No decision yet on building nuclear power plants in Malaysia, says Nancy Shukri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The government has yet to make any decision on the construction of nuclear power plants in Malaysia, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Although the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) targeted the nuclear power plant to be operational by 2021, she said the date would be postponed as the government needed to take into account latest developments and prevailing sentiments at home and abroad, especially regarding the impact of March 2011 tsunami on the Japanese nuclear power programme.

“Initial information obtained from the feasibility study shows that the timeline required for the implementation and completion of the nuclear power plant is at least 11 years from the date the government made the decision,” she said when replying to Datuk Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid (BN-Kota Tinggi) at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Noor Ehsanuddin had wanted to know when the construction of the two nuclear power plants as stated in the ETP, which is part of the New Economic Model announced on October 25, 2010, would begin.

Nancy said that based on the study, the nuclear power programme in Malaysia would only be able to operate after 2030, subject to the approval of a new and comprehensive Atomic Energy Regulatory Bill.

She explained that the nuclear development programme in Malaysia was not for the production of nuclear weapons, but more for the generation of electricity.

“Malaysia is not the only country in the region which is exploring the possibility of implementing a nuclear programme for energy, neighbouring countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand also are working towards it,” she said.

Vietnam, Nancy added, had even signed an agreement with Russia to build the first nuclear power plant in the country. — Bernama

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