Russian Nuclear Agency Sending Delegation to Malaysia

Posted on June 9, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-Bernama- MOSCOW, 9 JUNE, 2011: Russia will be sending a delegation of nuclear experts to Malaysia next week to explore opportunities in developing the country’s first nuclear energy plant.

State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) director-general Sergey Kirienko said the delegation would make detailed presentation, including on the technical and financial aspects.

“Everywhere we go, we will show what we can offer. We understand they (interested countries) need time to a make final decision as they don’t have any experience in this,” he told the media on the sidelines of the AtomExpo 2011  organised by Rosatom here.

 

Kirienko, who briefly served as Russian prime minister in 1998, said the company, which would be involved in the construction of Southeast Asia’s first nuclear power plant in Vietnam that will be ready in 2020, had forged ties with several other Asean countries.

“We made presentations to several of these countries at the end of 2010 and in March, we discussed this issue at the inter-governmental session here,” he added.

Kirienko said Rosatom would assist interested governments to create the necessary infrastructure to develop nuclear power plants in their countries, adding that Vietnam’s experience could be used for other Southeast Asian nations.

“We will use Vietnam as a model because they didn’t change their mind (after the Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan). We have already signed an agreement with them and are currently finalising the details, including providing the newest design and taking back fuel spent fule for reprocessing,” he said.

Kirienko said they would train Vietnamese specialists to operate the power plant, adding that independent regulators were already undergoing on-job training with relevant Russian agencies.

Furthermore, he said, Russia’s offer also came with financial packages, citing that a financial credit line would be opened for the construction of the nuclear power plant in Vietnam.

According to him, it was important to have a competent design for Southeast Asian countries as most of the nuclear plants would be constructed along the  coastline which could be prone to tsunamis.

Malaysia plans to build two nuclear power plants that will generate 1,000 megawatts each to reduce its dependency on fossil fuel.

Although there has been no concrete announcement yet, it was reported earlier that Tenaga Nasional Berhad may construct the country’s first nuclear power plant at a cost of US$3.1 billion by 2020.

Asia, in particular countries on the Pacific rim, remains as the main arena for nuclear energy expansion, with at least 40 ongoing projects.

China, with the world’s biggest annual GDP, has 24 ongoing projects.

There are 440 nuclear power reactors in use worldwide in 2011.

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