Singapore to build a new nuclear power plant

Sembawang Member of Parliament Lim Wee Kiat spoke in parliament on Feb. 23 about increasing the use of solar and nuclear power in Singapore to enhance Singapore’s energy resilience.

Lim outlined the risk to Singapore’s energy supplies, giving the example of the war in Ukraine resulting in a global disruption of energy prices. He stated that Singapore urgently needed to explore alternative sources of energy and suggested that Singapore should ramp up the adoption of solar energy and consider the adoption of nuclear energy.

Lim said that nuclear energy had been under consideration in Singapore for several years and that the Energy 2050 plan committee had identified it as one of three ways Singapore might achieve net zero by 2050. But the time needed to implement a nuclear energy project could be within 10 to 15 years, and Singapore should be prepared in case nuclear power becomes an “inevitable option”. For such a project to be viable, Lim asked if there was a timeline for pursuing nuclear energy. He also said it was crucial to set an apparent target to evaluate the feasibility of nuclear energy..

Lim also encouraged the consideration of nuclear energy in Singapore and suggested various options, such as building a nuclear power facility on an offshore island, a man-made rig in the sea, or underground. He referenced France’s development of an underwater nuclear reactor named Flexblue, while it is developing the technology to build and operate a small nuclear reactor under the sea.

By the 2040s, the developments will probably enable Singapore to determine that nuclear energy is viable and start developing domestic generation capacity in this global landscape.

Currently, Singapore depends on a single energy source, natural gas, for 95 percent of its energy needs. Lim Wee Kiat ask about the risk of interruption of supply, and the current capacity of Singapore’s liquid natural gas terminal.

Singapore’s government is currently supporting research in relevant areas of nuclear policy, science, and engineering, as well as efforts to train a pool of scientists and experts in local and overseas universities. The country works with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other ASEAN member states to help strengthen regional preparedness to respond to a potential nuclear emergency.

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