Nuclear energy in Malaysia: From “Option” to “Point of no return”


The Malaysian Coalition Against Nuclear (MY-CAN) of which the CAP, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Third World Network and many other NGOs are members of, are deeply concerned about the Malaysian government opting for nuclear power for our energy needs instead of choosing safe, sustainable and renewable energy for our future needs.

This is our urgent petition to the Government.

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, are extremely concerned that the Malaysian government is going ahead with its plans to build two nuclear reactors, without sufficient public information, consultation or debate. There is concern that the government has quietly proceeded to advance its plans on nuclear energy, ignoring wide public concerns about the dangers of nuclear energy and the lethal risks of nuclear accidents, as in the Fukushima melt-down last year.

At a forum in February 2012, statements by the Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) revealed that the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project has tiptoed to an advanced stage of development (download the Government’s NPP project deployment plan here):

•  Nuclear energy was singled out as one option for electricity generation on 26 June 2009 and a pre-feasibility study completed in 2010.

•  The construction of two nuclear power plants (NPP), with a total capacity of 2 gigawatts, was identified in 2010 as one of the Entry Point Projects in the Economic Transformation Programme.

•  The MNPC is preparing a Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development Plan (NPIDP) which is expected to be completed by 2013, culminating in the delivery of Malaysia’s first nuclear power plant by 2021.

•   The final decision to ‘go nuclear’ is expected to be made in 2013 or early 2014.

A detailed timeline on nuclear power deployment (Source: Nuclear Malaysia; Malaysia NKEA OGE Laboratory 2010), indicates that the final site selection will be made in 2014, marking this as the POINT OF NO RETURN, when the government makes its final decision and awards the contract to the successful vendor. It is expected that the twin-unit NPP will require a RM21.3 billion investment up to 2020.

It has come to our knowledge that the following potential sites have already been identified:

• Five coastal sites, one each in Kedah, Perak and Terengganu and two in Johor.

• Two inland sites, near Tasik Temenggor, Perak, and Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu.

We have learnt that Burns and Roe Enterprises Incorporated of the United States of America has been appointed to conduct the NPIDP (refer to handout), feasibility studies and make recommendations to MNPC, with regard to optimal siting, reactor technology, reactor size, infrastructure development needed to support the nuclear power option, and preparation of the bid documents for solicitation of potential vendors for the NPP.

We are disappointed that the Malaysian government is determined to consider nuclear as an energy option when such technology has been rejected by a growing number of countries and carries enormous risks to health and public safety, including the indefinite accumulation of radioactive waste, which cannot be disposed of safely and which will remain lethal to future generations of Malaysians for thousands of years.

Nuclear power is not a feasible option for Malaysia, whereas safe, sustainable and renewable energy and energy efficiency are.   Besides, the cost of nuclear energy is escalating the world over while the costs of renewable energy have been declining.

Moreover, there has been no process of public consultation and decisions are being made without transparency or accountability.  We do not accept that government-sponsored and corporate-funded meetings by pro-government groups, including academia, constitute such engagement or information, particularly when statements, made at such meetings, represent disinformation. As a result, the public has been deluded and misinformed about the facts of nuclear energy and nuclear power plants. The undeniable truth is that nuclear energy and nuclear power plants are not cheap, clean or safe.

In view of the serious long-term impacts of nuclear power production, we demand that the Malaysian government abandon its plans for nuclear energy and invest in safe renewable energy and energy efficiency.  We further demand that the government come clean on its plans including disclosing the potential sites for the nuclear power plants. We call on the government to stop the on-going implementation process immediately.

Press Statement, 19 July 2012

List of supporting organisations

1. Centre for Independent Journalism
2. Consumers’ Association of Penang
3. Centre for Orang Asli Concerns
4. Dignity International
5. EcoKnights
6. Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia (EPSM)
7. Himpunan Hijau
8. Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL)
9. Jaringan Muafakat Pertubuhan Islam Perak
10. Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia
11. Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility (MPSR)
12. Nuke Off
13. Pahang Raub Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining Action Committee
14. Peoples Green Coalition
15. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
16. Persatuan Persaudaraan Muslimah Malaysia
17. Persatuan Teras Pendidikan Dan Kebajikan Melayu Malaysia
18. Pertubuhan Gelombang Hijau Kuantan
19. Pertubuhan Muafakat Warga Desa (Rural Citizens) Negeri Kedah
20. Sahabat Alam Malaysia
21. Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)
22. Sekretariat Himpunan Ulama Rantau Asia
23. Social Economic Committee of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
24. Stop Lynas Coalition
25. Tenaganita
26. TERAS Pengupayaan Melayu
27. Third World Network
28. TrEES (Treat Every Environment Special)
29. Warga Permuafakatan Pertubuhan Islam Darul Aman
30. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

The full petition can be accessed at

The petition can be signed at

For further enquiries, please contact:

Hilary Chiew, Third World Network – 019-3553821
Mageswari Sangaralingam, Consumers’ Association of Penang – 012-8782706
Theivanai Amarthalingam, Sahabat Alam Malaysia – 017-2440505

Read more about CAP’s and SAM’s advocacy against nuclear power and support for renewable energy together with other related articles in:

Nuclear power should not be the option for Malaysia
Malaysian nuclear programme lacks genuine public consultation
Nuclear in Malaysia: Shortsightedness in a greening global economy
Healthy growth of renewable energy
Nuclear plants move offshore
The truth about Chernobyl: More reason to rethink nuclear energy – seriously