Malaysia mulls nuclear power plant within 15 years

Malaysia is considering plans to operate a nuclear power plant within 15 years, the government said Tuesday, advancing efforts to find cheaper energy sources.

Malaysia uses coal and natural gas to generate most of its electricity supply, and the government has repeatedly warned that the cost of relying on both commodities is expected to spiral in the decades ahead.

Prime Minister Najib Razak wrote on his blog Tuesday that the government was studying the possible use of nuclear energy as an efficient and cost-effective means for electricity generation.

“If we press ahead with nuclear, 12 to 15 years could elapse before energy is produced using small reactors,” he said.

Energy Minister Peter Chin said Tuesday his ministry plans to start identifying suitable sites for a proposed plant, which might seek to obtain technology from South Korea, China, France or Japan, The Star newspaper reported on its website.

An aide to the minister said officials haven’t made a decision on whether to ask the International Atomic Energy Agency for approval to build a plant. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.

Associated Press