Malaysia ‘not rushing to go nuclear’, says Najib

April 1st, 2011 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, April 1 (IANS) Malaysia Friday said it was putting on hold its plans to seek nuclear power, announced barely three months ago, in view of the nuclear fallout in Japan.

“I think many countries around the world are going through a re-evaluation and we will leverage on that. The government will make a final decision when the time comes,” said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in an interview.

He said Malaysia was fully aware of the repercussions of Japan’s nuclear fallout. The government will not rush to crystallise its nuclear power plans, as its viability is still being evaluated.

Najib said to make sense of the nuclear plan, the government still has to go through rigorous feasibility studies, in the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

“The people must be very secure about the project, and if implemented, it will be good for the country.”

“The important part is to get a positive buy-in from the people,” he was quoted as saying in The Star.

He said plans to engage the international community for feedback and implement safety features that adhere to international best practices is on the table as well.

Last December, the government announced the plan to build two nuclear power plants that will generate 1,000 megawatts each, with the first to be operational in 2021, and the other, a year later as part of an overall long-term plan to balance energy supply.

The government cited nuclear power as the more prominent choice in balancing the energy source, due to lower maintenance costs and lower tariffs in the long-run.

Currently, gas accounts for 64 percent of Malaysia’s energy generation, with the remainder coming from coal, official Malaysian news agency Bernama said.

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