Tuesday, June 01, 2010

We’re getting nuclear power in 2021 (2015?)

Wow. What I don’t get is this:

Where are they gonna place the plant? Every inch of our country is filled with life, human or otherwise and having a nuclear powerplant is gonna emit radiation that will seep into the soil, water and ionize air particles. I’m not a nuclear physicist but I do know that no matter how ‘radiation proof’ the structures are and despite ‘protective gear’ radiation is not containable. We’re gonna have thyroid cancer, double headed-crab-eating-squirrels, purple carrots, giant periuk keras that eat baby bunnies and maybe kill off a few hundred endangered species that are being homed in our generally green nation. Oh, did I mention the potential for superb hair loss that comes with just bathing in radiated water?

Don’t we have an abundance of alternative power sources? I mean, we have so many rivers and hydropower is really the main power generator in our lush paradise.  We have solar power possibilities, which while being expensive initially, is definitely more cost effective in terms of lower medical bills, lesser environmental damage and lower maintenance fee, or so I’ve read. Do I need to mention that we’re located pretty much on the Equator, so sunlight is available all year round? Screw windpower, that’s undependable with the monsoons and all… And weren’t we discovering the wonders of palm oil? Hydrogen-fueled things? Come on… if we can set the world record for most number of people drinking milk at the same time, I’m sure we can do something about this, no?

Are we really all that eager to appear ‘technologically advanced’? It’s not some political gimmick or attempt at power intimidation or a ‘struggle’ to gain place in the eyes of the world, now is it? Malaysia can’t be all that shallow minded. Please. Splitting atoms to create energy while being really cool in concept is scary. That same knowledge can be used to unleash havoc and I’m not too comfortable with that thought, even if it is for ‘defensive’ purposes only. Imagine if the different races at home decided that they wanted to have a go at each other (again!), we would face more than Molotov cocktails, cow heads and racial slurs. Are we MATURED enough to handle this responsibility? Though it pains me to say it about my own kind, I seriously doubt it.

And incidentally, don’t we have more pressing concerns? Let me name a few that’s got me all jittery, ya?
1.   
ss  1. Economic forecast: We’ll be broke by 2019. Unless of course the world ends in 2012.
2.   
      2. We have lost so many species and will continue to do so for our nature conservation efforts are nowhere near ‘the safe zone’ : we have the penyu, Sumatran tigers, orang utans, corals off Perhentian, tapir and many more that I don’t know about that are slowly going extinct.
3.   
      3. Horrible public transport, diverse road infrastructure. Yeah it’s extensive in the cities but just how DEPENDABLE is it? In the other parts of our fair land, I’ve seen potholes the size of hippos and roads the width of bicycle tracks.
4.   
      4. Education system. Our education system is constantly being revamped and while more and more are scoring straight As in national exams, what exactly is the QUALITY of that A? And our education system focuses on the Rs, which is good, but when it comes to international matters, we’re a pretty close-minded race. Really. Our Geography and World History knowledge is laughable compared to that of two or three generations ago. If we don’t understand them, how in the world are we gonna be a part of the ‘global communtiy’? Don’t get me started on our linguistic capabilities.
5.   
      5. Work, projects, pride in the nation. What one PM wants the other neglects and focuses on a whole different concept. While diversifying is pretty much a market priority, we do need some continuity too and it has to be made apparent to the general public. Let us know and appreciate each other’s contributions.
6.   
      6. Sports. What do we play exactly? Besides Nicole David, and LCW we have pretty much lost all hope in ever being a sporty nation and one has to wonder why. We’re Asians after all, aren’t we supposed to be lithe and built to the ground? We have a national sports school and so many incentives to encourage athleticism and yet… I’ll just leave that hanging.
7.   
      7. Garbage disposal and sanitation. We fought like dogs and cats over buying an INCINERATOR and we’re giving the silent nod for nuclear power? The logic of that escapes me. And sanitation… well, we need help. A lot of help.

For some one who shies away from all things political I have some pretty disturbing thoughts that stem from it. Everything I’ve expressed is the concerned viewpoint of a citizen over this nuclear power issue.

Let me end by a quote by Einstein on cold fission and another by the guy responsible for the Manhattan Project:

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.  -J. Robert Oppenheimer-

To have security against atomic bombs and against the other biological weapons, we have to prevent war, for if we cannot prevent war every nation will use every means that is at their disposal; and in spite of all promises they make, they will do it. 
-Albert Einstein-
Address to the symposium "The Social Task of the Scientist in the Atomic Era" at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (17 November 1946)  

It seems to me that neither one was too happy with the moral outcomes of nuclear technology. But do correct me if I am wrong, for I am just one person with a subjective opinion. 

Y’all have a nice day.

14 comments:

rainfield61 said...

We have many more safer alterntives. "Malaysia Boleh" attitude will not help to build and to take care of the Nuclear Power plant.

jaacostan said...

when there are energy crises,we all including u need to depend on the nuclear energy ... because gasoline will be not available in future

we can't able to depend on natural energy sources,it have limitations..

for a safer tomorrow,we need to find ecological,alternative methods to dispose radioactive wastes

anyway nice work with the blog !!

Me-shak said...

Oh :O this is such bad news. I hope the government will think more and make a choice. I dunno much about Malaysia, but from what I have collected, you guys can produce a lot of hydro powered electricity with no hassle at all. for better choices,

Cheers!

jaacostan said...

I'm an Indian..me too donno much facts about malaysia..
u can't depend on hydroelectricity much,becoz u kno due to global warming the climate period has been some what altered,so little rain....scarcity of water..and,it is really much ecnomical too..
and tidal energy,thats too ecnomical..

about nucelar ,its initial cost is high but its really useful..
i hope Malaysia is a small nation and populated,then where you put that nuclear plant??

radiation will affect nearly 30 kms..
thats from scientific studies!!

and we r in the technological,scentific era..hope that new ways of making power will discover !!

hope for the best

Chavie said...

Hydroelectric power can have a really bad social and ecological impact. Some organization (I wonder if it was WWF) used to run ads on Time magazine on the hidden cost of dams, how they destroy acres of forest habitats and alter the water-table etc.

The main problem with Nuclear power is Nuclear waste disposal. If not for that, they're more environmentally friendly than thermal power plants (coal and oil). As for nuclear weapons, you need highly enriched Uranium for that and under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Malaysia cannot create bombs. Unless you do an Iran/North Korea style shunning of the world (something that Malaysia with it's trade-dependent economy would never do) the IAEA inspectors will make sure that bombs are not developed.

Can't wait till they invent economically feasible Fusion power plants! Cheap and limitless power, with no radioactive waste, just imagine the implications! :D *starts dreaming*

jaacostan said...

hehe...that will remain as a dream for ever..

ur arguments r true,
and as u said,dams ans be made only by destroying acres of forest land!!

Loshini said...

Rainfield:
Nicely said :)

Me-shak:
I'm hoping so too. We'll have to wait and see i guess!

jaacostan:
You got it right...Actually one of the reasons of why we're opting for nuclear energy is the fact that out dams are in fact drying up and are estimated to be insufficient to support our growing population... But i'm still hoping (naively mebe...) that there are other real options to consider

a 30km radius is for direct radiation, ya? Ionised particles travel further, dependent on wind and in water, the free radicals last longer.

Also, the half-life of Chernobyl's rad isn't over yet. The half life bench mark is next year. Meaning it'll take another 15 yrs to wear off. That was a one time explosion. Imagine a constant stream of slow emission. It's a bit like a slow bleed... hardly noticed by the patient but when it is, it's trickier to treat than an acute bleed :)

And i guess your 2nd comment's aimed at Chavie? :)

Chavie:
True about the ecosystems. We have a couple of examples of massive disbalance like you said but being a tropical country, we've sort of gotten the hang of damming up rivers and generating electricity without too much damage to Mother Nature. Experience :)

I'm not worried about Malaysia running amok with nuclear power arms. We're much too laid back for that. And the if I'm not mistaken they use different isomers for bombs too... am not too sure bout that :P

Totally agree on the trade-dependent countries not being able to handle the wrath of the world part!

Wow, you sure you're a techie? :P

We aren't gonna do anything dumb as a nation but there are many individuals in every country who have the knwledge and access to misuse even the most innocent of things like an empty rum bottle and a rolled up newspaper. I'm doubting them, not the country.

And economically feasible nuclear power, they say is what 5-7 yrs away in the most developed of countries? I don't see that in Malaysia for a good 30-40 years... We have quite a way to go before we hit that level.

But yeah, it's a dream and if it turns out to be all it promises to be, i'll delete my post :P

And nuclear waste disposal is a very real issue.

Very nice comment. Thoroughly made me think.

Thanks all for your most interesting comments!

Loshini said...

jaacostan:
I didn't notice your first comment, sorry.

Yeah, some natural sources are limited that why I think we should consider natural non-replenishable resources like solar power.

Eco-friendly ways to dispose of radioactive waste is being researched, but it requires time, something we don't have much of :)

Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Appreciate it much...

Loshini said...

woops i meant replenishable. sorry there, direct translation from a malay term to english, my bad :) blme it on our education system where we learn everything in malay.. hehe!

jaacostan said...

education system.... that sucks allover.. anyway we just learners all time !!

i know Malaysia is one of the beautiful country and i wish these nuke researches won't affect its natural beauty...

but Its about Nuclear power and any nuclear disaster will affect the whole world and will destroy the balance of earth!!

anyway,new generation will see something different ,soon!!!

hehe..me too saying thanks for joining the comment conversation !!

good luck for new works !!!

goodbye :p !!!

Mei Teng said...

This is a bad idea for the country. They're talking reducing subsidies and now this. I hope people will make carefuk and wise decisions for the good of the country.

Loshini said...

Jaacostan:
Hehe.. thanks n have a nice day :)

Mei Teng:
I don't like it too, but if these things do happen, I'm praying we learn to deal with it well. Careful decisions are definitely needed :)

doc said...

bad idea but some people are going to get rich from this.

is the govt capable of handling nuclear reactors when they've lost 2 jet enjines from high-security area & boasts of having submarines that can't submerge???

be very afraid!

Loshini said...

doc:
lol. losing nuclear material is definitely not an option anyone wants to consider..!