Singapore – The global agenda of decarbonisation, combined with recent technological advances, is pushing Singapore towards nuclear power as an energy source. This is what the Republic deemed impossible ten years ago.
The Observer told The Straits Times that improved safety and better security features have made nuclear power more viable for land-scarce city-states that have been monitoring the technology since the 1950s.
March charted a report commissioned by industry regulator Energy Market Authority. Singapore’s path to net zero emissions by 2050 In a geopolitically fragmented world, it was predicted that nuclear power could make up about 10% of the energy mix.
A fragmented world will make it more difficult for countries to come together to meet climate change goals, the report notes. This means that, apart from relying on cooperation mechanisms such as clean energy imports, Singapore will have to look to other means to decarbonise its energy mix.
A very important factor for Singapore is the energy security that nuclear energy can provide, said Associate Professor Chung Keng Yeow, director of the Singapore Nuclear Research Safety Initiative (SNRSI) at the National University of Singapore.
Ongoing Ukrainian civil war exposed Europe’s dependence on gas from Russia, Dr. Alvin Chew, Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam Graduate School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), emphasizes how important energy self-sufficiency is.
In the case of Singapore, about 95% of the city-state’s electricity supply depends on natural gas imports from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, making it vulnerable to global energy market crises and climate change. of fossil fuels.
The urgency of decarbonizing Singapore’s power sector, which accounts for about 40% of carbon emissions, will be a key driver for the adoption of nuclear power here, with reliable power sources, observers said. Stated.
Professor Chung said: This form of power generation is also independent of external weather factors such as the sun and wind. ”
In Singapore, solar power, the main source of renewable energy, is expected to meet only about 10% of demand by 2050, so there is pressure in Singapore to diversify and find carbon-free energy sources. expected to rise.
However, as countries move towards carbon neutrality, competition for reliable and affordable clean energy will intensify, bringing further uncertainty and challenges to Singapore’s ability to secure renewable energy from abroad. said Dr. Victor Nian, co-founder and CEO of the independent think tank. Strategic Energy Resource Center.
This will increase the attractiveness of nuclear energy as a reliable and clean energy source, he added.
But world opinion remains divided on its risks and benefits, with some countries such as Germany choosing to shut down their nuclear reactors and others such as France and Japan planning to restart their plants. increase.
According to the World Nuclear Association, nuclear power plants operate in 32 countries, providing about 10% of the world’s electricity.
Commercial nuclear reactors operate by nuclear fission, where a heavy and unstable nucleus splits into two lighter nuclei to produce energy such as heat. The heat produced can be used to generate steam that drives turbines for power generation.
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/technology-advancements-decarbonisation-drive-could-boost-push-for-nuclear-power-in-s-pore Technological advances and decarbonization moves could boost Singapore’s push for nuclear power