A new company, Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation, will spearhead planning the eventual deployment of nuclear power plants in the country.
In the Third Economic Transformational Program update speech made on 11 January, prime minister Najib Tun Razak outlined 19 projects of key national economic significance that are expected to lead to up to 67 billion ringitts ($22 billion) in investment and as many as 35,000 new jobs for the country.
|Najib Tun Razak
Regarding the new nuclear company, the prime minister named Mohd Zamzam bin Jafaar as CEO, and mentioned a time frame of 11-12 years from pre-project to commissioning for Malaysia’s first nuclear plant. The company is expected to create 2600 jobs over time.
This is the latest development in a steady process leading to the adoption of nuclear power in the country, though an official decision on whether to proceed is currently set for 2013 based on the findings of three high level working groups. The current indications point to a nuclear plant being commissioned some time in the early 2020s, pending the decision to proceed.
In 2008 and in the wake of escalating fossil fuel prices on which the country is over 90% dependent for its electricity needs, the Malaysian government expressed its tentative support for nuclear power and set up a task force to investigate the option. In early 2010 the government had set aside $7 billion for plant construction and the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water was instructed to identify suitable locations, yielding eight possible sites.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News