Reconsider plans to go nuclear – PKR man

Posted on March 19, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-The Borneo Post-

MIRI: The country’s plan to build its first nuclear power plant by 2021 as an alternative source of energy should be reconsidered.

“New developments like this and studies have shown nuclear power plants to be not very safe or viable,” said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Miri branch chairman Dr Michael Teo who happened to share the same view with ex-premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the country does not know enough about nuclear power to use it.

The recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered a monster tsunami in Japan, knocking out the cooling systems of nuclear power reactors there has alarmed the world about radioactive leakages.

He also said that Malaysia is not short of alternative energy sources like hydroelectric power, solar, wind, and thermal, besides being a significant oil and gas producer, and should scrap the idea of going nuclear just to join the ranks of nuclear powered nations.

“Studies have shown the nuclear power plant to be too costly to justify, due to the inherent dangers of radioactivity, and where would you locate it, or how are you going to deal with its wastes?” he reasoned.

The danger stems from the long lifespan of radioactive isotopes measured in half life said to average 50,000 years, which means the radioactive waste have to be buried deep in the ground, posing long-term uncertainty and risks of leakage for many generations.

“The human thyroid gland is very sensitive to radioactivity, and is more susceptible to damage leading to thyroid cancer,” he explained.

The threat of radiation-induced cancer has caused some people to panic and stock up on iodide supplement, in the hope that it will help prevent thyroid gland damage.

“In any case, who will want to stay near a nuclear power plant, and it won’t be easy to convince any neighbourhood or state to accommodate it,” he added.

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