Monday, March 24, 2008

Energy Ministry sets 8 hearings on nuclear power plant


BANGKOK, March 24 (TNA) – Thailand's Ministry of Energy Ministry will hold at least eight public hearings to ensure that the public has a proper understanding of the utility of a nuclear-power plant.

Speaking after presiding over a seminar on "Alternative Power Energy: Methods of Communicating to the Public and Public Participation," Energy Minister Lt-Gen. Poonpirom Liptapanlop said the planned construction of the nuclear power plant is part of efforts to accommodate an increased demand for electricity amid surging oil prices and to reduce the greenhouse effect.

But whether the plant will be built as planned or not depends on public opinion and the public's perception and understanding of its usefulness.

Under the plan, at least eight public hearings on the matter will be held and construction is expected to take place during the next 10-13 years.

She said that public opinion and understanding will be sought to ensure awareness and recognition in the first three years.

A final decision on whether the plant should be built or not and which technology would be used for the project would be made in the next three years. Only after that can construction get off the ground.

She said some people living in lower northern province of Nakhon Sawan mailed her details of a proposed area for the nuclear power plant construction.

It showed local people had more understanding of the usefulness of the plant.

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Energy Norkun Sitithipong said the Tha Tako tambon (sub-district)administration organisation in Nakhon Sawan proposed an area for the nuclear power plant construction.

He said he had already surveyed the area and found it is not suitable for building on the construction because it is not close to water resources.

The nuclear power plant must be located close to the sea or the river since it needs water to cool the heating system. (TNA) – E005


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