Nuclear energy comes with many risks

Singapore has already conducted a feasibility study on nuclear energy and concluded that it is unsuitable ("Consider feasibility of nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions" by Miss Lee Kay Yan; Tuesday, and "Current nuclear technology not suitable for S'pore: Study"; Oct 16, 2012).

Mr S. Iswaran, then Second Minister for Trade and Industry, told Parliament in 2012 that the risks outweigh the benefits because Singapore is a small and dense city.

The way forward is for the Government to support research on nuclear science and engineering, and train scientists and experts, while monitoring the progress of nuclear energy technologies that are suitable for Singapore.

We should also understand that there are many risks because of the radioactive waste produced and its management and disposal, as well as the consequences of a reactor meltdown, even if the plant were built on an offshore island.

The plant itself and the trucks carrying waste could also become terrorist targets, as these have the potential for widespread destruction.

The cons far outnumber the pros.

We should focus on cleaner, renewable energy options, such as solar energy.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2016, with the headline 'Nuclear energy comes with many risks'. Print Edition | Subscribe