Gov’t pursuit of nuclear power irresponsible

Posted on April 4, 2011. Filed under: Ecology, Energy |

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) finds the government’s insistence on continuing its pursuit of nuclear energy as an alternative to coal-burning is irresponsible and criminal in the face of the nuclear disaster unfolding in Fukushima.

Recent statements that Malaysia will put safety first while pursuing nuclear energy and how a feasibility study by private companies can help provide answers are incredulous to say the least especially when there are various safe alternative sustainable energies available out there that do not pose risks to our families and burn the taxpayers’ pockets while generating more employment.

In view of the fact that setting up nuclear power plants will never promise total safety, Germany, being a developed nation, is on its way to wean itself away from nuclear technology! It is now shutting seven of its 17 power reactors, while, Malaysia on the other hand is insisting on going ahead with its proposal to build two nuclear power plants by 2021!

The risks of nuclear power plants have been laid bare and history is repeating itself tragically in the nuclear meltdown following the earthquake-tsunami disaster in Japan, a country of advanced technology, yet, which seems to be fighting a losing war as it struggles to control the life-threatening radioactive leaks after recent explosions at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano has since warned that efforts to control the explosions of nuclear reactors in Fukushima could be a race against time.

The current situation in Japan is so critical that it is compared to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US in 1979. The French Nuclear Watchdog has rated this situation at level six, while the Chernobyl disaster was rated at seven, reported to be at the highest point of the scale.

As the world watches in total helplessness at this horrific disaster unfolding in a developed nation, as we read of the hundreds of thousands exposed to the leaking radiation and ponder the implications on the health of the survivors and the environment, it is disturbing that the government is seriously considering building nuclear plants in Malaysia.

Getting private companies to do a feasibility study is just a ploy to buy time while waiting for people to forget what is happening in Japan.

The very fact of getting private companies, naturally profit-oriented, to do a feasibility study already creates doubts over its findings. Until now there are no clear solutions to deal with radioactive waste which can take 100,000 years to be isolated, meaning we have to secure thousands of generations ahead of us to help work on the waste, which naturally, must be very expensive to maintain, even an impossible task.

PSM urges the government to invest in green technologies that do not pose negative repercussions such as solar, tidal and windmill technologies, among others. Since Malaysia has a healthy energy reserve of about 40 percent, it is truly timely to use this opportunity to explore sustainable green alternatives. Stanford University has in its study pointed out that with political will, 100 percent renewable energy that is safe can be achieved by 2030.

The question is, why pursue something with so many risks while sustainable solutions are available? There are risks in life that we cannot avoid but it is criminal to allow risks that we can clearly avoid.

PSM urges the government to cancel its nuclear power plans, as an alternative source of energy. It is time to seriously look into sustainable development with green technology in mind. There are many independent and reputable organisations waiting to provide the necessary information and support.

No to nuclear energy! Yes to green alternatives!

Kalai Joethi Sahadevan is PSM’s environment desk coordinator.

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One Response to “Gov’t pursuit of nuclear power irresponsible”

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“Nuclear power as a sustainable alternative to Global Energy Crisis”

The Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago and the recent radiation catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan must not be taken out of context.

Malaysia aspiration to have 2 or even 4 nuclear plants is a move in the right direction in the light of current global energy crisis.

Developed and developing nations around the world have realise both the significance of nuclear power and Renewable Energy as twin thrusts in achieving energy sustainability in the long run.

The adoption of nuclear best practices and environmental impact compliance are therefore crucial in ensuring that the Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents will not be repeated in Malaysia and elsewhere in ASEAN/ASIA region.

……………..
Jeong Chun Phuoc
Expert Consultant and an Advocate in Competitive Legal Intelligence(CLI)
and a Reader in Competitive Syariah Intelligence(CSI)
He can be reached at Jeongphu@yahoo.com

**The above professional analysis is the writer’s personal view and in no way represent the view/position of the research institutes/thinktanks/organisations to which he is currently attached to.


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