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Thursday, 16 February 2012 | MYT 12:00 AM

Demand for electricity has exceeded supply: TNB chief

KUALA LUMPUR: Demand for electricity has exceeded supply with some industries not getting the supply they need, said TNB chief Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh.

Che Khalib, who spoke at a forum entitled Is Nuclear Energy An Option for Malaysia', also said that it would be difficult in the future to generate enough electricity.

He said Malaysia was also very dependant on fossil fuel in spite of not having coal in the country.

'We get all our coal from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa', said Che Khalib.

He added that other local sources of fossil fuel was also depleting.

As a result, he added Malaysia was becoming very dependant on import fuels and this made the cost higher.

“There's a need to plan carefully for power system development, especially nuclear,' he said.

Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation chief executive officer Dr Mohd Zamzam Jaafar, who also spoke at the forum on Thursday, said the country's electricity per capita would increase as Malaysia positioned itself as a developed nation by 2020.

He added that Malaysia could not ignore the benefits of nuclear power in future generation energy mix.

However, he added public concerns on issues such as nuclear safety and security, among others, must be addressed.

Meanwhile, Indian political columnist and environmental activist Praful Bidawi said nuclear power generation efforts had failed globally.

He cited France as an example where there was a surplus of nuclear generated electricity.

Bidawi added that the extra electricity had to be sold to other countries at a loss.

He added that currently the number of functioning nuclear reactors in the world had also declined over the years as opposed to renewable energy sources of which there was no the increase.

“Wind turbine generation of energy has been an increasingly important source”, he said adding that solar energy was also an option.

The challenges to nuclear power generation included radiation from uranium mining, reactor maintenance, recycling of various waste material and waste storage.

He also added that nuclear waste had a very long life span.

He said building nuclear power generating reactors were akin to “building houses without toilets.”

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