Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nuclear power 'an option'

REVIEWING NEEDS: Country looking at all possible energy sources, says DPM

MALAYSIA is committed in ensuring that nuclear power is used only for peaceful means in the event the country has to resort to it.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Malaysia was fortunate as oil reserves were sufficient for energy purposes at least until 2021.

However, he added, alternative energy sources needed to be found soon.

As such, the nation was looking at all possible sources, including hydro, solar and wind power, apart from nuclear power.

"If you look at certain countries which did not have fossil fuels, like (South) Korea, they had no other alternative but to go for nuclear power. Malaysia is somewhat blessed (in that aspect).

"But we are looking to alternative sources like hydro and solar. According to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, we have oil reserves until 2021.

"There may come a time when we may have to turn to nuclear power. But the government hasn't decided on that yet," he told Malaysian reporters before the start of the two-day Seoul Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) 2012 yesterday.

He said Malaysia was prepared for the eventuality, having trained many experts in the field and taken most of the steps to fulfil its commitments agreed on in Washington during the first NSS two years ago.

"I have been briefed on nuclear power. But I understand... the rakyat may not know much about it."

Muhyiddin said this was also the case with the Lynas rare earth plant, although experts had already explained that it was not a risk.

"Sadly, there are those who refuse to accept this. That is why we set up the parliamentary select committee, to remove all doubts. But, as you know, the opposition refuses to take part in it."

Muhyiddin said many people did not know that Malaysia was already using nuclear technology in fields such as medi-cine and health, farming and even food processing.

And, he added, the rakyat should be made more aware of the possible need for nuclear power and its benefits.

Muhyiddin said experts would try to explain such things to the people in future awareness programmes so that, if and when the government decides that the country needs nuclear power, the rakyat would not make the wrong assumptions.

Read more: Nuclear power 'an option' - Top News - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/top-news/nuclear-power-an-option-1.66570?localLinksEnabled=false/Article#ixzz1qIAeR3Tw

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