Nuclear plant project should go ahead as planned — Don

Posted on April 20, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-Bernama-

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should go ahead with its plan to build two nuclear reactors, which could generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity by 2021, by avoiding the pitfalls of the Chernobyl and Fukushima plants, said a lecturer.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia geostrategist Dr Azmi Hassan said the proposed reactors should have safety-backup systems that could withstand major disasters.

He said although the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant was equipped with better emergency

safety-backup features than that of Chernobyl, it was knocked down by a massive tsunami, which was beyond the expectation of the Japanese government.

“We can learn from the Japan radioactive fallout and should not give a negative perception that nuclear energy is dangerous, thus frightening the public on the need to have nuclear reactors.

“We could build better reactors than that of Fukushima,” he told reporters after attending a talk on the Chernobyl Disaster and Japan Nuclear Crisis by Ukraine Ambassador to Malaysia Ihor V Hummennyi at Wisma Bernama here yesterday.

Asked on the effect if the government decided to abandon the nuclear project, Dr Azmi said it would detrimental to the country for fossil energy from oil and gas was expected to end within 20 years.

He said the country heavily depended on fossil fuel for electricity generation, which accounted for 60 per cent of electricity supply, and only two per cent from hydroelectric power.

“Nuclear is the best option when fossil fuel run out as it is cheaper than hydroelectric, wind, solar and biomass.

“The media should provide the right information on why we require nuclear energy,” he said, adding that the public’s negative perception was emanated by the Japan nuclear meltdown and the proposed rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

He said the construction of a nuclear reactor would take at least 15 years and by then the country would have enough skilled workers to handle and operate the power plant.

Meanwhile, Hummennyi, who supported the Malaysian government’s plan to build nuclear reactors, said public should be enlighten on the benefits of nuclear energy and address its dangers by enhancing the safety measures. — Bernama

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