Consider feasibility of nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions

Our heavy use of air-conditioning has often been fingered as a key factor in raising our carbon output ("Act now to reduce our carbon footprint" by Mr Chan Swee Wing; May 2).

However, air-conditioning is indispensable in almost all commercial buildings such as shopping centres and offices.

Also, in tropical Singapore, the temptation to switch on the air-conditioner is too irresistible.

The other problem in our climate change fight is that as long as our population continues to grow, energy consumption will increase exponentially from year to year.

We need to stop relying on fossil fuels and explore other alternatives, such as, perhaps, nuclear power, as renewable sources of energy. Solar power, on its own, has been found to be insufficient to power our city's energy needs.

Singapore probably has the best location for building a nuclear power plant. We are not located on or next to a fault line, and we have no natural disasters such as hurricanes or volcanic eruptions.

Even a few of our Asean neighbours, such as Vietnam and Indonesia, are either preparing for or are set to commission their first nuclear power plants ("Five years after Fukushima: S-E Asia's nuclear dilemma"; April 14).

It is said that this move would buy valuable time for a more thorough development of renewable technologies, and, hopefully, slow down the effects of global warming.

Singapore probably has the best location for building a nuclear power plant.

We are not located on or next to a fault line, as Japan is, and we have no natural disasters such as hurricanes or volcanic eruptions. It is important to note that the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant was triggered by an earthquake.

Newer plants have more safety measures that are better and more reliable than those of the earlier ones at Fukushima.

We could also train our own pool of nuclear power professionals to run these plants.

The issue of highly radioactive waste will not be a major problem, as there is reliable technology for the proper disposal of such waste.

Perhaps we could emulate China and build a nuclear power plant on a sea-based platform ("China 'edging closer to first maritime nuclear station'"; April 23) or on one of our offshore islands.

If we do that, and convert all our vehicles to run on electricity, in phases, we would be so much closer to achieving a net zero carbon footprint.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2016, with the headline 'Consider feasibility of nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions'. Print Edition | Subscribe