PUTRAJAYA, Jan 20 (Bernama) — A series of forum to gather public opinion on nuclear energy for electricity generation would be conducted by Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) within the next few weeks, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong.

He reiterated that the decision on the nuclear power project would only be made by the government upon completion of comprehensive studies which included public opinion on the project.

“We are still in the final stage of the feasibility study which focuses on evaluation of the national legal and regulatory infrastructure for comprehensive national nuclear governance in line with the latest international best practices.

“We don’t want to rush or set a timeline because it is an important decision and wish to make sure that we get all the right facts before saying yes or no to the plan,” he told reporters after meeting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Yukiya Amano, here, today.

Amano is on a two-day visit to Malaysia to better understand Malaysia’s state of preparedness for its plan to build the nuclear power plant and he also shared IAEA’s current activities.

Mah said IAEA did not try to influence Malaysia on whether to use nuclear power as energy source.

“It is purely decided by the sovereign state, but if a country decides to use nuclear power, the IAEA is prepared to assist that country to establish the robust nuclear infrastructure,” he said.

Asked about public fears and concerns over the nuclear power project, he said any source of energy had its advantages and disadvantages.

“Hydro power is good but building a new dam could harm the environment, while the oil price is not stable all the time, so best practice in any source of energy is essential to reduce potential risks to the people,” he said.

Malaysia, which is among 162 IAEA member states, had expressed its intention in December 2010 to build two nuclear power plants to meet rising energy demand, one by 2021 and the other, a year later.

BERNAMA

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