Simulation centre set up to prepare nation for nuclear emergencies


DENGKIL: The Nuclear Reaction Simulation Centre to prepare Malaysia for any nuclear or radiation-related emergency has been unveiled by the Atomic Energy Department Malaysia (Atom Malaysia) at its headquarters here.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang officiated the ceremony by taking part in a simulation exercise together with relevant agencies here on Thursday (May 9).

Also present was ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Aminuddin bin Hassim and Atom Malaysia director-general Nuraishah Pungut.

The development of the centre aims to strengthen the competence and efficiency of Atom Malaysia's Nuclear Response Team (PTN).

The centre will be used to train frontline agencies such as the Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department, and Customs Department, as well as for radiation protection officers in the private and government sectors, both from within and outside the country.

The establishment of the centre is in line with the National Security Council (NSC) Directive 20, which places Atom Malaysia as the leading agency for radiological and nuclear accidents.

In his speech, Chang said this centre will be able to improve the safety, security and control of atomic energy activities based on the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 and protect workers as well the public from the risk of radiation while reducing its negative impact on the environment.

“The ministry and Atom Malaysia have taken the initiative to grant licence approval for a maximum of three years to all applicants who meet the criteria set effective from June,” he said.

Previously, he added, licences were offered for one, two or three years.

This initiative is expected to boost the development of the nuclear industry and increase investment while providing guaranteed continuous employment and generating quicker revenue for the country.

“The government is also amending the Act to extend the approval for the licence application to exceed the three-year period.

“The ministry will ensure that the amendment is expedited and gazetted at the beginning of next year to attract investors and the high-tech nuclear industry to this country,” Chang said.

In addition, Atom Malaysia will continue to ensure that the safety, security and regulatory aspects of atomic energy activities remain a priority.

To date, under the Act, the number of licence holders under the industrial sector is 1,810 companies, while the medical sector has the larger share, with 5,164.

This number is expected to increase via various government initiatives.

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