The Implementation Of Nuclear Energy In Malaysia Engineering Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Nuclear energy is one of the most important sources of energy that come from uranium and originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission at the power plant. The fission process is used to generate heat for producing steam, which is used to turn the turbine to generate electricity. In the mid-twentieth century, nuclear energy was discovered and the implementation of nuclear energy as a source of power was slow to come to get the result because it is still under research and development, but it became an important part of the world’s power source. With the oil crisis from the past and recently, nuclear energy was the preferred method to generate electricity, but nuclear meltdown when some failure occur in the plant created a culture of fear amongst the world. In example was Chernobyl disaster that killed many lives. 
Based on the history, nuuclear energy was mainly started in the year of 1896, where Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in uranium. Followed by in the year of 1902, Marie and Pierre Curie isolated a radioactive metal called radium .While in the year of 1905, Albert Einstein formulated his ‘Special Theory of Relativity’ where he explain mass can be considered to be another form of energy and Enrico Fermi first experimented with nuclear fission in 1934 when he bombarded uranium with neutrons. However he didn’t realize that he had achieved nuclear fission. Scientists soon realized that the neutrons split the nucleus of the uranium atoms and that if the resulting fission could release more neutrons, a sustainable nuclear chain reaction would result. After that the nuclear was use to create atomic bomb for war purposes. The first atomic bomb or A-bomb was tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico on 16 July 1945. After the bomb experiment, the Enola Gay, an American airplane, dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare on Hiroshima(Japan) followed by the second atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. 
Nuclear energy was produced in the year 1951 and this encouraging President Dwight D. Eisenhower to give his “Atoms for Peace” speech to call for peaceful implementation of nuclear power for the world. By the year of 1954, the U.S.S.R. was generating nuclear energy for its power grid and at Geneva conference in 1955, the European Economic Community and the International Atomic Energy Agency were launched in order to promote a safe and sustainable nuclear powered for the world. Based on the oil crisis in the year of 1970’s, many countries were moving in the direction of establishing nuclear power plants to meet the world’s energy needs since the demand of power are keep increasing. 
3.2 Nuclear Energy Implementation
3.2.1 Electrical power
Uranium is an element found a lot in the Rocky Mountains which we can see these mountains in Canada, South Africa and Australia. Nuclear power plants obviously are fueled by this Uranium. The reason behind making nuclear power possible is usually an infinite energy which was stored in the uranium atoms. By interact the uranium and form of plutonium we might to generate electricity based on the three heavy elements. The nuclear reaction generates heat that is used to boil water to create steam and to drive or turn the turbine to generate electricity. In addition , as we found these days that fossil fuel plant which was limited resources compare to uranium which was a finite non-renewable resource, this is as the generation was almost the same way of this fossil fuel plant. 
Fossil fuel and Nuclear power stations working almost in the same way based on plant, except the ” chain reaction” which is located inside a nuclear reactor makes the heat instead. However , the heat is generated by nuclear fission, beside the reactor in the nuclear plant uses Uranium rods as fuel. The neutrons smash into the nucleus of the uranium atoms, which split roughly in half and release energy in the form of heat. How to take the heat a way? Carbon dioxide gas or water is pumped through the reactor, and heats the water to become steam to drives the turbines which drive the generators to generate electricity. By taking Britain as example, we might see that their nuclear power stations are often built on the coast and they don’t have huge cooling towers that like others country because they use sea water for cooling the steam ready to be pumped round again. The reactor is controlled with control rods that are made of boron, which absorb neutrons. When the rods are lowered into the reactor, they absorb more neutrons and the fission process slows down. To generate more power, the rods are raised and more neutrons can crash into uranium atoms.
3.2.2 Pressurized Water Reactor System
Pressurized water reactors were basically consisting of a single fuel element and was assembly of up to 200 fuel pins which are made of zircaloy cadded and these ‘pins’ are immersed in a large steel pressure vessel containing ordinary ‘light’ water. The light water serves as both a coolant and moderator and has a higher neutron-absorbing capacity than heavy water (D2O) and causes increase of the percentage of 235U in the core. Uranium dioxide is a source of fuel for this reactor. The pressure vessel consists of control rods that pass through the lid, the light water under pressure, and the reactor core. The water attains a temperature of approximately 270 C without boiling, due to a pressure of about 13.8 to 17.2 MPa which is maintained through a pressurizer. The ‘light’ water passes in a closed circuit to a heat exchanger. This process causes heating the water up and convert to steam. This steam drives one or more turbine generators, is condensed, and pumped back to the steam generator. To condense the steam we may use other sources of water from a lake, river, or cooling tower. In order to remove the lid and replace an appropriate portion of fuel pin assembly or to refuel it, the reactor must be shut down completely. This occurs every 12 to 18 months. one way we will be not able to prevent the reactor from overheating while finding a rupture of the cooling system tubing. Due to this danger, reactors are surrounded by a double-walled pressure containment building and contain a number of emergency core-cooling systems. 
3.2.3 Boiling Water Reactor System
Boiling Water Reactor System is another kind of reactors. It was fuelled by 235U, enriched as uranium dioxide. If we are looking for a particular way of removing heat we may find allowing water to boil is the most particular method. This boiling water reactor allows the coolant within the reactor core to boil. The steam generated is then separated, dried, and passed directly to the turbine generators and condensed and passed back into the reactor core. Steam collection also occurs on top of reactor and must be shut down for refueling. there are many emergency systems in that particular reactor, the entire reactor is housed within a primary containment chamber which includes the underneath, a ring-shaped tunnel that filled with water. sinc there was steam or water were going to escape, it enters that tunnel, then going to condenses.
3.2.4 Energy Power Plant in Malaysia
Malaysia’s Electricity Generation, 1980-2003. (Source: EIA)
In Malaysia, there has around 16 giga watts of electric generation capacity, 87% of it is from thermal and 13% of it is from hydroelectric and a very minimum from Hybrid electric.  The above Figure show the electricity generation by thermal and hydropower in year 1980 to 2003 in Malaysia. However, the following table shows some of power stations in Malaysia
Name of Power station
Malim Nawar Power Station, Malim Nawar, Park
Pantai Remis Power station, Pantai Remis, Perak
Manjung power Station, Manjung, Perak
Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Power Station, Kapar,Selangor
Perai Power Station, Butterworth ,Penang
Tuanku Jaafar Power Station, Port Dickson ,Negeri Sembilan
Tanjung Kilan Power Station, Melaka
Sultan Iskander Power Station, Pasir Gudang, Johor
Serdang Power Station ,serdang, Selangor
Sultan Ismail Power Station , Paka, Terengganu
Connaught Bridge Power Station, Klang,Selangor
Table1: TNB Power Stations in Malaysia (source: answers.com 2006).
Thermal power plant
Thermal power plant means that most of the machines in that power plant are move or operate by using the steam. It is categorize as non-renewable energy. By heating up the water, it produces steam and the steam is use to spin a steam turbine which drives an electrical generator. After that the steams that go through the turbine will be condensed in a condenser for recycled back to where it was being heated.  To heat up the power plant, normally fuel sources are being use. In Malaysia, we use gas, coal, biomass and oil. The way that gas, coal and oil use in a power plant is very straight forward, their main and only purpose is to heat up the water. But it is a little bit different in Biomass power plant. In Biomass power plant, solid biofuels like chipped or pelleted wood are used to heat up the boilers to create the steams from the water inside the boilers to drives the turbines. Beside of that, wood can also be gasified to create a so call bio-gas that use to run the gas engines or gas turbines that use to drive the electricity generator.  Thermal power plant can produced electricity from 6M watt up to 2500M watt depending on the kind of resources used. Example: Tuanku Jaafar Power Station (Negeri Sembilan), TSH Bio Sdn Bhd (Sabah), etc. 
Hydropower plant means that the electricity is produce using the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is categorize as one of the kind of renewable energy, and it is the most widely use amount the other renewable energy.  In Malaysia, beside from the normal huge Hydropower plant that using the gravitational force of falling water, there is also a Hydropower plant that is using flowing water that we called it mini Hydropower plant. The electric capacity that produces by it is not more than 10GWatt (<10% of large Hydropower plant), but it is more convenience to build since it does not require a big waterfalls. Compared with the Thermal power plant, hydropower plant produces less carbon dioxide and also less wastage.  Example: Temenggor Power Station (Sungai Perak), Bakun Dam (Sabah & Sarawak), etc. 
Hybrid power plant
Hybrid power plant mean the turbine is drive by using wind, solar, diesel and battery. It is a non-renewable energy because it requires diesel to run the turbine at the same time with the support of the wind, solar and also battery energy. The energy that can be produces by Hybrid power plant is depending on how many hectares of solar cells or wind turbine are being used. Example: Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Terengganu). 
3.2.5 Nuclear Energy Implementation in Malaysia
A 1MW Triga research reactor has been operated since 1982 by the Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research and was renamed as the Malaysian Nuclear Agency to reflect its roles in promoting the peaceful uses of atomic energy.  Basically in Malaysia, our country have been under developing this nuclear energy plan and been sending officer to Australia for training in nuclear since since 1985. Malaysia is ready to build Nuclear Power Plant(NPP) without any problem as our country have enough qualified manpower to oversee the implementation and operation but there is no decision yet by the goverment. 
Malaysia power plant actually produces 91.6 billion kWh gross in 2006, 64% from gas, 25% from coal, and 8% from hydro and a 55% increase over two years to 2005. A comprehensive study has been taken in the year 2009 and our government actually decided to consider nuclear power. To plan and coordinate, a Nuclear Power Development Steering Committee was set up and divided through three working groups that were Nuclear Power Program Working Group under the Malaysian Nuclear Energy Agency (MNA), the Nuclear Power Project Working Group under the utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), and a Legal and Regulatory Coordination Working Committee involving the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and the Energy Commission as represented in this figure: 
The Chairman of Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board explain that safety issue is the main priority in having Nuclear Power Plant(NPP) and Malaysia has already produced around 900 graduates in nuclear science in UKM including master and PhD holders. Majority of them are expertise and experience to run this Nuclear Power Plant but need a start up time between 10 to 15 years before the plant can be brought to operation followed by government decision in 2021 which also followed also by another countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh to have their first Nucleaer Power Plant. 
The Tenaga Nasional Berhad(TNB) have been directed in the year 2008 to a task to study the nuclear power and Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water to find a suitable site that will be operated by 2021. Eight possible location have been identified on peninsula and feasibility study will be prepared by the consultants by 2013 with developing the regulatory framework, the soft infrastructure and convince the public. The chairman of the Malaysia Nature Society actually recommended the state of Sabah as the site to replace the coal. Government announce that will be implement nuclear power due to high fossil fuel price that keep increasing and set 2023 as target. A draft of energy policy blueprint back have been sent but it was not comprehensive enough. 
The cost of building a Nuclear Power Plant is up to US$6billion,depending on its size and where it is sited but the government had a US$7billion budjet to it. It can operate up to 60 years and will be benefit up to two or three generations. The people always misunderstood about nuclear energy and were lack of information about it whereas the recent second and third generation of Nuclear Power Plant are safer with new safety measures and sophiscated technology. The countries in Switzerland and Britain which had stopped using the nuclear energy at one time are now using it again. 
3.4.6 Comparing the energy generated by nuclear plant with others energy plants with the relative cost
As the world’s population increases, there will be continued comparison to the current electricity generation cost and the demand for electricity will be keep increasing. Energy sources that available in the world include nuclear, coal, natural gas, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and biomass will be double in time to time. Future cost competitiveness will also be consider from every sources of electric generation with three parts that are capital, finance and operating costs. 
No doubting nuclear energy is, in many places, competitive with fossil fuels for electricity generation, in spite of relatively high capital costs and the need to internalize all waste disposal and decommissioning costs. It is time for change to nuclear energy cause of some factors such as following:
The cost of nuclear energy is competitive with other types of electricity generation, except where there is direct access to low-cost fossil fuels.
The general costs of fuels for nuclear plants are a minor percentage of total generating costs, though capital costs are greater than those for coal-fired plants and a greatly than those for gas-fired plants.
In assessing the economics of nuclear power, decommissioning and waste disposal costs are fully taken into account.
Furthermore, from the outset the basic attraction of nuclear energy has been its low fuel costs compared with coal, oil and gas-fired plants. The subsequent figure shows that a doubling of fuel prices would result in the electricity cost for nuclear rising about 9%, for coal rising 31% and for gas 66%. Gas prices have significant continuality increment. 
To enhance our knowledge about production cost of electricity,we have a slight to the coming chart.
Chart 1: Comparing Per Kilowatt-Hour Cost Estimates for multiple types of energy production. 
Based on chart 1, nuclear and coal are around the same cost at $0.04 per kWh. Natural gas is at $0.10 per kWh and wind power around $0.08 per kWh slightly cheaper. Solar power is the most expensive at $0.22 per kWh and only construction cost is represent because the reliable data is not available at the moment. Lastly the hydroelectric is around $0.03 per kWh and it is the most cost effective but naturally limited place to build the hydroelectric dam due to the geographic location and the construction of the dam will cause huge enviroment infrigment. The total cost per kWh can be represented as Construction Cost per kWh + Production Cost per kWh + Decommisioning Cost per kWh(nuclear only) = Total Cost per kWh but the main cost component of energy are construction and production costs. 
3.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy Implementation
3.3.1 Advantages of Nuclear Energy Implementation
From the chart below, we can see that the nuclear power plant reduce almost all of the global carbon dioxide problem. The carbon dioxide produces by the nuclear power plant is almost same as 0% compare to the others power plant like coal, gas petrol and etc.
Worldwide CO2 Emissions Reduction
Another important benefit that nuclear generated energy has on our environment is that the wastes produced are completely isolated from the environment. The benefits of nuclear energy on environment can he seen clearly in France. Because of concerns over imported oil in the 1980, France has tripled its nuclear energy production. In the same period, the pollution had actually decreased around 80% to 90%. 
Nuclear power plant also playing a important role in generate electricity in some country and there are many countries start to build more nuclear power plant to generate more electricity to expand the economics and become more develop nation. Beside of this, nuclear power plant also play an important role in the world, because there are 17% of total world’s energy was generated by around 400 nuclear power plants.
In briefly, we can sum up all the advantages as shown below:
Nuclear reactions release a million times more energy, as compared to hydro or wind energy. Hence, a large amount of electricity can be generated. Presently, 12-18% of the world’s electricity is generated through nuclear energy.
The biggest advantage of nuclear energy is that there is no release of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbon) during nuclear reaction. The greenhouse gases are a major threat in the current scenario, as they cause global warming and climate change. As there is no emission of these gases during nuclear reaction, there is very little effect on the environment.
The burning of fossil fuels result in emission of the poisonous carbon dioxide. It is a menace to the environment as well as human life. There is no release of carbon d-oxide at the time of nuclear reaction.
Nuclear reactors make use of uranium as fuel. Fission reaction of a small amount of uranium generates large amount of energy. Currently, the high reserves of uranium found on Earth, are expected to last for another 100 years.
High amount of energy can be generated from a single nuclear power plant. Also, nuclear fuel is inexpensive and easier to transport.
3.3.2 Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy Implementation
Although nuclear energy offers great benefits as an alternative source of electric power, appealing and cost-effective the use of nuclear energy also have the negative effect or disadvantages. It is important to understand both the pros and cons of nuclear energy because nuclear waste created by the power plants emits harmful radiations. These harmful radiation created do not get extinguished or dispose easily for thousands of years. Great care by the professional are required in handling the nuclear wastes. 
In production of electricity, there will be always have the high risk. The accident at Chernobyl, it was the most severe radioactive accident in the world has experienced since the first nuclear energy as an alternative power source is implemented. Immediate countermeasures have been taken in many countries elsewhere in Europe after the accident to reduced the levels of exposure to the public. A huge misunderstanding among the people was the waste created by nuclear energy is more dangerous compare to other method power plant electricity generation. The truth of this matter was radioactive waste from nuclear energy maybe dangerous for thousand of years but a waste produced from burning coal remains dangerous forever because it is release to the atmosphere compare to nuclear where it was kept isolated and the toxicity of these stable elements does not decrease over time as does the toxicity of radioactive material. Another major disadvantage of nuclear power to the peaceful of the nation was the production of nuclear weapons were allowed in some country and these nuclear weapon of mass destruction is particularly disturbing. 
We can sum up most of the disadvantages in those pointes as shown below:
The production or proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The use of fission, fusion or combination of both reactions process for destructive purposes and a major threat to the world as they can cause large scale devastation. 
Large capital cost is required to construct single nuclear power plant.
Though large amount of energy can be produced, it required around 15 to 20 years of time to develop a single plant. The reactor will only operate as long as uranium is still available. The extinction of uranium will result the plant to stop operating. 
The unstable element and highly radioactive waste were produced after fission reactions.
The waste that produced was dangerous to the environment, human health, and remains for thousands of years and it needs professional handling and should be kept isolated from the living environments. The radioactivity of these elements reduces over a period of time. 
Disaster can occurred in any nuclear power plant.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was the worst disaster in 1986, one of the reactor exploded and releasing high amount of radiation in the environment. Resulted thousand of casualities due to exposure to the harmful radiation. 
3.4 Analysis of survey feedback
3.4.1 Questionaire Results
A total of 50 students have participated in the questionnaire. The participants are required to answer a series of questions relating to their opinion on the implementation of nuclear power generation in Malaysia. Basic understanding of the nuclear power generation is also obtained to determine the level of knowledge that each participant has on nuclear power generation.
The first question is to ask the participants if it is appropriate to apply nuclear power generation to support the current ways of power generation in Malaysia. From the questionnaire it can be seen that 63% of the participants agreed that Malaysia needed nuclear power to support its current energy generation methods. From the results obtained, most of the participants knew that with nuclear power generation, more power can be generated. Besides that, most of Malaysia’s energy generation methods are from coal and natural gas which is harmful to the environment.
Even though most of the participants agreed that Malaysia need to apply nuclear power generation, 65% of them feel that the country itself is not ready to build a nuclear power plant. From this, it can be seen that most of the participants feel that Malaysia need to put in more time and research before implementing and building a nuclear power plant.
Similarly in the third question, the participants are asked if Malaysia is ready to build a nuclear power plant. The majority of them have answered weak as shown in Figure 1. As mention in the previous paragraph, Malaysia needs to put in more time in researching nuclear power especially in the aspects of safety.
Figure 1: Malaysia’s Level of Preparation for Nuclear Power
In the fourth question, the participants are required to give their opinions if nuclear power brings more advantages or disadvantages. The majority of the participants (71%) felt that nuclear power brings more advantages than disadvantages.
Figure 2: Opinion on the Advantages of Nuclear power
When 71% of the participants are asked on their opinions on advantages of nuclear power generation, the results are shown at Figure 2. Most of them answered C which says that nuclear power does not produce either smoke or carbon dioxide. 32% of them felt that nuclear power is reliable. 26% of the participants answered A which says that nuclear power generation produces small amount of waste. The remaining 6% feels that nuclear power is not expensive to be produced. From the results shown above, it can be seen that the participants are environmental conscious.
When the similar participants are asked on their opinions on the disadvantages of nuclear power generation, most of them are worried of the waste created which is harmful to humans as well as the environment. The harmful waste will be hard to be disposed. A number of the participants felt that the safety of the surrounding area needs to be considered in case of a nuclear reactor leak in the power plant.
The remaining 29% of the participants felt that nuclear power generation brings more disadvantages than advantages. These participants felt that the waste produced is hazardous and dangerous and also lots of funding is needed to be spent on the safety measures when generating nuclear power. Besides having the disadvantage opinions, these participants felt that nuclear power generation can provide more power and energy and less waste compare to other methods of power generation. Besides that, it is an alternative method of power generation that can be considered.
Figure 3: Nuclear Power Generation Potential Remedy for Global Warming
As seen in Figure 3, it can be seen that most participants did not agree that nuclear power generation is the remedy for global warming. Even though most of the participants did not agree, 45% of the participants agreed. The reason is that nuclear power generation produced less greenhouse gases compared to power generation methods using fossil fuel.
In the next section, participants are required to tick on the required boxes on where their opinions stand. As seen in Figure 4, most of the participants have average opinions. Nuclear power generation saves up the earth natural resources as fewer resources will be used in generating the power that is needed. The resources used in nuclear power generation are able to last for years which are better than most fossil fuel methods.
Figure 4: Replacement of other Energy Power with Nuclear Power will save up Earth Natural Resources
Figure 5: Saving of Cost in a Long Term by using a Nuclear Power Plant
In Figure 5, it can be seen that a number of the participants agreed on the saving of cost in a long term when using a nuclear power plant. The reason is that the resources that are used in a nuclear power plant can last for a long time compared to the fossil fuels and other methods available. Most of the participants have average opinions on question on building a nuclear power plant makes the economy of a country better as seen in Figure 6. The cost of building a nuclear power plant is high but it generates more energy than other methods with less pollution. Besides that less space is needed to build the plant.
Figure 6: Building a Nuclear Power Plant makes the Economy of a Country Better
In Figure 7, most of the participants agreed that using a nuclear power plant contributes to a better environment as nuclear power generation does not release any greenhouse gases.
Figure 7: Better Environment if use Nuclear PowerGeneration Method
Figure 8: Affordable for a Developing Country to Build a NuclearPower Plant to replace other Power Plants
Most of the participants disagree and have average opinions on the building of a nuclear power plant for developing countries. The reason is that the countries need to concentrate on building and develop their country before investing on a nuclear power plant. The cost of constructing a nuclear power plant is high.
3.5 Conclusion and recommendation
After we done the survey and research in the internet, our conclusion is that nuclear power is really needed in Malaysia. The 1st reason is because currently Malaysia still widely using coal and natural gas to generate energy, and we all know that these will bring harm to the environment also human health. From the survey also we notice that nowadays human are very concern about then environment issue, because there are 65% of the participants feel that by implementing the nuclear power, we can produce a better environment or we can save current environment that is full of carbon dioxide and smoke. Besides that, from our research, we notice that by applying nuclear power, it can prevent global warming because it produces less greenhouse gasses compare to fossil fuel power generator. Apart from that, by applying nuclear power, it can save up the earth natural resources as well because it uses lesser natural resources to produces the energy that is required compare with others power generator and it also can make an economy in a country become better in a long term plan because nuclear power plant can last more longer than the other power plant, by this the costs to get the resources will be cheaper compare with the other power plant for a long term period.
In the other hand, there were people that are disagree that Malaysia should have nuclear power, this is due to the wastage of the nuclear is hard to dispose, some of them think that Malaysia is not yet ready for the nuclear power in term of economy and also information on nuclear power, some of them think that if there is a leak of the nuclear reactor then it will bring serious damage to the surrounding and even bring death the human being. Some of them think that as a developing country, Malaysia should concentrate on building and developing the country before investing in the nuclear power.
From the research and also survey we had done, to make everyone believe that Malaysia is capable to build nuclear power plant, few steps should be taken. There are, have a complete research in nuclear power plant with those countries that already have the nuclear power plant, build the nuclear power plant further away from human being so that if there is any leaking of nuclear reactor it would not bring harm to human being or there is enough time to disband the villager around. In addition, maintenances on nuclear power plants have to be done frequently to prevent any undesirable occurrence and Malaysia government should prepare a place to store the wastage of the nuclear power plant so that the wastage of the nuclear reactor that is harmful did not expose to the surrounding. Last but not least, if those safety steps have been take in count, then,
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