Wednesday, July 23, 2008

of nuclear power plant and more dams... damn!!!

Utility giant Tenaga may construct the country's first nuclear power plant at a cost of RM10 billion but is braced for objections from the public.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said in June that Malaysia may consider 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 hydro-power.
Sarawak plans to build 12 hydroelectric dams to meet its future industrialisation needs.
Deputy Energy, Water and Communication Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said the dams were necessary to meet energy demands as it was projected to increase with the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
Currently, Sarawak's energy output is 933MW and it does not need any more energy.

What is all these? Energy Play? Ridiculous!! Read clearly between those lines. DPM said it is necessary to meet our long term needs amid surging global oil price. Yet 50% of our power plants are powered by GAS of which our country have in abundance. That alone make us self sufficient in terms of gas usage. No subsidise involve here as the gas belong to the country. Just nationalize all those power plants into one entity under the government and after taking off these usage, the remaining can be used for export to generate revenue. Why the need to spend RM10B to build a 1000MW nuclear powered power plant?

Now i question our long term needs. Cant Najib please explain to me what long term needs he is talking about? As far as i am concern, we are going backwards rather than forward. Look at our economic situation now. Perhaps he would like to show me some blueprint to substantiate his claim of increasing demand for energy in the future.
And today's headline in The Star mentioned about 12 more dams despite the fact that the 2400MW Bakun dam remained incomplete after more than 10 years. I am really disgusted with the way they justified the need to have these 'so-called' projects of theirs. If Bakun was meant for peninsular Malaysia, then we don't really need the nuclear power plant. What we are talking about here is about 1000MW and still there is a balance of 1400MW from Bakun which can be redirect to Sarawak itself. Just get the infrastructure right.
So much of my rant here. Perhaps, i should run some articles as to why we can do away with those 12 dams proposal..

What dams do

Whatever their purpose, dams regulate water flow. And that can cause a series of upstream and downstream problems.

Upstream and downstream:

Constant water level prevents sediment from consolidating, turning banks mucky.

Dissolved oxygen may fall, harming fish and shellfish.

Water may warm, injuring or killing fish that need cold water.

Upstream of the dam:

Wildlife habitat is flooded.

Fish are blocked from migrating and spawning (although the decline of the salmon is blamed largely on dams in the Northwest, steelhead, striped bass, sturgeon and alewife have similar spawning habits).

Silt in the dam impoundment can damage or destroy fish spawning grounds.

Downstream of the dam:

By regulating river flow, dams destroy habitat for organisms adapted to rising and falling water.

River stay inside their banks, so floodplains no longer get deposits of fertile sediment .

Dams block sediment flow, causing many changes downstream:

-The river bottom becomes more rocky, as sediment no longer fills gaps between larger stones.

-Beaches on the nearby ocean are starved of sand normally carried in the river, a particular problem in Southern California.

The same starvation can affect wetlands. The many dams on the Mississippi-Missouri rivers, for example, have deprived wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico of sediment, exposing coastal Louisiana to devastating hurricanes.

Oldies, not goodies

Still, the impetus for dam removal comes not from environmental damage, but from the simple fact that dams are getting long in the tooth: 25 percent of America's 2 million dams are older than 50 years.

Many of these codger dams have problems: They may have cracks. Water may have undermined the foundation. They may be so full of sediment that they cannot store water. They may have been built for a purpose that no longer exists. Or they may endanger swimmers or canoeists, who can get trapped and drown in "scour holes" that appear downstream of dams.

The dam-removal process often begins when a state inspector looks at a dam and insists on repairs. These often turn out to cost far more than removal, so repair can only be justified if the dam provides significant economic benefits. If a dam was built, for example, to power a grain mill that is long gone, or is supplying only a small amount of hydroelectricity, who would want to pay a million bucks to keep it going, when it could be ripped out for $50,000 or $100,000?

Dam bottom line

Internationally, the effects of dam construction are rather different. The World Commission on Dams, in its 2000 report, said large dams had created enormous social dislocation:

The negative social impacts reflect a pervasive and systematic failure to assess and account for the range of potential negative impacts on displaced and resettled people as well as downstream communities. Estimates suggest that some 40-80 million people have been displaced by dams worldwide while the livelihoods of many more living downstream were affected but not recognized. Mitigation,
compensation or resettlement programs were often inadequate.

Yes, there is a trend towards dam removal in the world now and we are talking about building more dams. I really wonder whether our so-called people's representatives know what they are doing. Was there any feasibility studies done before they embark on any project? Do we have other options? I suppose they don't even bother to. They only have one thing in their mind: how much can i get out of this? when can i get my money? All these regardless of the damage to the country's coffers and environment.

2 comments:

Patricia said...

My heart missed a beat when I saw the headlines about a nuclear power plant. OMG. We can't manage our sampah, how're we gonna manage nuclear waste? And the stringent safety measures required with any nuclear facility??

And more damn dams? I remember getting my students to get all the info they could lay their hands on when Bakun was in its planning stages. I needed them to argue for/against it. No one wanted to be on the 'for' team! Clever boys and girls, I was so proud of them!

TheWhisperer said...

Pat.

That shows your boys and girls have more intelligence than our ministers..

What our admin is trying to do is to create growth.. i would say their so-called growth with evil intention to corrupt.

And this has been happening for years. No matter how much the people objected to it, they just pushed it through with frivolous reason.

This ill habit is not going to change with Umno goons. If they dont revamp their system, they will be doomed for sure. And the faster they disappear, the better it is for our country coz our country cant withstand their corruptive appetite any longer.

Sadly we still have many MPs hanging in there with them for one obvious reason.. their own selfish needs. If they all have a mind of their own, they would have pass or support a Vote of Confidence long time ago.