Suggestion of floating nuclear power plants belittles the consequence of catastrophic nuclear accident for Singapore


In an opinion piece by Lim Soon Heng, managing director of Floating Solutions LLP that was published in Straits Times, it was suggested that a floating nuclear power plant can be the solution to meet the future energy demand for Singapore.

Mr Lim said at the end of his writing, “I am convinced that floating assets unrelated to oil and gas are the new horizon and a new area to develop. In particular, floating nuclear power plants are a disruptive technology worthy of the challenge.”

It has been reported that most comments online have been opposed to this idea. One commenter, Chang Fong Chua, went further and wrote an essay on the subject matter in the comment section of Straits Times' Facebook posting.

Chang Fong Chua wrote

"This is not to deny the risks from NPPs. One commonly cited risk is radioactive particle leaks, which is possible. But radioactivity is not as deadly as naysayers proclaim."

And a classic misinformation. Dude, if you think it is so harmless, why don't you go and stay for a month at the Fukushima site, which even now is leaking radioactive materials into the sea and the nearby land?

Dude, you try to draw parallel with the background radiation, but you conveniently forgot to mention that the background radiation are a tiny fraction of the radiation leak from an accident.

The average background radiation in Singapore is around 0.08 to 0.1 microsieverts per hour while the radiation reading in Fukushima has peak against in 2017 (6 years after the accident) at 530 sieverts an hour. That is more than 5000000 (corrected) times the usual background radiation in Singapore, so stop your obfuscation.

And your so called ‘innovation’ in nuclear plant design does not hide the fact that there is NO SUCH THING as FAIL SAFE in a nuclear accident. At least not until nuclear fusion become a cheap and reliable reality. And the passive cooling system have its flaws and in some design it may even propagate the release of radioactive materials since it does not have a way to divert the path of the cooling medium once the reactor is shut down.

More importantly, none of these top tier passive feature are commercially available AND are mostly in experimental state. To place your faith in such untested options when better options are available tells us a lot about your bias.

"Singapore, on a per capita basis, is a significant polluter." And your figure is based on the averaged out figure from the study, without taking into account the age of the power stations as well as the regulations and recycling / trapping of the exhaust.

More damningly, you totally belittled the consequence of a catastrophic nuclear accident, which will simply spell the doom of a city state like singapore without other cities and hinterland to help itself back to its feet.

And we have not even gone into the eventual headache with ALL nuclear reactors - the long term storage and disposal of the nuclear waste - which takes centuries to decay to a safe level. This is something that is plaguing those countries that are starting to decommission many old nuclear reactors and again something which you conveniently forgot to mention.

Stop being so pally with the nuclear lobby and learn to report in a factual manner.

A more viable and more responsible option is to explore fully the truly sustainable sources of energy - such as wind. solar, tidal. None of these are capable of providing ALL our energy need but when explored fully, with improvement in energy storage technology (as they are being pushed AND are commercially available by companies like Tesla), it would be capable of providing an increasing proportion of our energy need.

And best of ALL, there are no risk of catastrophic failure that will doom us as a country.

PS .. and floating platform? Dude, that just increase the risk of malfunctions. Moreover, you will need to move it more than just a few kilometre. Fukushima case need an exclusion zone of 20 km .. and that is not even enough as there are cases of pollution and high radiation level OUTSIDE that zone.

PSS ... just noticed. This guy is from floating solution? Talk about vested interest. THIS is WHY we should not have all these lobbyist nonsense that have been plaguing USA.