast coverage area, mountainous terrain and different local requirements,” he said.

Rosalam said the development of a decentralised power system using natural resources like wind, waves, geothermal, hydro, biomass and solar could be applied in remote areas, while high-populated areas which had high demand of power supply should be connected by a high-capacity electricity grid system.

“Malaysia’s political stability and the world’s nuclear technology maturity have opened the door for the country to develop and adopt the technology to achieve the status of a developed nation by 2020,” he said.

Rosalam said current observation found that “although some groups supported the idea, many still blame the nuclear technology for the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima by the United States on Aug 9, 1945 and the nuclear explosions in Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine in 1986.

“Unlike most technology, nuclear technology will not easily change over time as there are certain standards that should be adhered to.

“The construction and operation of a nuclear plant are strictly governed by local and international authority such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” he said.

With strict monitoring, tight regulations and standards, and lessons learnt from past experiences, he said the mistakes which caused the nuclear explosion tragedy could be avoided.

Among the countries with vast nuclear power reserves are Khazakhstan, Australia and South Africa.

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