Thursday, 24 July 2014

Myanmar planning nuclear reactor for ‘research’, minister says

Myanmar is planning to build nuclear reactors for research purposes after it develops the expertise required to run one safely, Union Minister for Science and Technology Ko Ko Oo told Parliament yesterday. 

He was responding to a question from Upper House MP Myint Kyi, who asked if there were any plans to build a nuclear power station for research. 

“Some assume that use of nuclear energy is dangerous, but there are advantages if it is correctly used,” Ko Ko Oo said. “We need a nuclear reactor for research use as it is very useful in various fields, such as health, agriculture and livestock breeding. To develop nuclear technology, infrastructure is also necessary to prevent radiation and proliferation of nuclear weapons. We are trying to develop human resources to acquire nuclear technology,” he added. 

Myanmar formed a nuclear energy department in 1997 and enacted a nuclear energy law enacted in June the next year to acquire and use nuclear technology in various sectors. Myanmar is cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency to develop the technology, Ko Ko Oo said. 

He added that the present nuclear energy law does not include provisions on building reactors so a new bill is being drafted to include these. 

According to data released by the IAEA in 2011, there are 241 nuclear power stations worldwide, with 92 in developing countries. 

Neighbours China and India have nuclear power stations generating 13,842 megawatts and 4,385 MW of electricity respectively. Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia are preparing to build nuclear power plants, Ko Ko Oo said.

source: Eleven Myanmar

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