TNB keeps its options open ;).
By LESTER KONG and FINTAN NG
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia must find a solution to its post-2020 power needs in view of the depleting resources and scarcity of fossil fuel, said Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh.
He said TNB was keeping its options open on the possibility that the Government may have a nuclear plant operational by 2021.
Che Khalib was commenting on Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui’s announcement on Tuesday that the Economic Council had given the go-ahead to his ministry to look for suitable sites for a nuclear power plant.
Chin had said the plant would be built in an area with high power demand and would need a lead of at least 10 years; safety aspects, human resources and location factors would also have to be sorted out.
The Cabinet had approved the project three weeks ago to steer the country away from its reliance on depleting coal and gas resources for energy.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who invited the public to share their thoughts on the country’s future electricity needs and nuclear energy, had in his latest blog posting said the imbalance in the use of coal and gas to generate energy would need to be addressed.
Former International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War president Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy said the Government must rethink its approval for the nuclear plant if there is no safe and cheap method to dispose of the waste.
Without any significant advances in disposal methods, nuclear waste would remain lethal and radioactive for thousands of years, he added.
“Nuclear energy is not what it’s claimed to be by the Government. It is not safe, clean or cheap,” he said here yesterday, calling the project as not sustainable in meeting Malaysia’s long-term energy needs.
Centre for Environment, Technology and Development chairman Gurmit Singh criticised the Cabinet for committing to the project without consulting relevant stakeholders or having a public debate.
He asked the Government to review its decision and reveal the companies and agencies advising and providing know-how for the project.
However, Malaysian Nature Society president Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor supported the project stating that nuclear power had been proven to be safe.
Nuclear power, he said, would offset the need to destroy Malaysia’s biodiversity for hydro and coal-fired power plants.
Who said? The Star said ;).