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‘We don’t want to go nuclear’

 | May 9, 2012

A coalition of NGOs wants the government’s nuclear plans stopped and has started an online petition to gather support.

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of NGOs called Malaysian Coalition Against Nuclear (MyCAN) is objecting against the government’s plan to opt for nuclear energy by constructing nuclear power plants in Malaysia.

It has started an online public petition to rope in Malaysians from various walks of life to oppose the government’s plans.

The government formulated the national nuclear policy in 2010 and formed the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation in 2011.

It is expected to finalise plans to build two units of nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 2 Gigawatts in in 2013 or early 2014.

In March, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said they would take the Fukushima nuclear radiation leakage episode as a lesson to ensure public safety.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin meanwhile said that the “government will not do it secretly without informing the public”.

Commenting on this development, Dr Ronald S McCoy said in a statement : “The Malaysian government remains adamant to pursue the nuclear energy path, despite previous calls by concerned groups to scrap its plans.

“We are disappointed with the Malaysian government’s plans to develop nuclear energy despite the significant concerns that have been raised against the option.

“Civil society groups have joined forces to embark on a public campaign to call on the government to abandon its plans for the construction of nuclear power plants,” said McCoy who is chairman of Physicians for Peace and Social Responsibility.

He is also the co-president of International Physicians for the Preventive of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

Disinformation

He said that having nuclear power option would increase carbon dioxide in the air.

“According to international studies which take into account the nuclear fuel cycle, a nuclear power plant indirectly emits between 376,000 and 1,300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

“Nuclear power releases four to five times more carbon dioxide per unit of energy compared to renewable energy.

“Thus, the Malaysian government’s decision to opt for nuclear energy to achieve its declared goal of reducing carbon emissions intensity is one that is fundamentally flawed,” said McCoy.

He also accused those in favour of the nuclear option of disinforming the public about nuclear energy.

“They are on a public relations exercise to persuade the public to accept nuclear energy, while failing to address the fundamental and yet unresolved issue of the handling of the nuclear waste, wastewater from the nuclear reactors, and other health and safety aspects.

McCoy further added that the existence of nuclear power plants only increases the number of cancer patients.


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