JAKARTA, Indonesia (Nov. 24 2012): Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkilidelivered Malaysia’s Country Report as well as moderated a roundtable discussion on “The Role of FNCA” at the 13th Ministerial Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) held here today.
In presenting the Country Report, Dr Ongkili said that after 13 years, it was time to re-define the future role of the FNCA, particularly in light of developments in the issue of nuclear power.
“Looking ahead there is a need to re-position nuclear technology especially after Fukushima and the lessons learnt from the incident. It is a sad event, but no one can predict nature,” he said, adding that the desire for and popularity of nuclear energy as a source of energy had taken a backseat and affected all countries.
There was also a need to highlight the positives of nuclear technology for its continued relevance and acceptance to the public, he added.
He suggested the FNCA to look at the latest technology, that is competitive and safe, and healso stressed the importance of creating an Open Innovation Platform with respect to databases, including application for predictive models of risk management espousing also for environment safety. “The FNCA should also look at concentrating on the application of nuclear science for socio-economic issues, especially the relevance of nuclear science in solving everyday problems,” he added.
Malaysia also hopes that the FNCA would continue to support the nuclear activities both in power and non-power applications to all member countries. He also told the forum that in tandem with Malaysia’s projected economic growth rate under the Economic Transformation Programme, electricity peak demand was projected to grow by about 3.4 % per annum, reaching 20,900 MW in year 2020. Thus, additional generation capacity of about 11,000 MW would be required by 2020, taking into consideration the demand growth as well as plant retirements during the period.
However, fossil fuels posed a challenge to energy security, especially for developing countries which are non-producing, and Malaysia therefore needed to look into diversifying its energy mix to ensure security of supply.
Malaysia, he said, also strongly believed that human capital development was important in the overall planning and preparation for power as well as non-power applications of nuclear technology, especially for a newcomer country to nuclear power.
In this regard, the Japanese leadership in Nuclear Power Programme (NPP) and non-NPP through the FNCA was appreciated and needed to be continued.
“Member countries benefitted a lot, especially for newcomer countries with intentions to prepare the infrastructure for NPP, where, through FNCA, early planning and capacity development could be achieved.
Without FNCA, all these needs are to come through individual government funding and employing consultants, and so forth, which will entail much higher cost,” he said.
At the conclusion of the 13th FNCA, members adopted a resolution calling for a continued role of FNCA and its continuous work towards, among others, developing human capital, collaborative work on nuclear technology applications in various fields, assessments of socio-economic impacts/benefits of nuclear application and ensuring the highest level of nuclear safety through information and good practices sharing.