Thursday, 19 July 2012

Gov't identifies 7 sites for nuclear plants, say NGOs

A coalition today revealed that the government has secretly pushed for its nuclear power plants project and has preliminarily identified the potential sites for them, despite objections from the ground.

azlanThe government, through the Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC), has identified seven sites for twin-unit nuclear power plants, said Malaysian Coalition Against Nuclear (MyCan) spokeperson Dr Ronald McCoy.

The seven sites are located in four states - one in Kedah and two each in Perak, Terengganu and Johor, he said in a press conference.

McCoy said five sites are located near the coastal areas, while two sites are located inland - Tasik Temenggor in Perak and Tasik Kenyir in Terengganu, as a massive amount of water is needed to cool down the twin reactors.

He said the coalition had obtained this accurate information within a month, but was not able to reveal its sources and the exact potential areas to protect its sources.

Despite the recent nuclear disaster in Japan, he said, the Malaysian government went ahead to secretly proceed with its nuclear power plant plans, apparently not able at all to learn from previous bad experiences.

NONEIn Dec 2010, the government said it had planned to build two nuclear power plants that would generate 1,000 megawatts each, one by 2021 and the second a year later.

McCoy (left) also said some countries has cancelled their nuclear plant plans after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, and thus Malaysia’s move would be rather backward.

MyCan is a coalition comprising of 15 NGOs, and their statement made during a press conference today was endorsed by 29 NGOs.

Also present were Lim Li Ching and Hilary Chiew from Third World Network, and A Theivanai from Sahabat Alam Malaysia.

Bid to collect a million signatures
Lim also said the coalition had embarked on a massive signature campaign to collect a million signature and to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“However, the response so far has been poor, as we only managed to collect some 600 signatures,” she said, adding that public can support the coalition through its online signature campaign on Facebook.

NONELim also urged the government to disclose full information on the project and consult the public before pushing for its project.

In the statement, MyCan also said the MNPC, which was set up by the Prime Minister’s Department, has appointed an American company, Burns and Roe Enterprise Incorporated, to draw up its nuclear power infrastructure development plan (NPIDP).

The company is tasked to study the feasibility, and make recommendations to MNPC, with regard to optimal siting, reactor technology and size, infrastructure development needed to support the nuclear power option, and preparation of the bid document for solicitation of potential for the nuclear power plant, read the statement.

“We are disappointed that the Malaysian government is determined to consider nuclear as an energy option when such technologies have been rejected by a growing number of countries,” said MyCan in the statement.

It called for the government to cancel its plan and embark on power generation through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

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