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Malaysia needs to develop nuclear energy

Malaysia needs to develop nuclear energy as the current fossil fuel reserves are estimated to last for 18 years, an official of Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research (MINT) said on Saturday.

It will take nearly 15 years before a nuclear plant with the power generating capacity of 1,000 MW can start operation in Malaysia, MINT General Manager (Business Operations) Razali Hamzah was quoted by the official Bernama news agency as saying.

The power generating capacity of such a nuclear power plant is more than two times as big as the capacity of any existing national power plant, Razali said.

"The (Malaysian) government has not made any decision on this event, though Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has stated that we may go nuclear," Razali told reporters when asked to comment on the country's nuclear ambition.

MINT, as the sole nuclear plant operator in Malaysia, has a one- megawatt research and training nuclear plant in Bangi of the Selangor state, which uses an outdated American technology in the 1970's.

Razali said latest nuclear plant technology could be sourced from Japan, South Korea and France.

According to local media reports, Malaysia's UN Permanent Representative in Vienna Rajmah Hussain said on Friday that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), while fully supporting the efforts toward nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, maintained the principle position that NAM member states have the right to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

Malaysia is the current chairman of the NAM.



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