JOHOR BARU: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is looking at starting its first nuclear power plant by 2025 once it gets the go-ahead from the Government.
Its nuclear energy head Dr Mohd Zamzam Jaafar said the country had to prepare for a nuclear future as present energy sources faced uncertainty amid volatile prices and scant resources.
He noted that by 2019, current gas resources would have dwindled and the country would need to double its import of coal, making nuclear energy technology the best option to go forward.
“We will be working with the Korea Electric Power Corporation on a nuclear pre-feasibility study,” he said
Dr Zamzam said the cost of a nuclear plant would vary according to the design, with the Chinese design for a 1,000 MW plant costing US$2bil (RM6.9bil), a Russian one for 2bil (RM9.9bil), and a US one for US$4bil (RM13.9bil).
The cost for research and feasibility could be around RM2mil, he told a media briefing on conventional and alternative energy technologies in Terengganu.
At present, TNB’s power generation is a mix of gas (about 50%), coal (35%), hydro power (14%) and oil (more than 1%).
Dr Zamzam noted that nuclear power was more competitively priced in terms of electricity than other energy resources.
“Nuclear power plants have low radiation exposure,” he said, adding that most plants had a target radiation level of 0.05 millisievert per year, the same radiation as a person exposed to for a single X-ray examination.
Dr Zamzam said nuclear power plants also used less land than hydro plants and were more stable compared with alternatives like wind and solar energy.
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