Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear power


Report: Nuclear power plant in Malaysia by 2030?

Report: Nuclear power plant in Malaysia by 2030?

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Malaysia could have its own nuclear power plant by 2030 to address the high power consumption in the peninsula, the Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) said.

MNPC chief executive Mohd Zamzam Jaafar reportedly said that the peninsula currently generates power from coal (52 per cent), gas (45 per cent) and hydro (three per cent).

“We will only use nuclear power in Peninsular Malaysia because the demand is much higher at around 18,000 megawatt. Sarawak only uses 2,000 megawatt,” he was quoted as saying in The Borneo Post.

He said nuclear power was necessary in the country, explaining that it was clean and safe and countries like China and Japan have also adopted a similar approach.

Mohd Zamzam, who was speaking at a National Transformation 2050 (TN50) conference in Sarawak, reportedly said that MNPC will work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to evaluate setting up a plant here.

“This evaluation is in three phases. We are still in the first, which is where we make a decision. The second phase is to build and the third is to operate. But for now, we have not made a decision,” he was quoted as saying.

Report: Nuclear power plant in Malaysia by 2030?
May 24, 2017 – MMO


Nuclear power too costly and risky, says Harapan

Nuclear power too costly and risky, says Harapan

The Pakatan Harapan coalition has opposed the government’s plans to set up a nuclear power infrastructure in Malaysia, saying that it is too risky and costly.

In addition, it said the government has a poor track record when it comes to mega-projects, such as the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin stadium that collapsed in 2009 and again in 2013.

“We are concerned that such tragedy would repeat itself if there are mistakes or negligence during construction and operation, in addition to the risk of graft,” said PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, Amanah central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, and DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago in a joint statement today.

They are responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri’s announcement on Tuesday that a International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report had concluded that Malaysia has the knowledge base to make an informed decision about introducing nuclear power in the country.

The report on the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission Phase 1 is the first of a three-part assessment by the IAEA to determine whether a country has the necessary infrastructure to develop a nuclear power program.

Its findings are to be tabled in the cabinet next week, and Malaysia has a 30-day period to respond to the IAEA’s recommendations.

However, Harapan said the government should instead intensify the research and application of green and renewable energy sources, instead of pursuing nuclear power.

These include solar energy since Malaysia receives plenty of sunlight year-round, they said, as well as wave energy that was once experimented by local universities.

Malaysia also has other options such as biomass, which would reduce problems in solid waste disposal, or to connect Bakun Dam in Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia via an undersea cable, they said.

Germany adopting wind power instead

Quoting the then Energy, Green Technology, and Water Minister Peter Chin in the Hansard, they said an analysis had found that the undersea power cable would be cheaper means to supply electricity in the long run than coal or gas-fired power plants, which means it would certainly be cheaper than nuclear power.

“The minister in the prime minister’s department’s (Nancy) statement is disappointing to the people. It invites debate that must be informed by the latest scientific knowledge together with horrifying tragedies of the past.

“The supply of electricity from the Bakun hydroelectric project in Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia via undersea cables is vital in ensuring an electricity supply that is sufficient, reliable, and at reasonable cost to Peninsular Malaysia consumers,” they added.

In contrast, they pointed that Malaysia’s move towards nuclear power seemed regressive, at a time when countries such at Germany has shifted away from nuclear power and are adopting wind power instead, following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Although Malaysia is not in an earthquake-prone region, Harapan claimed that this has changed following the earthquakes at Mount Kinabalu.

As for cost, Harapan quoted the US-based non-profit group Union of Concerned Scientists saying that the cost of building and maintaining a nuclear power generator is very high – between US$2 billion to US$4 billion, and in some cases exceeding US$9 billion.

The cost per unit of electricity is also higher compared to other sources.

“Pakatan Harapan is concerned that such high costs would ultimately be borne by the rakyat when the prices of various goods increase as a result of a domino effect, whereas the people are already saddled with increasing costs of living,” they added.

Nuclear power too costly and risky, says Harapan
9 Mar 2017 – Malaysiakini


Solar and wind ‘cheaper than new nuclear’ by the time Hinkley nuclear power plant is built in UK

Solar and wind ‘cheaper than new nuclear’ by the time Hinkley is built

The government expects solar and wind power to be cheaper than new nuclear power by the time Hinkley Point C is completed, its own projections show.

Theresa May’s government last month made a surprise decision to delay a deal on Hinkley, prompting a renewed look at what alternatives could power Britain if ministers this autumn fail to back new reactors in Somerset.

An unpublished report by the energy department shows that it expects onshore wind power and large-scale solar to cost around £50-75 per megawatt hour of power generated in 2025. New nuclear is anticipated to be around £85-125/MWh, in line with the guaranteed price of £92.50/MWh that the government has offered Hinkley’s developer, EDF.

On previous forecasts, made in 2010 and 2013, the two renewable technologies were expected to be more expensive than nuclear or around the same cost. This is the first time the government has shown it expects them to be a cheaper option.

The figures were revealed in a National Audit Office (NAO) report on nuclear in July. “The [energy] department’s forecasts for the levelised cost of electricity of wind and solar in 2025 have decreased since 2010. The cost forecast for gas has not changed, while for nuclear it has increased,” the NAO said.

The NAO cited the forecasts as coming from the energy department in March 2016. The department said the NAO had been provided with an early draft of its report, and the full version would be published soon.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of the trade body Scottish Renewables, said: “These numbers speak for themselves: onshore wind and solar will be significantly better value than all other large scale sources of power in the UK by 2025.

“It is time to start backing the two technologies to deliver the clean power we need to hit our climate change targets and the cheap electricity required to keep bills down for consumers.”

Molly Scott Cato, a Green party MEP, said: “These latest figures confirm what many of us have been saying for years: that the Hinkley project is a dud.

“The cost of renewables is tumbling and Hinkley will become a giant white elephant as it struggles to compete with cheaper renewable options. Research has shown that solar power would be a less costly way of generating the equivalent amount of power, and now the government’s own projections show that onshore wind too will be cheaper than nuclear by the time Hinkley is built.”

Solar and wind ‘cheaper than new nuclear’ by the time Hinkley is built
Adam Vaughan
11 August 2016 – Guardian


Nuclear power for Malaysia? – NO THANKS Again!

Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 2)
Ronald S McCoy

Radiation is invisible and cannot be recalled. In a nuclear crisis, there will be many questions about radiation. As the Japanese people are now discovering, it is a nightmare trying to make sense of the uncertainties.

  1. How do you know when you are in danger?
  2. How long will this danger persist?
  3. How can you reduce the danger to yourself and your family?
  4. What level of exposure is safe?
  5. How do you get access to vital information in time to prevent or minimise exposure?
  6. What are the potential health risks and consequences of exposure?
  7. Whose information can you rely on or trust?
  8. How do you rebuild a healthy way of life in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster?

These questions are difficult to answer, and they become even more complicated when governments and the nuclear industry maintain tight control of information, technological operations, scientific research, and the bio-medical lessons that shape public health response.

Nuclear energy is not cheap, clean or safe. And yet, vested interests in the government and the nuclear industry are attempting to override common sense and reason. They continue to trumpet the imaginary virtues of nuclear power and play down the enormous cost of nuclear power, the problem of nuclear waste, and the risks of an accident.

Nuclear reactors, like nuclear weapons, do not forgive mistakes of judgment, simple negligence, human error or mechanical failure. Malaysia’s poor record of industrial safety and its bad maintenance culture underlie concerns about public safety in the event of a nuclear accident.

The nuclear industry has a history of making misleading claims about nuclear safety that have often confused and misled the uninformed. Genuine debate and critical examination have been avoided, evidence ignored, opponents silenced or marginalised, and critical issues of public health and welfare have been answered with standard bland platitudes.

Nuclear power plants produce lethal radioactive waste that will remain radioactive for thousands of years. The half-life of plutonium-239 is 24,000 years and that of uranium-235 is 731 million years. We are talking about radiation forever.

No country in the world has been able to safely dispose of its nuclear waste, which is accumulating in pools or casks alongside nuclear reactors in forty-four countries, waiting for a solution. Finding satisfactory underground geologic repositories has proved to be an intractable problem.

Continue reading ‘Nuclear power for Malaysia? – NO THANKS Again!’


Nuclear power for Malaysia? – NO THANKS!

Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1)
Ronald S McCoy

The public health implications of nuclear power should not be subordinate to the economic considerations of the nuclear industry and government energy policies. There is a need to review the scientific evidence for public health impacts of nuclear power, to assess occupational hazards faced by nuclear industry workers, and to assess evidence that challenges the legitimacy of the underlying assumptions of nuclear safety.

A common thread running through these health concerns is the risk posed by ionising radiation. There is no safe threshold. Over the past 50 years, the claims of the nuclear industry, that nuclear power is both safe and vital for our future, have proven false and contentious.

Ionising radiation can damage DNA, causing cancer and inherited mutations. However, whether an individual develops cancer following exposure to ionising radiation depends on whether the DNA is damaged, what part of the DNA is damaged, whether the cell line can reproduce, whether the damage is completely repaired, and whether the cell completes transformations that lead to malignancy.

But earthquakes and tsunamis are not the only causes of a nuclear accident. Human error alone can lead to a nuclear accident. It happened in Windscale (later renamed Sellafield), Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. So, it could happen in Malaysia. Building two nuclear reactors in error-inclined Malaysia would carry the potential for an incalculable catastrophe. The chances of a nuclear accident in Malaysia are not negligible.

I have heard the facetious argument that plane crashes are not sufficient reason to abandon air travel. But the scale of a nuclear accident is incomparable. Radiation could kill and injure thousands, cause cancers, and contaminate and render uninhabitable a large part of Malaysia.

Continue reading ‘Nuclear power for Malaysia? – NO THANKS!’


Putrajaya ‘hell-bent’ on nuclear plant despite public concerns, says consumer group

Plans to build a nuclear plant in Malaysia are afoot, warned a consumer group, and said Putrajaya was misleading the public into thinking that it will consult the people on the use of nuclear energy when it had already decided to proceed with a bill to be table in Parliament this year.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president SM Mohamed Idris said the government was “hell-bent” on introducing nuclear power in the country’s energy mix and highlighted statements made by energy officials over the past year and recently which indicated that Malaysia was intent on adopting nuclear energy.

As proof, he cited the setting up of the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) in January 2011, and the listing of nuclear energy as an entry point project in the Economic Transformation Programme in 2010.

“The government is hell-bent on introducing nuclear energy in the country’s energy mix.

“It is disingenuous of the government to continue misleading the public with its standard response line that a decision has yet to be made and the government is still exploring the option to go nuclear,” he said in a statement today.

Mohamed also said Putrajaya had announced its intention to table the Atomic Energy Regulatory Bill in August last year, and that the announcement was welcomed by MNPC chief executive officer, Dr Mohd Zamzam Jaafar, who said MNPC was hopeful that the bill would be approved by Parliament this year.

Malaysia, a nett oil exporter, has, in the past, floated the idea of adding nuclear power to its energy mix to meet long-term fuel needs, but such announcements were always greeted with public disapproval.

In 2010, the minister of energy, green technology and water then, Tan Sri Peter Chin, announced plans to build a nuclear plant that would start operations in 2021.

In July last year, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong, who oversees the MNPC, had also said that feasibility studies would be conducted on building nuclear plants as a sustainable energy option for Malaysia.

There is no indication yet of where the proposed nuclear plant would be built, but remote locations close to water sources are required in line with international rules. This would leave a limited number of states, such as Pahang, Johor and Terengganu, as possible locations.

Putrajaya ‘hell-bent’ on nuclear plant despite public concerns, says consumer group
1 February 2015 – TMI


‘Only way to stop nuclear plants is to change gov’t’

Malaysians do not have any other choice but to change the present government if they do want their safety not to be compromised due to the building of nuclear plants in the country.

The former president of International Physician for The Prevention of The Nuclear (IPPNC) Dr Ronald McCoy said this in an anti-nuclear plant forum held in Kuala Lumpur last night.

“The only way to stop the building of nuclear plants is to change governments.

“I do not see any other way,” said McCoy (left).

The forum titled “Nuclear Plant 2015: Permanent Danger” was organised by Kumpulan Anak Malaysia Anti Nuklear (AMAN), a group of youths against nuclear plant building in the country.

The forum also protested against the government’s decision to build two nuclear plants scheduled for 2015.

Two other panelists include Bukit Merah activist dan anti-Lynas Professor Dr Tan Ka Kheng dan Malaysian Science Academy Fellow Professor Ir G Lalchand.

The forum was moderated by the Bantah-TPPA founder Anas Alam Faizli.

Put it in Putrajaya

Lalchand said that there were too many questions on the proposed nuclear plants which the government has yet to answer.

He said that at the present moment, Malaysia does not need nuclear to generate power as it has other alternative ways to do so,

“At least until 2015, nuclear should be the last resort,” said Lalchand who proposed that Malaysia implement the Energy Efficiency programme as the alternative.

He also called on the government to build the nuclear plant in Putrajaya, if it is as safe as claimed.

Dec 24, 2014 – Malaysiakini
‘Only way to stop nuclear plants is to change gov’t’


Putrajaya snubbed cheaper energy savings scheme for nuclear plans, forum told

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 – Putrajaya “ignored” a proposed energy savings scheme that could have saved Malaysia billions of ringgit and scrap any need to construct nuclear power plants here, a former civil servant claimed.

Energy efficiency activist Zaini Abdul Wahab, 40, told a forum last night that the government was well aware of alternative options to the two nuclear power plants it was planning to build in Malaysia.

“Because I know for a fact that it was mentioned in Parliament and in many seminars by the agencies, by having just a 10 year programme on energy efficiency, the only money required from the government is less than one billion (ringgit), average [RM100,000] a year, we can avoid capacity of at least 3GW of power demand, equivalent to three nuclear power plants,” he told a 60-strong crowd at a forum here last night.

Zaini, who has worked with the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry (Kettha) and Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) during his eight-year service, claimed that the government had “ignored” the proposed programme, which would have purportedly translated into billions of savings as Putrajaya would not have to fork out money to subsidise nuclear energy.

“But they ignored that. As for now, they ignore that. That’s my first argument why I’m against nuclear, because they have the options, they ignore that,” said Zaini, now an energy management consultant in the private sector.

Zaini, who was not listed as a speaker but was invited to address the crowd, said there was a need to be “realistic”, however, and that he expects nuclear plants will eventually be introduced in a few more decades to meet power demands.

His arguments echoed the stand of Prof G. Lalchand, a speaker at the same forum.

Lalchand, a former Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) staff, told the crowd that he was not anti-nuclear, but he believes that nuclear plants should only be a last resort in another decade.

“We do not need nuclear before 2025, in the meantime, the chances are there for energy efficiency to drop the demand from consumers to the same as the nuclear power can generate,” said Lalchand, who is both an engineer and an academic, adding that it would be cheaper

Nodding to major disasters involving nuclear power plants such as the US’s Three Mile Island’s 1979 accident, Ukraine’s Chernobyl 1986 accident, Japan’s Fukushima 2011 incident, Lalchand said that such accidents had always prompted the raising of safety standards.

“That’s why I said it should be as late as possible to get more safe,” he said, when explaining that a delay in Malaysia’s rolling out of nuclear power plants would enable the use of newer and safer technology.

Until then, Lalchand pushed for energy efficiency ? where users maximise the work done through the energy used ? to save costs and avert the need to build new power plants.

During the forum, another panellist, Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy spoke about the hidden costs in using nuclear technology to generate electricity, citing studies on how the number of cancer-related deaths had risen among those living near nuclear power plants.

According to McCoy, the hidden costs include the maintenance of nuclear power plants, and the disposal of radioactive waste, as well as the decommissioning of plants.

Putrajaya snubbed cheaper energy savings scheme for nuclear plans, forum told
By Ida Lim
December 24, 2014 – MMO


Lessons of Fukushima and Chernobyl – Repost


The explosions and fires at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, almost exactly on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Chernobyl, have made most of us even more worried about the hazards of nuclear energy (see [1] Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, SiS 50). The nuclear lobby see things differently: the explosion at Chernobyl was due to the poor design and incompetent operation of the reactor under the Soviet system, and hardly anyone died as a result; as for Fukushima, it was hit by a tsunami far larger than anyone could possibly have anticipated, and the good management of its owners, the Tokyo Energy and Power Company (TEPCO) and the brave efforts of the Japanese emergency services ensured that little harm was done.

That story is very far from the truth.

As Fuksuhima reminds us, nuclear power is inherently dangerous. It is also not economical; no nuclear plant has ever operated without a government subsidy and no one seriously expects that any will in the future ([20] The Real Cost of Nuclear Power, SiS 47). The subsidy may be visible or it may be concealed as a cheap loan, a permanent low-carbon premium, an open cheque for the cost of disposing of the waste, or in some other form. Furthermore, we do not need it even as “part of a basket of technologies”: on the most optimistic estimates, nuclear energy could not produce more than 8 percent of the UK’s total energy requirement in the foreseeable future. This could easily be made up by renewables if we choose to invest in wind, solar, biogas and other technologies that already exist and are becoming ever more efficient and cost effective ([21] Green Energies – 100% Renewable by 2050, ISIS publication).

The nuclear industry is asking us to give it large sums of money to build power plants that we do not need and cannot afford, at great risk to our health and safety. If we use the money to develop renewables instead, we will have low carbon energy that is safe, economical, and genuinely sustainable. Countries that shift their investment from nuclear to renewables now will reap the further economic benefit of becoming leaders in the key technologies of the twenty-first century.

Lessons of Fukushima and Chernobyl
Prof. Peter Saunders
ISIS Report 03/05/11


Nuclear power plants under ETP?


While the government has looked at several locations as possible sites for nuclear power plants, it has yet to decide if the plants will be built any time soon, said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“Until today, only site selection studies have been done using digital maps of the peninsula, without any fieldwork being done thus far,” he said in a written reply to Sim Tong Him (DAP-Kota Melaka, left).

The proposal to build two nuclear power plants has been listed as one of the Entry Point Projects under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme in the oil, gas and energy sector.

Detailed studies into future energy needs and preparations are needed before such plants can be built, Najib added.

Some of the areas that are being looked into include:

Studies on the legal framework and a national nuclear monitoring policy;

Feasibility studies as well as a plan on how to develop nuclear power infrastructure in Malaysia;

An information campaign on the proposal to reach all stakeholders and get their feedback; and

A study on setting up a new entity to own and operate nuclear plants in Malaysia.

The government’s proposed construction of two nuclear plants to generate electricity has garnered opposition brickbats as well as triggered protests from pro-environmental groups that raised the spectre of the rare earths disaster in Bukit Merah, Perak, as their rallying cry.

Sites found, but decision pending on nuke plants
Oct 2, 2012 – Malaysiakini

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?