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Regional countries poised for nuclear energy
Publication Date : 31-10-2012
Even as some countries have scaled back nuclear-energy plans in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan, others, especially in Southeast Asia, are forging ahead.
Singapore's immediate neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia are keen to develop the sector.
Malaysia is studying the possibility of operating two 1-gigawatt nuclear reactors, with the first expected to be operational by 2021. A feasibility study, including the selection of potential sites and development of infrastructure plans, is now underway.
Indonesia has been building capabilities in nuclear energy since the 1960s. Its nuclear agency has its eye on two sites in Java - Muria and Banten - and one in Bangka off Sumatra.
Farther afield, Vietnam may get Southeast Asia's first nuclear power plant. It has awarded contracts for plants to be built by the 2020s and intends to build 10 nuclear reactors by 2030.
Singapore's nuclear pre-feasibility study recommended that it play an active role on issues of nuclear safety.
In 2010, Asean set up a nuclear-energy cooperation network.
Singapore is also part of the Asian Nuclear Safety Network and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, an inter-governmental group for cooperation on nuclear safety and security.