Public Utilities 325 – Prof. Rodney Stevenson
Public Utility Paper
Nuclear Power plant as a new alternative source of energy in Malaysia
The first time the world was exposed the enormous potential power of nuclear was when the United States of America dropped two atomic bombs into Japan which effectively ended World War 2. Almost every country stood by and watched as the bombs made by the simple process of fission of two atomic particles produced enough power to destroy two big cities. The understanding of nuclear was not at a high level during the time but there have been experiments done by scientists all over the world and after witnessing the aftermath of nuclear bombs, along came the idea of applying the potential energy of nuclear for a better use. In 1954, the Soviet Union managed to produce the world first operating nuclear power plant in Obninsk and the plant was able to produce enough electricity to support a power grid. Two years after that, the British opened the world’s first commercial power station and the United States followed up with one of its own in Pennsylvania. As of the end of 2010, there are a total of 442 nuclear power plants spread over 30 countries, with the bulk of the nuclear reactors operating in United States, France, Japan and Russia. Although there have been many demonstrations and court cases asking for the proliferation of nuclear power plant and nuclear energy as a whole, a report done by the European Nuclear Society mentions that 65 new nuclear power plants are under construction in 16 countries. In Malaysia, the main source of energy comes in the form of natural gas and Malaysia has one of the biggest petroleum companies in Asia in the form of the Petronas company. The Petronas company is owned by the Malaysian government but is under the management and supervision of a private board with little interference by the Malaysia government. Other sources of energy in Malaysia comes from coal and fuel and Malaysia also depends on renewable energy sources through hydroelectric and solar powered energy. In recent years however, the supply of natural gas has been depleting and the government has been to find a better option in the form on renewable energy resources to try to spread the imminent case of losing fuel and gas as the main source of energy in the country. History of Public Utilities In Malaysia
Before we move on to the main issue context of the article regarding the production of nuclear power plants in Malaysia as the best renewable energy option, we can get a bit more background to the history of public utilities in Malaysia and the current state of public utilities in the country. As of my knowledge, a large number of industries in the country are regulated by the government and can be out under the public utilities category. Most of these industries have monopolistic traits and are fully or partially controlled by the government of Malaysia. The reason why a large number of industries are under the monitoring of the government is probably due to the fact that Malaysia is a developing country and lack the experience to just allow some of the main public utility industries to float in the market. Some of the most common utility companies in Malaysia include Telekom Malaysia in the telecommunication industry, Tenaga Nasional in the electricity industry, Astro in the cable industry and Syabas in the water industry. Almost all of these companies are monopolistic and are partially or fully controlled by the government. The government subsidizes almost all the operational cost in these companies but regulates important matters such as pricing and coverage. The main concern with public utilities in Malaysia is the influence of politics in the industry. Since the government plays an important role in managing utilities, it is common for people to accuse the government of abusing its powers through the use of utilities. Some of the cases that have been...