Malaysia eyes nuclear power use by 2030

MALAYSIA will start relying on nuclear power by 2030 if the green light is given for construction of two nuclear plants here.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong said no decision had been made yet as feasibility studies were still being carried out.

"The decision will be based on findings of the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation and include the views of the rakyat," Mah said in a written reply to a question raised by Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping).

He said a detailed timeframe for the actual construction of the nuclear power plants had not been finalised.

"The earliest (date) for the nuclear power plants to be operational is by 2030," he said, adding that the plans for nuclear power were under the 11th Malaysia Plan to generate public awareness on the nation's future energy needs.

He said the estimated cost for developing two nuclear plants was RM23.1bil (S$7.68bil) based on current global costs.

"The plans are part of the Economic Transformation Prog­ramme and the plants will be able to generate 1,000 megawatts," he said.

Mah said the estimate cost was merely the "overnight" cost to develop the plants, which did not include financing for the project.

The Dewan Rakyat was also told that a study would be done by the Human Resources Ministry to determine the actual number of foreign workers needed in the country.