Civil society calls on the Malaysian Government to halt nuclear development plan
Civil society organisations from Japan, South Korea, Australia and Malaysia said they are convinced beyond doubt that nuclear power has no place in Malaysian’s quest to chart a sustainable energy future.
Friends of the Earth Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and a number of other civil society organisations are urging the government of Malaysia to increase its support for sustainable energy instead of spending taxpayers’ money on nuclear technology which has proven time and again to be economically, environmentally and socially harmful.
The calls come out of a two day public forum which provided an insight into the potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy to achieve a healthy energy mix for Malaysia. The forum heard first-hand the suffering endured by the people of Fukushima from the tsunami which triggered a nuclear crisis as a result of the meltdown of three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Eri Watanabe, the Nuclear and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Japan said:
“The accident in Fukushima reminded us that once a severe accident happens, the environmental and social impacts are irreversible
"So far, the Japanese government cannot sufficiently protect their people from radiation. However, the government still continues its policy to promote exports of nuclear power technology. This is morally wrong because its own people are still suffering so much from the accident.
"I strongly recommend that the Malaysian government and people rethink the introduction of nuclear energy for your prosperity and for the next generation.
Seiichi Nakate, a Representative of the Fukushima Network for Protecting Children from Radiation said:
“I would not want the Malaysian people to experience the tragedy that people in Fukushima are now facing. I came here only because I wanted to tell you this. In Fukushima, more than 100,000 families have been separated because of the nuclear accident. And even now, one million people still live in contaminated areas with deep sufferings and anxiety.
"Human beings must abandon nuclear power plants. We must not allow a single nuclear power plant to be built any more.”
Kim Hye Jeong, Executive Coordinator of Friends of the Earth Korea said:
“Korea’s nuclear technologies are questionable as shown by its track record of 646 minor and major accidents in a period of 32 years since the installation of its first nuclear power plant in 1978.
“We are appalled that the APR1400 nuclear reactor that has yet to be commercially tested in South Korea might just be the type of reactor that the Malaysian government is considering buying from us.
"We condemn the South Korean Government’s plan to export such sub‐standard technology to a developing country like Malaysia under the pretext of international technical cooperation,” she added.
Dr Jim Green, National nuclear campaigner at Friends of the Earth Australia said:
“Australian uranium was used in the Fukushima reactors that were destroyed in March. We Australians do not want to be responsible for similar disasters in Malaysia.”
He also added that, over a 50 year lifespan, a single nuclear reactor is responsible for 1,500 tonnes of high level nuclear waste and a staggering 35 million tonnes of low level radioactive tailings waste. The Malaysian government should not bequeath this toxic legacy to future generations.
After the forum, several Malaysian civil society groups who were present pledged to work together in a concerted campaign against the proposed nuclear power plants.