Saturday, June 4, 2016

Way Forward for Malaysia Go Nuclear Program

We, too, have to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

As I put it before, we have to cut our coat according to our cloth. There we are, should we indeed want to pursue Malaysia Go Nuclear Program, examining the barriers is a must to bring forward the nuclear energy discourse into the public sphere.

One significant barrier could be a social acceptance and perception towards the prospect of nuclear energy in Malaysia. Most people live in near mortal terror of nuclear power plants, and the prospect of our country generates electricity using nuclear energy.

Although many, frankly speaking, have no idea on how the nuclear power generator operates and how the nuclear energy overall produced the electricity, there is no problem as long as — it is unclear and it probably would nuke us without any mercy once we have it in our own land.

Who are to blame for all those demonising campaigns towards nuclear energy?

Societies have read and heard many bias stories and commentaries accounts, that they are unable to properly assess the facts and real information of the prospect of nuclear energy in Malaysia. The keyword here might be information transparency.

The government, especially, should look at to this matter more intently, since we believe the only way to educate people and to bring justice to the discourse of nuclear energy, is by practising transparency and keep the public informed.

Another barrier which I think crucially play a part in our decision to pursue nuclear energy is the lack of policy regulations and law enforcement in Malaysia. This is a public secret in our country. Also, a kind of taboo to talk openly and might invite uneasiness among those who directly involved.

The primary factor which affecting the negative social acceptance towards the idea to implement nuclear energy is the level of trust among Malaysians towards people in power is exceedingly at the lowest.

The incompetence of law enforcement and the failure of accountability practice amongst those in charge of this matter, making the problem of public acceptance worse.

Malaysians have every single right to against the very idea of bringing forward the nuclear energy program when we are already experiencing the worse example, such deforestations and the mining of bauxite at Kuantan, Pahang, for instance.

Would it be the fearsome and trust deficit factor, we have no wonder why the level of social acceptance and perceptions towards nuclear energy is amazingly low.

Not just we lack regarding policy regulations and law enforcement, plus the society itself couldn’t brain how on earth a possibly the most corrupt government could lay their hands onto the very risky technology such nuclear energy, we also left far behind in know-how knowledge and technology on nuclear energy itself.

This would be the greatest setback to the prospect of Malaysia Go Nuclear Program, at least in the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, we should be optimistic about the chance of accelerating things. We could, as long as we have the will to go for it.

In future — and on the very today, nuclear energy undeniably becoming safer and researcher works hard building it in a smaller capacity. These are good news for the entire humanity. These, too, are the way forward for Malaysia in pursuing the Go Nuclear Program.

We have exciting nuclear-advanced development from Toshiba which they build Multipurpose Energy Station 4S, literally the safest nuclear reactor ever built. And actually much more incoming.

The figure such Bill Gates also seems vocal in voicing the urgency for the world to give due attention towards nuclear energy advanced development, in which he investing in those nuclear infrastructure building by Toshiba.

The global concern towards nuclear energy is mainly lingering around the question of nuclear weapon proliferations. We definitely do not want those nightmares of the nuclear apocalypse happening, forever. Today’s nuclear technology advancement are incredibly safe and arms proliferation-proof.

For that, we would say, today is the future.

The recent development is bilateral between Malaysia and Russia through the partnership with ROSATOM or Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear infrastructure.

Starting earlier 2015, ROSATOM actively engaging publics in Malaysia to get a clearer picture on the public acceptance towards nuclear energy prospect in Malaysia.

During the 1st Nuclear Youth Congress on October 2015, ROSATOM admits the public recognition has been one of the key challenges in the development of nuclear power not just in Asia, but globally due to alleged safety concerns and the high cost required in developing and managing nuclear power plants.

However, those barriers, as we discussed before, can be attributed to the lack of knowledge of the technicalities of nuclear-related technologies and how publics could not imagine the nuclear energy would help to improve the quality of our life.

During the 6th Nuclear Power Asia Conference (NPA) in January 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, ROSATOM again demonstrated their willingness to support for nuclear development in Malaysia and the rest of the ASEAN countries;

“We (ROSATOM) are keen to support Malaysia and […] in their nuclear development plans by offering an integrated solution that includes industrial and financial management, skills transfer, regulatory and infrastructure management and public acceptance education,”

Those developments are perfect for the prospect having the first nuclear reactor in Malaysia for electrical generation. These, too, are our way forward despite the fact that the public might bewilder by the news nonetheless.

Renewable sources such as the wind and solar intrinsically, are unsuited to meeting the demand for continuous, reliable supply on a large scale in Malaysia.

As concern about climate change has grown and the demand for clean and low-carbon, with reliable and constant energy exponentially escalating in recent years, the only option left for us is to act vigilant and in a pragmatic manner.

By saying that, nuclear energy is the one and only our best bet for our future.

However, to bring forward the discourse on nuclear energy in a healthy and fair manner, public have to separate the discourse of nuclear energy from narrow sentiments and ideology. Media should play a role to educate and increase the awareness of nuclear power in the public sphere.

And at the root of everything here is, the government of Malaysia, ought to show a decent of transparency practice and vigilance towards policy regulations and law enforcement.

By doing so, the public would not have anything more to against with the idea of Malaysia Go Nuclear Program.


Part 1: Doing Justice to Nuclear Energy Discourse
Part 2: Inquiring Explicit Perspectives on Nuclear Energy Prospect in Malaysia
Part 3: Way Forward for Malaysia Go Nuclear Program