Malaysia needs to go for nuclear energy

ZAZALI MUSA The Star 30 Nov 16;

JOHOR BARU: Malaysia has no choice but to go for nuclear energy in less than 15 years from now to ensure the country is able to cater for its energy needs in the future.

Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia) director-general Datuk Dr Muhamad Lebai Juri said the idea of the country having nuclear energy had been discussed many years ago.

He pointed out that nuclear energy would not replace the existing energy in the country derived from fossil fuel, gas, coal or even renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydro power.

“Malaysia needs a good mix of energy coming from different sources to reduce its dependency on only from one particular source,’’ Dr Muhamad said at a briefing.

He said this after opening the three-day 19th Radiation Protection Conference and Workshop 2016 attended by some 250 radiation practitioners nationwide.

Dr Muhamad said one advantage of using nuclear energy was that the authorities would be able to keep the power tariff low unlike using power from gas, coal or fossil fuel although the initial investment to set up a nuclear plant is costly.

He said if Malaysia were to go for nuclear energy, it would made up between 10% and 30% of the country’s total energy output while the balance would come from fossil fuel, gas, coal, hydro power, solar and wind.

“South Korea is planning to build between three and five nuclear reactors to have 30% of its power output made up of nuclear energy by 2030,’’ said Dr Muhamad.

He added that in France, 80% of the country’s power supply came from nuclear power and in the United States, there were about 101 nuclear power plants.

Dr Muhamad said that at the end of the day, it is the prerogative of the Government to decide whether there is a need for the country to go for nuclear energy. “We will continue educating and creating awareness among the people that nuclear energy is safe if Malaysia decides to go for nuclear energy one day.’’

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