Skip to main content

"This Nuclear Energy" - Welcome, Malaysia

malaysia_sm_2008 We've welcomed a good number of countries to the nuclear family, enough by now to think we've filled in our entire stamp book (well, except for Vanuatu - they seem more like hydro people - nice stamps, though).

Now, there's Malaysia, a country split between the mainland and an island it shares with Indonesia, with the South China Sea between the halves. Malaysia is multi-cultural (though mostly ethnically Malay, at about 60%) and multi-religious (although mostly Muslim, again at 60%, mostly the Malays).

Unlike the Arab countries that have taken an interest in nuclear energy, Malaysia does not seem at all motivated by Iran's activities. Instead, worries about oil predominate.

"This nuclear energy is vital following the increase in the world fuel price and our limited oil reserve. Moreover, nuclear energy is cheap and clean," [Science, Technology and Innovation minister Maximus Ongkili said.]

We can't decide which we like more: the idea of a Science, Technology and Innovation minister (one of those in our cabinet here, please) or that his name is Maximus (one of those in our, uh, coliseum, please.)

Here's a little more:

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said in June that Malaysia may consider adopting nuclear power to meet its long-term energy needs amid surging global oil prices.

Currently, half of Malaysia's power plants run on gas. Other sources include coal and hydropower.

Seems like the right idea to us. While we bridle a bit that gas prices should be moving energy policy - we fear the price fluctuations can replace good policy creation with a bipolar-like cycle of panic and neglect  - we think Razak is recognizing, as some American politicians do not, that an eye on the future trumps the quick fixes of the present. Like the U.S., Malaysia has a widely dispersed population that depends on long distance hauling to keep the economy humming.

Let's keep an eye on this and see where it goes.

Map of Malaysia. Perhaps Malaysia get together with New Zealand occasionally to celebrate their divided land massedness.

Just to be fair, here's a nice roundup of Frogs of Malaysia stamps. When they build a nuclear plant, we hope the Malaysians keep those frogs safe. They're pretty unique looking.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…