ANAK MALAYSIA ANTI NUKLEAR (AMAN) is a grassroots citizen movement that is convinced that nuclear power is not cheap, clean or safe and that it is not required for the generation of electricity in Malaysia. AMAN therefore rejects the construction of any nuclear power plant (NPP) in Malaysia.
AMAN is aware of the ongoing dissemination of false information by the nuclear industry and other vested interests and that there has not been any genuine transparency of the government’s intentions nor sincere public consultation. Our country must not make the serious mistake of investing in and constructing a nuclear power plant, particularly when there is no existing method of safely disposing of long-lasting radioactive nuclear waste, which will threaten the health of future generations of Malaysians.
AMAN urges the government to abort EPP11: Deploying Nuclear Energy for Power Generation, which is part of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), or any other similar plan, but instead concentrate and focus efforts on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
AMAN has taken this position, based on 7 key factors:
1. A nuclear power plant is an enormously expensive and economically unwise project, from the construction and operating costs to the management of nuclear waste and eventual decommissioning of the plant. Factor in the dangerous and high cost of uranium required and you have an economically backward move. The International Atomic Energy Agency has stated that it will take at the very least $100 billion over the next 25 years to decommission 40 nuclear power plants.
2. With the increasing likelihood of serious natural disasters as a result of climate change, NPPs will prove to be vulnerable to natural disasters and accidents, as with the recent Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. There is also no 100% guarantee that a NPP is safe from human error, sabotage or terrorist attack. Malaysia is not equipped to handle such catastrophic nuclear disasters which will make large areas of the country uninhabitable for hundreds of years.
3. Nuclear power is not safe and has proven to be a ticking time bomb. Proponents of the nuclear industry claim that nuclear power plants are safe, and yet the human and environmental disaster of Fukushima continues to worsen and defies any solution. It cannot be over emphasised that the greatest danger to human health comes from radiation emitted by nuclear waste, which remains radioactive for thousands of years and yet cannot be disposed of safely, ever since the beginning of the nuclear age.
4. There is no need to build a nuclear power plant to generate electricity as Malaysia’s existing and planned electricity by other means is sufficient. Instead, there should be a concerted effort to explore into Renewable Energy for greener growth, as well as energy efficiency which can reduce up to 30% of power consumption.
5. Apart from China, the rate of construction of NPPs is skydiving, with only one NPP being constructed in the United States. By law, Germany will end its use of nuclear power by 2022, and France plans to do the same.
6. A nuclear power plant will make Malaysia dependent on foreign technology and dependence on foreign supply of nuclear materials will impact on energy security.
7. A nuclear power plant will open the doors to the misuse of plutonium, leading to nuclear weapons proliferation, although Malaysia has always opposed the use of nuclear weapons and advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Globally, the use of nuclear power as an energy source is in decline. In 2003, there were 438 operating NPPs, but today only 388 remain in operation. The world’s use of nuclear energy has dropped from 17.8% in 1996 to 10.8% in the year 2013. Since the year 2000, the growth per annum of solar based energy has been 25%, wind 43%, and nuclear -0.4%.
Germany has been very successful in its effort to phase out nuclear energy and is now shifting its policy towards renewable energy. France, which has always been a strong proponent and role model for nuclear energy, has passed a motion in Parliament to cut its dependency on nuclear from 75% to 50% and to increase its dependency on renewable energy from 15% to 40%.
In light of the above, there is concrete evidence to suggest that Malaysia should scrap whatever plans it has to go nuclear, as it is a threat to energy security and the risks totally outweigh any perceived benefit.
We urge the government to do the right thing for the benefits of generations to come.
DATO’ DR. RONALD MCCOY
CHAIRMAN, ANAK MALAYSIA ANTI NUKLEAR (AMAN)
23 Dec 2014