Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Why Nuclear & Not Green Energy?

By Syed Akbar Ali

Well of all people the Singapore Business Times has reported that our Tenaga Nasional Berhad (which is a GLC owned by the taxpayers) has decided to build a nuclear power plant in the country.

How come we the citizens of this country did not know of this decision by TNB? Its not just any power plant but a nuclear power plant. It can have a significant impact on all our lives – especially if it blows up or is blown up.

What inspired me to write this post? It all thanks to Mr. Syed Akbar Ali's post of "Nuclear Power For Malaysia?". His post touches about the danger of nuclear power plant, the danger of the nuclear waste, the doubt about whether we have the expertise to handle all these nuclear things & also the doubt of whether we have place to conceal the nuclear waste. Basically, I agree with what he has said in his post.

So, if we choose to build nuclear power plant, can TNB guarantee something like Chernobyl will never happen? Can they guarantee those nuclear waste can be handle properly withouht causing any harm to anything around? Any mishandling or accident will create nuclear explosion(you will never know evethough scientist & engineer said the risk for it to happen is is low) or vast radioactive contamination. All these will threaten people's life & also our country's economy.

Furthermore, heat generated & the gas realeased by nuclear power plant contributes to global warming. Now the Earth is sick enough, do all this people intend to add more pain to our Earth & send another few more species of animals & plants into extinction & also killing a few more people due to change in climate patterns that was caused by global warming?

Besides that, do our Peninsula have the place for this plant? Don't tell me they want to build it near some kampung or bulldoze some forest for it. If they really build it, where they want to conceal all the nuclear waste? Nuclear waste can remain radioactive for 10 000 years & have to be concealed deep in the earth. Do we have the place to conceal it? Don't tell me that they wan to dispose the nuclear waste into the sea or just throw it in some landfill or just simply bury it in some place. All this will not be a problem if you don't mind that they are doing it just behind your house.

By the way, I heard & read in the news that nuclear can create cheaper energy than currently use fossil fuels huh? Yes, it may be cheap but when something happens then it won't be cheap. Not only so, all this nuclear materials such as uranium & plutonium will also face depletion because nuclear materials are non-renewable, similar to fossil fuels. According to calcualtion, uranium & plutonium supply are enough to last for "at least a century" at current consumption rates. So, when uranium & plutonium are running out, what next? Another few hundred million or billion?

Instead of spending so much money now & then, why not just invest in green energy? Government spend a lot now on R&D in local university & local research centre or buying equipments or import techology from other countries or invite foreign R&D company or encourage local company to produce or do all those togather, the benefits may not be seen immediately but in long term, our country can save a lot of money as maintaining cost for green energy power plant plant is less than fossil fuels & nuclear power plant. We will save even more as our country is free from the imapact of global oil price, in the same time, we are generating cheaper electric power which will benefit the people & our country's economy. Don't forget that by doing so, Malaysia is doing something good for Mother Earth & also save millions of life on Earth.

Another plus point for government to invest & using green energy is that hundred thousand or maybe a million or two of jobs will be created. This is due to more people will be needed by research centre & factory for producing & researching green energy generator. Not only that, green energy power plant will also need people for maintaining & operate it, thus creating even more jobs for our people. With so many people able to get a job, it also means our country definately will have a strong & bustling economy as more jobs mean more people will spend money on buying things & services.

As you can see, the benefits from green energy totally outweight the nuclear energy. Why still nuclear? I hope the people in charge can think twice again as those are the people's money.


wayeyoung said...

hmmm. some solid points here.

Green energy also requires alot of land/space to make it work. One wind turbine ain't going to do much. You're going to clear a large piece of land to gain essentially a small amount of electricity.

Solar is still much more expensive than fossil-fuel technology.

I'm not sure how much longer till fossil fuels become extinct. But would you rather use coal (very environmentally unfriendly) than nuclear energy (when LNG and natural gas runs out).

Nuclear energy to me is the energy of the future. Not the best, but the most feasible.
It's dangers can be curbed with proper financing. Nuclear plants also provide jobs, even in the R&D segment you mentioned for the green energy.

Bear in mind, scientists haven't found out the secrets to nuclear fusion yet. Currently, we are using nuclear fission which is much less effective in generating energy.

A nuclear plants isn't essentially HUGE (like a city kind of huge). So, of course forests have to be felled. But then, don't tell me that you don't need to cut trees to park your car in a car park.

Nuclear energy for the (medium) future

Aced said...

I know what you mean but what if until the time when both fossil fuel & nuclear material had depleted & scientist haven't found a way for nuclear fusion, what are we going to do? Hello, we might only have 100 years more or less for both of this fuel as the world consumption increase.

If give me a chance to choose, I would'nt want to risk my country's economy for something that maybe when fuels are depleted also still haven't discover the way to harness it.

I would rather for now, pour in huge amount of money for R&D to find a way to enhance photovoltaic cell panel's efficiency, to get better wind blade for wind turbain & other green energy generator.

When we have a promising thing then we mass produce it. By mass producing, the price eventually will drop. Just like how pc & hp used to be expensive stuffs but then it drop in price as it were mass produced. Now, nearly everyone can afford it. The functions & performance also advance dramatically. Even the size also can be very small compared to the old days where hp like water bottle & pc like some slow turtle & is not portable due to the size. Same applies to green energy. It can shrink & perform efficiently.

Isn't it better to start investing & doing R&D now on green energy rather than relying to much on fuel fossil fuels & nuclear energy? You will never know when is the D-Day for all these thing. Do you want to wait until that day only start panic & think of a way?

We can have a few nuclear plants but not fully rely on it. It will be a total disaster to our country
should anything happen to the supplies.

We have learn a lesson when the fuel price soar high. Am I right? So, if we are able to self rely then our economy will be able to be free. Isn't it good?

I'm currently standing on the economy point of view & say. I don't mind to have a few, yes a few nuclear plants but not a whole lots of them & fully rely on it.

If we can have 65% green energy, 25% of nuclear & 10% fossil fuel. It will be good to economy & environment.

Cheers & thanks for commenting. :D

Green Giant said...

aced and wayeyoung,
do you guys think that japan is a nice environment country to stay with?

if u think Yes, then let me share with u all. japan used 1/4 of country energy from nuclear. another 1/4 are from coal. what i trying to say is, Japan indeed a clear environment to stay on, because they seldom pollute the country in generating co2 from "fuel from hell". in average CO2-eq emission to our surrounding due to electricity are 504g of co2 perkwh usage. in malaysia are 580g of co2 kwh per usage. what this tell us? malaysia itself at this moment are firing more coal than other average country. in our home, the power grid that supply to us, 36.9% are from coal 10.9% are from hydro, 41% are combine cycle process, the rest are from steam (burning of kelapa sawit).
if this continue, we will need to wear mask when we going out from home. nuclear is not the best in term of green energy, but to study malaysia demographic and georgraphic location, wind and tidal waves energy is not sufficient to support whole countries. wind turbine generate 7.6g of co2 -eq, and i believed nuclear are a bit more than that but surely less than current co2 emission of kwh we consume.
in term of r&d investment on solar system, is not sufficient to support either. passive solar system only could support common house hold, as to pump this power into out grid, is far harder than we normally think.
we might to worry to think about nuclear waste and pollution to human. in western countries, german , their main power is nuclear. expert explain, the world huge contributor to ghg are power plant. is too late already to implement green power plant bcos , we need more of this to cure the mother earth.
i totally agree with tnb plan on nuclear. this topic been around for 2 yrs. finally something pops up. good!
malaysia also bring up a new plan too. recently they announce on green building index (GBI) rating system. is a new tool to develop building in greener way.(actually is a copy from the US, we call it LEED, and singapore called it Green Mark rating system).The world ghg emission also contributed by building construction (30%), why? cement usage. why cement? to produce cement, we need huge amount of heat to dry cement into powder. building been develop in the urban area create huge amount of stormwater discharge indirectly use alot of energy for treatment, no joke. building also create light pollution. that why they have IESNA body to weight the amount of pollution to the sky at nite. light pollution directly told us? WASTE OF ENERGY USE = more burning of fossil to create electricty.
everything is a loop. and i study this loop, we call this life cycle assessment (LCA). anyhow i totally agree with malaysia move towards nuclear and GBI program.

Green Giant.