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Underground nuclear plant may be safer from attacks

Published on Oct 31, 2012 6:00 AM
 
Siting a nuclear power plant underground may be the best option should Singapore decide to build one, said a National University of Singapore civil engineering professor who has done research on the topic. -- ST FILE PHOTO: PRITAM SINGH

Siting a nuclear power plant underground may be the best option should Singapore decide to build one, said a National University of Singapore civil engineering professor who has done research on the topic.

Professor Andrew Clennel Palmer said an underground facility could be safer from terrorist and aircraft attacks than one on the surface, and that Singapore has experience building infrastructure below-ground - such as the MRT system and caverns for storing oil and munitions.

In a talk at the Asia Future Energy Forum last week, part of Singapore International Energy Week, he outlined the pros and cons of generating electricity from nuclear energy here.

Singapore, said the petroleum-engineering expert and Keppel Professor of civil engineering at NUS, is currently almost wholly dependent on fossil fuels. But nuclear energy produces no carbon-dioxide emissions and does not contribute to climate change. "Singapore is a strong and disciplined country, it could keep a nuclear power plant safe," he said.

 
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