Nuclear power not a viable option for now

Mr Lim Soon Heng has proposed the building of small modular nuclear reactors out at sea, given our limited size ("A floating nuclear power plant - off Singapore?"; Tuesday).

However, the territorial sea under the jurisdiction of Singapore is also not very large, given the size of our country. Singapore has a claim of about three nautical miles of territorial sea.

Building floating small modular nuclear reactors out at sea is innovative.

But it is unfortunate that Singapore will always be hampered by its size, resulting in it not having a vast maritime space within its jurisdiction to manage.

There are also other considerations, such as underwater earthquakes posing a safety concern, as we are not that far from Indonesia's earthquake fault lines.

The danger of terrorism, given the recent plan to fire a missile from Batam towards Marina Bay, cannot be ignored either ("Plotters' plan: Strike S'pore from Batam hill"; Sept 28).

Threat to marine life, and therefore a source of food, if there is a leak in the reactors must also be carefully studied.

Surely there must be an impact on the quality of seafood in our surrounding waters, as a result of exposure to nuclear radiation.

At this juncture, nuclear power generation is just not a viable option to consider, unless a quantum leap in nuclear power technology makes it 100 per cent safe against natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and no external or human threat, such as terrorism, exists.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2016, with the headline 'Nuclear power not a viable option for now'. Print Edition | Subscribe