Keep a sharp eye on this one: the fourth annual Nuclear Power Asia 2013 conference will be held at a hotel in KL on 15-16 January – and among the items in the programme are ‘Opportunities in nuclear new builds in South East Asia’ and how to win over local communities to accept nuclear energy.
This conference provides an occasion for the big-time nuclear power plant manufacturers, power plant operators, bankers and lawyers and ‘consultants’ to hobnob with our government agency boys. Many of these nuclear power ‘stakeholders’ are no doubt eyeing a lucrative slice of the pie by pushing nuclear energy in this part of the world – at a time when public opinion in the West has turned against nuclear energy.
According to the website for the conference, among the panelists for the Keynote Session One are the CEO, Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation, Malaysia and the Senior Director, Commercialisation & Technology Planning Program, Nuclear Malaysia.
The other conference speakers from Malaysia, including a speaker from HSBC Malaysia, can be found here. Several speakers from Japan are also in the line-up, no doubt to enlighten conference participants about the delights of nuclear energy – never mind the small matter of Fukushima.
Session One of the programme is as follows:
Energy thought leaders roundtable – Opportunities in nuclear new builds in South East Asia
- Facing the challenges of implementing a nuclear power programme – putting in place the requisite nuclear infrastructure
- Financing challenges for NPP – owner-operator (National Generation Utility vs Special Purpose Vehicle)
- What assistance is required in terms of HCD (human capital development), Site Selection &Technology Selection?
- How to implement an effective public communication and acceptance programme and overcome “community” NIMBY tendency?
- How to make a national decision on nuclear power by engaging all parties involved?
In the afternoon, a local academic will look into ‘International Legal Instruments Relevant for Development of Nuclear Power in Malaysia’.
Yet another session is as follows:
Prospects and Challenges of Nuclear Power in South-East Asia
- SE Asia’s energy needs and the role of nuclear power in the region’s energy mix
- Understanding challenges towards the development of nuclear power in South-East Asia
- What is needed? What can be learnt from mature nuclear power markets?
On the second day, a speaker from Russia will talk about ‘Nuclear power: the question of public acceptance’. Should be interesting to see what she has to say about the ‘public acceptance’ that led to the construction of the plant at Chernobyl.
Among the Malaysian and Malaysia-based agencies attending the conference are high-powered players:
- Malaysia Nuclear Agency
- Malaysian Nuclear Agency
- Atomic Energy Licensing Board
- Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation
- Australian High Commission
- Austrian Embassy
- Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA)
- British High Commission, Kuala Lumpur
- Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Office
- Embassy of France in Malaysia
- Embassy of the Republic of Korea
- Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia
- Embassy of the United States of America
- EU Delegation
- HSBC Bank Malaysia
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Trade and Industry
- Mitsubshi Heavy Industries Ltd
- Japanese media groups
- Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Prime Minister’’s Department)
- Prime Minister’s Office
- Tenaga Nasional
- US Embassy
And those are just the outfits based locally. Then there are loads of foreign players. Big buck contracts attract profit-hungry players.
See the conference website here.
Speaking of big bucks, I would imagine that there would also be a big opportunity for any public relations firm willing to pull wool over the eyes of the Malaysian public by churning out pro-nuclear energy corporate propaganda in the various media and via so-called ‘experts’ and academics.
The prospect of nuclear power plants should be made a major issue in the upcoming general election. Malaysians need to wake up and say NO to nuclear energy no matter what the greedy, predatory, profiteering nuclear energy industry players tell us.
If the BN insists on pursuing nuclear energy (on the quiet, it would seem), then on that score alone, it deserves to be kicked out in the coming general election.