Does Malaysia Really Need Nuclear Power?


Does Malaysia Really Need Nuclear Power?

Nobel Peace Prize-winning anti-nuclear group International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) founding member Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy calls Malaysia’s nuclear energy ambitions as ‘ridiculous’. He speaks to AWANI Review’s Cynthia Ng.

The environmental impact from fossil fuel and increasing global demand for energy has made nuclear power, if not attractive, a more palatable option as an alternative source of energy.

Malaysia, too, has its nuclear energy ambitions. But that took a backseat following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011. While discussions are still ongoing to roll out a nuclear power programme after 2030, the debate remains - should Malaysia go down the nuclear road?

“It’s a silly, ridiculous decision to make. First of all, it’s not cheap. There are lots of lies about nuclear energy. The subsidies that government has to provide will be phenomenal,” says Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy.

“Nuclear accidents very seldom happen but when they do - like Chernobyl and Fukushima, they are disastrous.”


Then, there’s the nuclear waste.   

“Radioactive nuclear waste lasts forever. What are you going to do with the waste? Are you going to burden future generations with radioactives? That’s criminal!”, retorted Dr McCoy when presented with the question of nuclear energy as a cleaner, low-carbon form of alternative energy source.  

“Some people are going to make a lot of money out of it too. That’s what it is,” the retired obstetrician added, not mincing his words.

“Renewable energy -  that is the only way to go. We also need to look at how we use energy, the way we waste energy - we have to change our lifestyles because we can’t go on like this.”

“Climate change will kill us, if not nuclear weapons.”