The 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) will be tabled in Parliament in the upcoming session in May. This will outline the government’s programmes and policy shifts for the next 5 years. In line with ETP, the 11MP could also include Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) becoming a reality in Malaysia.
In fact, NPPs are far from just being an idea. The Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) was established in 2011. Various in-door discussions have taken place.
A week ago, Rosatom, a Russian state atomic energy corporation publicly stated that they will be in the running to bid for Malaysia’s first NPP. They are one of the biggest players in the nuclear industry housed in Moscow, and offer a ‘Build-Own-Operate’ package which governments find hard to refuse.
Jordan and Vietnam are the latest to have been swayed, with both signing deals in earlier this year to set up their first power plants respectively.
And Malaysia is now a target and will be utilised as the door to entering ASEAN.
But the World Nuclear Symposium has called for a worldwide ban on uranium-mining at a meeting in Quebec last week. And they also went further to demand that states phase out and eliminate use of nuclear power for purposes of energy generation because there are alternatives.
The World Nuclear Symposium demanded that all states, authorities and Peoples phase out and eliminate nuclear power generation and use, and dedicate themselves to the development and use of intelligent energy
services based on sustainable, safe and renewable energy resources;
We, ‘Anak Malaysia Anti Nuklear’ (AMAN), support this call which was headed by a group of experts throughout the globe who are advocating for a nuclear free environment.
Among many we also recognize;
- Nuclear power is not a cost-effective, timely, practical or safe response to climate change.
- The unique health, environmental and social dangers present at all stages of the nuclear chain, from the exploration, mining and milling of uranium, to nuclear power.
- The risk of contamination resulting from the extraction, use and storage of radioactive substances presents a unique and grave threat to all living creatures, their environments and watersheds, transcending all political and geographic boundaries and enduring for eons to come;
- There are stores of radioactive waste throughout the world that have not been effectively isolated.;
- Compelling scientific evidence that there is no safe dose of exposure to radioactive emissions, and that even small doses can present health risks to miners and local populations, animals and plant life.
- Technological development of nuclear energy opens the door to the development of nuclear weapons against which there is no effective protection, and that nuclear power generation facilities present a serious threat in and of themselves.
Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister when Fukushima struck, had this to say. “Prior to Fukushima, I believed that such a severe accident would not happen in Japan, I continued nuclear power under this belief. When Fukushima hit, I clearly knew that my beliefs until then had been completely wrong.”
It is unarguable then that NPPs are a clear and present danger to any environment which houses it.
Instead, we urge the Malaysian government to heed the call by the World Nuclear Symposium that there is a urgent need to explore intelligent and safe renewable energy resources for a more sustainable and democratised energy development.
Such a move would also come as a benefit to the people of Malaysia as they will take ownership of energy generation and also result in a positive effect in lower costs. This will come as a vital boost in light of the incredible cost of living Malaysian are having to face.
Prime Minister Najib Razak must also prove that he is taking the threat of NPPs seriously, as has been done in more developed and forward-minded nations.
As such, AMAN echoes the call for Malaysia’s NPPs to be stopped immediately, stripped out of the current ETP and not be part of the 11th Malaysia Plan. Malaysia, as the Chair of ASEAN for 2015 must spearhead the plan for an ASEAN Free Nuclear Energy Zone.