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Prioritise nuclear safety research, says MTI advisory panel

Singapore may have said no to nuclear energy for now, but an expert panel said the country should still prioritise nuclear safety research.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry’s International Advisory Panel on Energy, which advises the government on energy matters, said developing a strong safety culture and know-how is vital in preparing for regional nuclear energy developments.

This will in turn help the country contribute actively to international discussions and cooperation on nuclear safety.

The panel also highlighted the importance of keeping abreast of developments.

Peter Schwartz, chairman of the Global Business Network and a member of the advisory panel, said: “Nuclear power plants are too large for Singapore, both in physical area and power output - Singapore doesn’t use that much power. It is far more likely to have a nuclear power plant somewhere in the region that Singapore can connect to.”

Experts note that it is crucial to seek and promote regional energy inter-connectivity, so as to tap other energy options.

The panel also said that it is important to build capabilities and prepare for future challenges arising from global and regional energy developments. Thus, the need for constant innovation across policy initiatives, market measures and technology development.

Chairman of the panel and Singapore’s Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said: “Keeping energy options open allows us to maximise the scope for energy security, whilst emphasising our economic competitiveness and ensuring the environmental sustainability.”

The panel added that Singapore should continue to advance its use of solar and waste-to-energy sources.

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