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Thailand will build its first nuclear power plant by 2022 to meet rising electricity demands. Although Thailand drafted the first nuclear power plant in 1991, it was not implemented due to strong opposition from environmentalists.
I have interviewed Energy Minister Pityasavasti Amranand, and received information from the Bangkok Post of 27th Jan 2008
II FINDINGS AND ANAYSIS
It is part of a new 15 year power development plan which calls for new capacity of 39,000 megawatts and it will cost far higher than conventional power plants although it is advantageous in many ways. The protests by environmentalists are still prevailing
The advantages are: Firstly, it would give an option to produce power without contributing to global warming. Secondly, it would help Thailand meet its international commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as it produces less carbon dioxide than other energy sources such as coal. Thirdly, the cost of producing power at the nuclear plant is 2.01 Baht per unit, cheaper than coal–fired plants. Fourthly, it can reduce reliance on imported energy sources, especially gas from Myanmar and coal from Australia.
On the other hand, firstly, the cost is far higher than conventional plants. Secondly, Thai environmentalists point out that it is far more dangerous than wind, solar and other forms of power generation. Thirdly, it is expensive to protect against terrorist attacks. Fourthly, new nuclear plants must be built far from population centers, which means higher transmission costs. Fifthly. if there is a nuclear accident, evacuation of people allows only 20 minutes, which is very short. Sixthly, nuclear waste is hard to dispose of. At present, there are about 70,000 tons of nuclear waste stored temporarily, in addition to countless tons already buried in the sea, in underground taverns or... [continues]
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