Delay in Thai nuclear power studies

22 December 2010

Thailand's energy minister said that he may not be able to submit the nuclear power development plan to government in January as planned, according to a report in The Nation newspaper. Wannarat Charnnukul cited several obstacles, including the legal amendments to enhance safety measures. The cabinet was due to consider in January whether Thailand should proceed with the nuclear power plan as part of the national energy security. A study into the use of nuclear energy in the country was officially inaugurated in February 2008. The three-year, $44 million study has been conducted by the ministry's recently-created Nuclear Power Development Office. It includes details on feasibility studies, identification of potential sites, power plant technology, legal frameworks, human resource training and public education. Under Thailand's 2011-2021 Power Development Plan, four nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of 4000 MWe are to be constructed at a cost of some $6 billion. The units would start operating between 2020 and 2021.