Nuke Tech Potentials / Potensi Teknologi Nuklear

In the 1980s, when Malaysia was the world’s largest player in the natural rubber industry, there were few rubber glove manufacturers in the country.

Medical products including surgical gloves had to be sterilised, most preferably using radiation.

As setting up a sterilisation plant involved high capital and complex technology, there was no such plants in the country. Manufacturers for surgical gloves and medical items were required to send their products abroad for sterilisation, a struggle new entrepreneurs in the industry would face.

The Malaysian Nuclear Agency, or Nuclear Malaysia in short, an agency under the purview of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, was commissioned a gamma sterilisation plant by the government in 1989 for research and providing services such as to these rubber products manufacturers.

Like many other areas in science and technology, nuclear technology is more ubiquitous in our mundane lives than we are aware of. I have shared about biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology and even space technology. On nuclear energy, an official trip to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna last year further helped me understand how the usage of nuclear is being regulated in Malaysia and around the world.

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Looking at successful Malaysian research on irradiated banana at the IAEA Labs in Seiberdorf, Austria, last November.

Established in 1972, Nuclear Malaysia’s primary role is to carry out research and development (R&D) and as a national service provider in nuclear science and technology. It is well equipped with facilities such as a Nuclear Research Reactor, the only one in the country, Gamma Irradiator, Electron Beam Machine, Radioactive Waste Treatment Centre, and Radioisotope and Radiopharmaceutical Production Facility.

These facilities might sound too technical for the masses but I had no qualms listing them here, as the government advocates transparency in the nuclear facilities we possess.

Nuclear Malaysia had played a substantive role in the socio-economic development of the country.

In the case of surgical gloves, three other gamma sterilisation plants had been set up by private entities, adopting Nuclear Malaysia’s business model and technology. Export revenue from medical gloves and other sterilised medical devices increased from RM 1.4 billion in 2010 to RM 2.1 billion in 2015.

Nuclear technology’s potential in non-destructive testing (NDT) services is widely acknowledged.

This means that a product can undergo quality control, monitoring or testing without being damaged.

Oil and gas pipes, boilers, pressure vessels, aircraft equipment and ships are some of the products that are tested with this technique.

Seeing a long-term demand for a local NDT industry, Nuclear Malaysia, in collaboration with the IAEA, set up an accredited training and certification program to ensure that the industry meets international standards.

Petronas and other petroleum companies no longer had to rely on foreign providers.

Another successful outcome is the 100 NDT companies in the country, providing employment opportunities to more than 1000 certified NDT engineers and technicians.

A significant contribution of nuclear technology is its medical applications, a field known as nuclear medicine.

It is used for imaging, and to treat conditions such as hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer.

Nuclear Malaysia has been conducting R&D in nuclear medicine since the start of its operations.

In the early 90s they were routinely producing radiopharmaceuticals, that is, radioactive compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, for hospitals throughout the country.

Now over 20 hospitals administer nuclear medicine.

In water resource management, surface and groundwater are threated by careless usage, population growth, increasing agriculture needs and pollution. Nuclear Malaysia has been applying nuclear techniques in assessing the quality of water resources, safety of dams and effects of climate change to the marine ecosystem.

Knowledge in plant genetics had enabled scientists to innovate new varieties of agricultural products to cope with population needs and even adapt to climate change. New traits of plants with superior and desirable characteristics are achieved by exposing the seeds to certain levels of radiation, and are safe for our consumption.

Crops such as rice, bananas, pineapples, kenaf and stevia had been the focus of Nuclear Malaysia.

The new rice variety for example, can withstand longer periods of drought.

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This biocomposite by Nuclear Malaysia is for pepper cultivation support.

Worldwide, the preservation of food using radiation is a common technique to ensure fresh food supply and to eliminate wastage. Our Ministry of Health approved of this method under the Food Irradiation Regulations 2011.

In 2011 Nuclear Malaysia irradiated 300 tones of food products and in 2015 it increased to 1000 tones.

They are also working with the Ministry of Agriculture to irradiate rambutans and other fruits for export to U.S, so that they are insect-free as required by the U.S. phytosanitary procedures.

The irradiation of food products does not only contribute to our economy but also to environmental sustainability, as the process is chemical-free.

In Cameron Highlands, a powerful, large volume air sampler station, managed by Nuclear Malaysia, analyses the atmosphere for radioactive substances. It could detect nuclear activities in the region, such as a nuclear explosion or minute radioactive pollutants. There are 80 such stations around the world.

Nuclear power is one of the lowest carbon-emitting technologies around to produce electricity affordably and would help mitigate climate change. Nuclear power plants virtually do not emit greenhouse gases.

Despite the higher deployment cost of nuclear power plants and several unfortunate incidents, 30 countries worldwide are operating 444 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and in the meantime, 63 new reactors are under construction in 15 countries.

South Korea for example, although has a smaller land mass compared to Peninsula Malaysia, 25 nuclear power reactors are in operations and three more are on their way. This is an indication that public perception of nuclear power for its economic and environmental potential is still favorable.

In Malaysia, nuclear as a source of energy is under the purview of Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation in the Prime Minister’s Department. The plan is for the country’s first nuclear power plant to start operating by 2030.

There are more than 20,000 registered radiation workers in the country. They work in hospitals, manufacturing, airports, ports, research institutes and universities. The Atomic Energy Licensing Board, also under Mosti, requires these workers to wear a monitoring device, where their radiation dose would be analyzed by Nuclear Malaysia and reported to the Licensing Board monthly.

The enormous potential of nuclear technology applications would, like many other scientific fields, pose a substantial demand for nuclear professionals. Currently, Nuclear Science, Nuclear Engineering and Nuclear Medicine courses are offered at public universities.

Moving forward, Nuclear Malaysia plans to expand its R&D by exploring new sources of nuclear power.

We can also look forward to enjoying the advancement in nuclear medicine, as it would also become more affordable.

With more than 30 years of safe and peaceful operation of a nuclear research reactor by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, this should be a strong case for public confidence in the expansion of nuclear technology applications, especially in nuclear power.


Potensi Teknologi Nuklear

Pada tahun 1980-an, apabila Malaysia menjadi pemain terbesar dunia dalam industri getah asli, terdapat hanya beberapa pengeluar sarung tangan getah tempatan.

Produk perubatan termasuk sarung tangan pembedahan perlu disteril, sebaik-baiknya dengan menggunakan sinaran.

Oleh sebab pembinaan loji pensterilan melibatkan modal yang tinggi dan teknologi yang kompleks, tiada loji sedemikian dalam negara. Pengeluar sarung tangan pembedahan dan item perubatan dikehendaki menghantar produk mereka ke luar negara untuk pensterilan, suatu cabaran yang perlu dihadapi oleh usahawan muda dalam industri.

Agensi Nuklear Malaysia, atau ringkasnya Nuklear Malaysia ialah sebuah agensi di bawah MOSTI. Agensi ini ditauliahkan sebagai loji pensterilan gama oleh kerajaan pada 1989 untuk penyelidikan dan menyediakan perkhidmatan kepada pengeluar produk getah.

Seperti kebanyakan bidang lain dalam sains dan teknologi, teknologi nuklear semakin kerap muncul dalam kehidupan seharian kita, lebih daripada yang kita sedari. Saya pernah berkongsi tentang bioteknologi, nanoteknologi, teknologi maklumat malah teknologi angkasa. Mengenai kuasa nuklear, satu lawatan rasmi ke Agensi Tenaga Atom Antarabangsa (IAEA) di Vienna pada tahun lepas seterusnya membantu saya memahami cara penggunaan nuklear yang sedang dirancang di Malaysia dan di seluruh dunia.

Ditubuhkan pada 1972, peranan utama Nuklear Malaysia adalah untuk menjalankan penyelidikan dan pembangunan (R&D), serta sebagai pembekal perkhidmatan negara dalam sains dan teknologi nuklear. Agensi ini dilengkapi dengan kemudahan seperti Reaktor Penyelidikan Nuklear, yang merupakan satu-satunya dalam negara, Penyinar Gama, Mesin Alur Elektron, Pusat Rawatan Sisa Radioaktif, dan Kemudahan Pengeluaran Radioisotop dan Radiofarmaseutikal.

Kemudahan ini mungkin kedengaran terlalu teknikal untuk khalayak awam, tetapi saya tidak ragu-ragu untuk menyenaraikannya dalam penulisan ini. Hal ini disebabkan oleh kerajaan menyokong ketelusan dalam kemudahan nuklear yang kita miliki.

Nuklear Malaysia telah memainkan peranan penting dalam pembangunan sosioekonomi negara.

Dalam kes sarung tangan pembedahan, tiga  lagi loji pensterilan gama telah didirikan oleh entiti swasta, dengan menggunakan model perniagaan dan teknologi Nuklear Malaysia. Pendapatan eksport daripada sarung tangan perubatan dan peralatan perubatan steril lain bertambah daripada RM1.4 bilion pada 2010 kepada RM2.1 bilion pada 2015.

Potensi teknologi nuklear dalam perkhidmatan ujian bebas musnah (non-destructive testing, NDT) diakui secara meluas.

Hal ini bermaksud sesuatu produk boleh menjalani kawalan kualiti, pengawasan atau pengujian tanpa mengalami kerosakan.

Paip gas dan minyak, dandang, bekas tekanan, serta peralatan pesawat dan kapal adalah antara beberapa produk yang diuji dengan teknik ini.

Melihatkan permintaan jangka masa panjang untuk industri NDT tempatan, Nuklear Malaysia secara kerjasama dengan IAEA, menubuhkan program latihan pentauliahan dan persijilan bagi memastikan industri itu menepati piawaian antarabangsa.

Petronas dan syarikat petroleum lain tidak perlu lagi bergantung pada pembekal asing.

Satu lagi kejayaan ialah 100 buah syarikat NDT tempatan yang menyediakan peluang pekerjaan bagi lebih daripada 1000 jurutera dan juruteknik NDT yang bertauliah.

Sumbangan penting teknologi nuklear ialah penggunaan perubatannya, iaitu bidang yang dikenal sebagai perubatan nuklear.

Teknologi ini digunakan untuk pengimejan, dan merawat penyakit seperti hipertiroidisme dan kanser tiroid.

Nuklear Malaysia telah mengendalikan R&D dalam perubatan nuklear sejak mula beroperasi.

Pada awal tahun 90-an, agensi ini mengeluarkan radiofarmaseutis secara rutin, iaitu sebatian radioaktif untuk tujuan diagnostik dan terapeutik, untuk hospital di seluruh negara.

Kini, lebih daripada 20 hospital membekalkan ubat nuklear.

Dalam pengurusan sumber air, permukaan dan air tanah diancam oleh penggunaan cuai, pertumbuhan penduduk, pertambahan keperluan pertanian dan pencemaran. Nuklear Malaysia mengaplikasikan teknik nuklear dalam menaksir kualiti sumber air, keselamatan empangan dan kesan perubahan iklim kepada ekosistem marin.

Pengetahuan dalam genetik tumbuhan telah membolehkan ahli sains menginovasi pelbagai produk pertanian baharu untuk memenuhi keperluan populasi malah menyesuaikannya dengan perubahan iklim. Trait baharu tumbuhan dengan ciri-ciri lebih hebat dan yang diinginkan boleh dicapai dengan mendedahkan benih kepada sinaran pada tahap tertentu, dan selamat untuk kegunaan kita.

Tanaman seperti beras, pisang, nenas, kenaf dan stevia menjadi fokus Nuklear Malaysia.

Jenis tanaman padi baharu misalnya, mampu bertahan dalam kemarau yang lebih panjang.

Di seluruh dunia, pengawetan makanan dengan menggunakan sinaran ialah teknik lazim untuk memastikan bekalan makanan segar dan mengelakkan pembaziran. Kementerian Kesihatan kita telah meluluskan kaedah ini bawah Peraturan Iradiasi Makanan 2011.

Pada 2011, Nuklear Malaysia telah menyinari 300 tan produk makanan dan pada 2015, bilangannya bertambah kepada 1000 tan.

Kedua-duanya juga bekerja sama dengan Kementerian Pertanian untuk menyinari rambutan dan buah-buahan lain untuk dieksport ke A.S. agar buah-buahan itu bebas serangga seperti yang dikehendaki oleh prosedur fitosanitasi A.S.

Penyinaran produk makanan tidak hanya menyumbang kepada ekonomi kita, malah menyumbang kepada kemampanan alam sekitar kerana proses itu bebas kimia.

Di Cameron Highlands, Nuklear Malaysia menguruskan stesen persampelan udara yang bersaiz besar dan berkuasa. Stesen itu menganalisis bahan radioaktif dalam atmosfera dan boleh mengesan aktiviti nuklear di rantau ini, misalnya letupan nuklear atau pencemar radioaktif halus. Terdapat 80 stesen sedemikian di seluruh dunia.

Kuasa nuklear adalah satu daripada teknologi pengeluaran karbon terendah yang ada untuk menghasilkan tenaga elektrik yang mampu dimiliki dan akan membantu mengurangkan perubahan iklim. Loji kuasa nuklear hampir-hampir tidak mengeluarkan gas rumah kaca.

Walaupun penempatan loji kuasa nuklear menelan belanja yang tinggi dan beberapa insiden telah berlaku, 30 negara di seluruh dunia mengoperasikan 444 reaktor nuklear untuk penjanaan elektrik dan sementara itu, 63 reaktor baharu sedang dalam pembinaan di 15 negara.

Korea Selatan misalnya, walaupun jumlah daratannya lebih kecil berbanding dengan Semenanjung Malaysia, sebanyak 25 reaktor kuasa nuklear beroperasi dan tiga lagi sedang dibina. Ini menjadi petunjuk bahawa khalayak masih memiliki tanggapan baik tentang potensi kuasa nuklear terhadap ekonomi dan alam sekitar.

Di Malaysia, nuklear sebagai sumber tenaga adalah di bawah bidang kuasa Perbadanan Tenaga Nuklear Malaysia dalam Jabatan Perdana Menteri. Rancangannya adalah memulakan operasi loji kuasa nuklear pertama negara menjelang 2030.

Terdapat lebih daripada 20,000 orang pekerja sinaran yang berdaftar dalam negara. Mereka bekerja di hospital, sektor perkilangan, lapangan terbang, pelabuhan, institut dan universiti penyelidikan. Lembaga Pelesenan Tenaga Atom yang juga di bawah MOSTI mensyaratkan para pekerja ini memakai peralatan pemantauan, melaluinya dos sinaran mereka akan dianalisis oleh Nuklear Malaysia dan dilaporkan kepada Lembaga Pelesenan setiap bulan.

Kepelbagaian potensi aplikasi teknologi nuklear, seperti juga kebanyakan bidang saintifik yang lain, akan mewujudkan permintaan yang cukup besar untuk golongan profesional nuklear. Kini, kursus Sains Nuklear, Kejuruteraan Nuklear dan Perubatan Nuklear ditawarkan di universiti awam.

Mengorak langkah ke hadapan, Nuklear Malaysia merancang untuk memperluaskan R&D-nya dengan meneroka sumber baharu kuasa nuklear.

Kami juga berharap untuk mencapai kemajuan dalam perubatan nuklear kerana ia juga akan menjadi lebih mampu milik.

Reaktor penyelidikan nuklear oleh Agensi Nuklear Malaysia telah beroperasi dengan selamat dan aman selama lebih daripada 30 tahun, dan ini sepatutnya menjadi bukti kukuh untuk meyakinkan orang awam berkaitan perkembangan aplikasi teknologi nuklear, terutama sekali dalam kuasa nuklear.

Lets Talk Nuclear Energy / Bicara Tenaga Nuklear

Many of us are fearful when we hear about nuclear energy.

This is reasonable, following the devastation of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1942, the nuclear power plant accident in Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986, and the recent accident in Fukushima, Japan in 2011.

Yet there is an inevitable growing demand for radioactive and nuclear technology for the benefit of the economy – for industrial, agricultural, medical and research purposes. Following the terrorist attack in September 2001 in the U.S., nuclear security institutions around the world has since been strengthened, hence to date we have yet to see attacks involving nuclear or radiation facilities.

Nuclear application in Malaysia is regulated by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), a national nuclear regulatory authority under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

There are over 1600 licensed facilities in the country that utilise radioactive materials for quality assurance in oil and gas services, inspection of soil in civil construction, for education purposes at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and for research at the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, also under the purview of MOSTI.

Only one nuclear reactor has been set up in our country, albeit a relatively small one, at the Malaysian Nuclear Agency for research purposes.

I was invited to the International Conference on Nuclear Security early last month in December, organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA was established in 1957, in response to the fear of nuclear we all are too familiar about, towards the discoveries and many uses of nuclear technology.

Since then the IAEA has been an intergovernmental forum where 169 Member States convene regularly to discuss scientific and technical co-operation in nuclear for peaceful purposes. Malaysia is one of early participants, being a member state since 1969 as we acknowledge our international commitment and responsibility.

Back at the conference, I am extremely proud of our Malaysian team working at the IAEA.

The Nuclear Security Division is currently headed by YM Dato’ Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, former Director-General of AELB.

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Presented a token of appreciation to YM Dato’ Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan on the right, together with Mr. Hamrah Mohd Ali, Director-General of Atomic Energy Licensing Board Malaysia.

There are also eight other Malaysian professionals serving in this and other areas, such as in nuclear applications, safety and safeguards.

12 more local experts, from AELB, authorities and the National Security Council are on short assignments at the IAEA. Besides helping the IAEA to develop strategies for nuclear security, the Malaysian team has always done their best in securing the best deals for our country.

This year, we look forward to the signing of Practical Arrangements with the IAEA, effectively elevating our status from an assistance receiver to a partner. Malaysia would be a hub for training, where the trainers would be experts from only Malaysia, and a hub for the testing and maintenance of radiation detection equipment.

Malaysia has been implementing nuclear security in accordance with the Nuclear Security Plans set by the IAEA since 2005. Nuclear security is institutionalised through the national security agenda and we took a strategic move by starting out with capacity building.

We promoted nationwide programs to create and retain talents in the field of nuclear.

Our AELB developed a Nuclear Security Support Centre after a model by the IAEA, through which we coordinated national training programs and to expand our role in nuclear security in this region.

One of the initiatives by this Centre was to negotiate a dedicated training module on nuclear security during the recruitment exercise of the Royal Malaysian Customs and the Royal Malaysian Police.

Thinking ahead, Nuclear Security as an academic subject was introduced to UKM especially as part of their Nuclear Science program. Malaysia is then poised to handle nuclear security matters by ensuring a sustainable generation of experts in understanding nuclear security.

We also have been hosting international visits since 2012 to share best practices in coordinating nuclear security.

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With the Director of IAEA, Mr Yukiya Amano.

These countries include Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Egypt, Qatar, Sudan, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Albania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Being well-known for our hospitality and generosity in sharing our expertise and experiences, we welcome more of such diplomatic visits to Malaysia.

To continue to have access to radioactive and nuclear materials as required by our industries and for medical purposes, Member States of the IAEA have to adhere to international nuclear regimes; one is to have sufficient infrastructure.

Mosti through the AELB invested some RM 15 million to strengthen our nuclear security by enhancing our nuclear and radiation detection architecture, and safeguarding our inventoried nuclear materials.

In 2005 Malaysia initiated efforts to protect the country’s land and air points of entry from any threat of illegal transport of nuclear and other radioactive materials by installing Radiation Portal Monitors.

Then, in 2009, we began to expand these monitoring facilities to our ports where enormous volumes of cargo enter the country, by collaborating with the United States Megaports Initiative, the European Union and of course, the IAEA.

Last November, Malaysia and Thailand made history as the first two countries to test the Joint Field Exercise draft module at the Bukit Kayu Hitam – Sadao border crossing, formulated by the IAEA.

Every day, this border sees movements of more than 1500 vehicles and 5000 people.

Authorities from both states made an effort to ensure that radiological or special nuclear material is not smuggled or transported illicitly across the border.

After a year of preparations, about a hundred custom officials, police officers and radiation detection experts from both countries came together to put their nuclear security systems to test. This exercise not only strengthened nuclear security capabilities of both Malaysia and Thailand, but also the nuclear security network and stability in the region. Therefore, this is also seen as a success story for South East Asia and the IAEA, when this exercise is documented and published on the IAEA website entitled, “Boosting Nuclear Security in South East Asia”.

We committed ourselves to a number of bilateral relationships including through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), to install infrastructure, exchange best practices and explore human resources development opportunities, with these countries but not limited to, the U.S., Korea, Indonesia and Australia.

Evidently all these efforts in nuclear security show that Malaysia pursue nuclear for peace, and not for destruction.

We ensure that we are in control of nuclear security, and pledged transparency and the promotion of peaceful nuclear applications.

Moving forward, Malaysia has been discussing the use of nuclear energy to generate power.

Nuclear power in Malaysia has been addressed since the 10th Malaysia Plan 2011 – 2015 to explore its opportunities to meet energy demand and to diversify energy mix especially in Peninsular Malaysia.

It is identified as one of the Entry Point Projects in the Economic Transformation Programme 2010 – 2020, under Oil, Gas and Energy sector. We are to build a nuclear power plant with the capacity to generate 1,000 megawatt by 2030.

Globally, we can look at several partnership and business cooperation models for technology transfer for nuclear, such as the collaboration between United Arab Emirates and South Korea, and Bangladesh’s turn-key project with Russia. Understandably Malaysians would be wary of the risks coming from the construction and operation of a power plant, due to the absence of local experience.

However the biggest challenge that has to be addressed could be public acceptance.

The 11th Malaysia Plan has called for a step-up in creating public awareness in nuclear energy.

Advanced countries such as Japan, France and South Korea have taken prudent approaches by incorporating the understanding of nuclear technology and its application in the national education curriculum.

Social media can also be an effective platform for authorized sources to provide accurate information.

Malaysia has to carefully deliberate its nuclear ambitions in view of the economic crisis and political instability around the world. Threats from shared borders and non-state actors such as terrorist groups are becoming bolder than ever in pursuit of their evil objectives.

For a start, I think Malaysia has done well in managing nuclear security, by closely cooperating with neighbouring and regional countries, and playing an active role in the IAEA. I urge everyone to be proactive in the engagements on nuclear energy, discussing and criticizing fairly, for public good.


Bicara Tenaga Nuklear

Ramai daripada kita akan berasa gerun apabila mendengar cerita tentang tenaga nuklear.

Hal ini ada asasnya berikutan kemusnahan yang berlaku apabila bom atom digugurkan di bandar Hiroshima dan Nagasaki di Jepun pada 1942, tragedi loji kuasa nuklear di Chernobyl, Ukraine pada 1986, dan yang terbaharu, kemalangan di Fukushima, Jepun pada 2011.

Sungguhpun begitu, permintaan terhadap teknologi nuklear dan radioaktif untuk manfaat ekonomi semakin meningkat – untuk tujuan perindustrian, pertanian, perubatan dan penyelidikan. Ekoran serangan pengganas pada 11 September 2001 di AS, institusi keselamatan nuklear di seluruh dunia mula diperketat, justeru setakat ini belum berlaku insiden serangan yang membabitkan loji nuklear dan sinaran.

Penggunaan nuklear di Malaysia ditadbir oleh Lembaga Perlesenan Tenaga Atom (AELB), iaitu sebuah badan kawal selia nuklear negara di bawah MOSTI.

Terdapat lebih 1,600 pemegang lesen di negara ini yang menggunakan bahan radioaktif untuk tujuan jaminan kualiti dalam perkhidmatan minyak dan gas, pemeriksaan tanah dalam pembinaan awam, pendidikan di Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) dan penyelidikan di Agensi Nuklear Malaysia, juga di bawah MOSTI.

Terdapat hanya sebuah reaktor nuklear yang kecil didirikan di negara kita, iaitu di Agensi Nuklear Malaysia untuk tujuan penyelidikan.

Pada awal Disember lalu, saya dijemput ke Persidangan Keselamatan Nuklear Antarabangsa anjuran Agensi Tenaga Atom Antarabangsa (IAEA). IAEA ditubuhkan pada 1957, sebagai respons terhadap kebimbangan ancaman nuklear yang kita semua maklum, untuk membuat penemuan dan mengkaji pelbagai kegunaan teknologi nuklear.

Sejak ditubuhkan, IAEA menjadi medan forum antara kerajaan. Sebanyak 169 negara anggota akan bertemu dari semasa ke semasa untuk membincangkan kerjasama saintifik dan teknikal dalam bidang nuklear untuk tujuan keamanan. Malaysia adalah antara peserta awal, iaitu sejak 1969 lagi atas kesedaran bahawa kita juga mempunyai komitmen dan tanggungjawab antarabangsa.

Kembali kepada persidangan tadi, saya berasa sungguh bangga dengan penglibatan pasukan kita dalam IAEA.

Bahagian Keselamatan Nuklear IAEA kini diterajui oleh YM Dato’ Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, mantan Ketua Pengarah AELB.

Terdapat lapan lagi rakyat Malaysia yang profesional yang berkhidmat dalam bahagian ini dan juga dalam bidang-bidang yang lain, seperti penggunaan, keselamatan dan perlindungan nuklear.

Seramai 12 lagi pakar tempatan, iaitu dari AELB, pihak berkuasa dan Majlis Keselamatan Negara sedang menjalankan tugas singkat di IAEA. Selain membantu IAEA membangunkan strategi untuk keselamatan nuklear, pasukan Malaysia ini juga sentiasa berusaha keras untuk mendapatkan hasil yang terbaik untuk negara.

Pada tahun ini, kita akan menandatangani Perjanjian Praktikal dengan IAEA. Perjanjian ini akan mengangkat kedudukan kita daripada penerima bantuan kepada rakan kongsi. Malaysia akan menjadi hab latihan. Jurulatihnya nanti akan terdiri daripada pakar dari Malaysia sahaja. Selain itu, Malaysia akan menjadi hab untuk menguji dan menyelenggara peralatan pengesan sinaran.

Dalam pelaksanaan keselamatan nuklear, Malaysia mematuhi Pelan Keselamatan Nuklear yang digubal oleh IAEA sejak 2005 lagi. Keselamatan nuklear diinstitusikan melalui agenda keselamatan negara dan kita mengambil langkah strategik, iaitu bermula dengan pembinaan keupayaan.

Kita mempromosikan program ke seluruh negara untuk melahirkan dan melestarikan bakat dalam bidang nuklear.

AELB membangunkan Pusat Sokongan Keselamatan Nuklear mengikut acuan IAEA. Melaluinya, kita akan menyelaraskan program latihan negara dan meluaskan peranan kita dalam bidang keselamatan nuklear di rantau ini.

Satu daripada inisiatif pusat ini adalah untuk merundingkan modul latihan khas tentang keselamatan nuklear semasa sesi pengambilan pegawai Kastam Diraja Malaysia dan Polis Diraja Malaysia.

Memandang ke hadapan, Keselamatan Nuklear sebagai mata pelajaran akademik diperkenalkan kepada UKM terutamanya sebagai sebahagian daripada program Sains Nuklear mereka. Dengan itu, Malaysia bersedia untuk menangani hal ehwal keselamatan nuklear apabila generasi pakar dalam bidang keselamatan nuklear dilestarikan.

Malaysia juga menerima kunjungan delegasi antarabangsa sejak 2012 untuk berkongsi pengetahuan kita tentang amalan terbaik dalam penyelarasan keselamatan nuklear.

Antaranya dari Pakistan, Arab Saudi, Mauritania, Mesir, Qatar, Sudan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Albania, Zimbabwe dan Zambia.

Kita, yang terkenal dengan keramahan dan kemurahan hati untuk berkongsi kepakaran dan pengalaman, mengalu-alukan lebih banyak kunjungan diplomatik seumpama ini ke Malaysia.

Untuk memastikan kelangsungan mendapat bahan radioaktif dan nuklear sebagaimana yang dikehendaki oleh industri kita dan atas tujuan perubatan, negara anggota IAEA perlu mematuhi peraturan nuklear antarabangsa; antaranya perlu mempunyai infrastruktur yang mencukupi.

MOSTI menerusi AELB melabur kira-kira RM15 juta untuk mengukuhkan aspek keselamatan nuklear kita dengan meningkatkan sistem pengesan nuklear dan sinaran, dan melindungi keselamatan inventori bahan nuklear kita.

Pada 2005, Malaysia memulakan usaha untuk melindungi pintu masuk darat dan udara daripada sebarang ancaman kemasukan bahan nuklear dan radioaktif secara haram dengan memasang Alat Pemantau Portal Sinaran.

Kemudian pada 2009, kita mula meluaskan penggunaan sistem pemantauan ini ke pelabuhan yang sememangnya menjadi pintu masuk kargo yang amat besar ke negara kita, dengan kerjasama United States Megaports Initiative, Kesatuan Eropah dan pastinya, IAEA.

Pada November lalu, Malaysia dan Thailand melakarkan sejarah sebagai dua negara pertama yang menguji modul draf Latihan Keselamatan Bersama di pintu masuk sempadan Bukit Kayu Hitam-Sadao, yang digubal oleh IAEA.

Pintu masuk sempadan ini menyaksikan aliran keluar masuk lebih 1,500 kenderaan dan 5,000 manusia setiap hari.

Pihak berkuasa kedua-dua negara berusaha untuk memastikan tiada bahan radiologi dan nuklear khas yang diseludup atau dibawa masuk melalui pintu sempadan ini.

Selepas melakukan persediaan selama setahun, kira-kira seratus orang pegawai kastam, pegawai polis dan pakar pengesan sinaran dari kedua-dua negara bertemu untuk menguji sistem keselamatan nuklear tersebut. Latihan ini bukan sahaja mengukuhkan keupayaan keselamatan nuklear Malaysia dan Thailand, malah rangkaian keselamatan nuklear dan kestabilan di rantau ini. Hal ini dilihat sebagai kejayaan bagi Asia Tenggara dan IAEA apabila latihan ini didokumenkan dan disiarkan dalam laman web IAEA dengan tajuk, “Boosting Nuclear Security in South East Asia.” (Meningkatkan Keselamatan Nuklear di Asia Tenggara).

Kita juga menjalinkan beberapa perhubungan bilateral, termasuk melalui Memorandum Persefahaman (MOU), untuk menyediakan infrastruktur, bertukar-tukar pengetahuan tentang amalan terbaik dan meneroka peluang pembangunan sumber manusia, bersama dengan negara seperti AS, Korea, Indonesia dan Australia. Diharap perhubungan seumpama ini juga dapat diperluas ke negara-negara lain pada masa depan.

Semua usaha dalam keselamatan nuklear ini menunjukkan bahawa Malaysia menggunakan nuklear untuk maksud keamanan, bukan pembinasaan.

Kita memastikan bahawa keselamatan nuklear dikawal, dan berikrar untuk menggalakkan penggunaan nuklear secara aman dan telus.

Sebagai langkah masa depan, Malaysia sudah mula membincangkan penggunaan tenaga nuklear untuk menjanakan kuasa.

Kuasa nuklear di Malaysia telah mula dibincangkan sejak Rancangan Malaysia Kesepuluh 2011–2015 untuk meninjau peluang bagi memenuhi permintaan tenaga dan untuk mempelbagaikan campuran tenaga, terutama sekali di Semenanjung Malaysia.

Kuasa ini dikenal pasti sebagai satu daripada Projek Titik Mula dalam Program Transformasi Ekonomi 2010–2020, di bawah sektor Minyak, Gas dan Tenaga. Kita berharap dapat membina sebuah loji kuasa nuklear dengan keupayaan untuk menjanakan 1,000 megawatt menjelang 2030.

Di dunia luar sana, kita boleh meninjau beberapa model perkongsian dan kerjasama perniagaan untuk pemindahan teknologi bagi nuklear, seperti usaha sama antara Emiriah Arab Bersatu dengan Korea Selatan, dan projek serah kunci antara Bangladesh dengan Rusia. Sudah tentulah rakyat Malaysia menaruh waspada terhadap risiko daripada pembinaan dan pengendalian loji kuasa disebabkan negara tiada pengalaman sebelum ini.

Bagaimanapun, kemungkinan cabaran terbesar yang perlu ditangani ialah penerimaan orang awam.

Rancangan Malaysia Kesebelas menyeru agar usaha ditingkatkan untuk membangkitkan kesedaran orang ramai tentang tenaga nuklear.

Negara maju, seperti Jepun, Perancis dan Korea Selatan, telah pun mengambil pendekatan berhemat dengan memasukkan pemahaman tentang teknologi nuklear dan penggunaannya dalam kurikulum pendidikan negara.

[Statement] IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE MADIUS TANGAU

MINISTER OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION, MALAYSIA

HEAD OF THE MALAYSIAN DELEGATION TO THE IAEA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON NUCLEAR SECURITY: COMMITMENTS AND ACTIONS

5-6 DECEMBER 2016

VIENNA, AUSTRIA

 Mr. President,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In a rapidly increasing development of nuclear technology, the risk of nuclear security is more alarming and prevalent.The risk of nuclear security turning into transnational issue is imminent and real as we seek to prevent and protect unauthorized access and illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear material and other radioactive substances and their associated facilities.

  1. While the Agency‘s nuclear security programmes have been influenced by an assessment of reported intentions, motivations and capabilities of terrorists and criminals, Malaysia strongly believes that nuclear security should be addressed in a broader context of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in accordance with the obligations contained in the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). The adoption of the UN resolution on “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” at the UN First Committee in October this year reaffirms the urgency of securing substantive progress in nuclear disarmament.

 

  1. Malaysia also believes that effective nuclear security measures should encompass comprehensive control of all nuclear materials and other radioactive sources of which include for military purposes. Failure to address this issue in its totality would render nuclear security measures incomplete.

 

  1. Malaysia is pleased with the convening of the 2016 International Conference on Nuclear Security. We are hopeful that the outcome of this Conference would provide future directions and priorities for nuclear security. This would serve as a useful guidance for developing its upcoming Nuclear Security Plan for 2018-2021.

 

  1. This Conference reaffirms that the responsibility for maintaining effective nuclear security rests entirely with the State, in accordance with their respective national and international obligations. Notwithstanding this, we fully recognise the central role of IAEA in leading and coordinating bilateral, regional and international cooperation on nuclear security. Malaysia, with support, cooperation and partnership with the IAEA had embarked on the following measures and activities towards strengthening nuclear security:

 

  • First, in our efforts to build national and regional capabilities on nuclear security, Malaysia increased joint table top and field exercises to enhance effectiveness (of what?) and to strengthen the network of control mechanism in nuclear security. Malaysia and Thailand, with the support of IAEA, implemented Cross Border Nuclear Security Exercise at the Joint Border of Malaysia and Thailand. We are privileged to be the first two countries in the world to test the draft Technical Guidance on “Preparation, Conduct, and Evaluation of Exercises for Detection of and Response to Acts involving Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material Out of Regulatory Control”. We believe that this exercise could strengthen the network among neighbouring countries to promote regional stability in nuclear security.

 

  • Secondly, Malaysia recognises the importance to institutionalise nuclear security into our national security agenda particularly through national capacity building. The Nuclear Security Support Centre (NSSC) in Malaysia continues to  share its experience  and enhance its capabilities on nuclear security. Through the support of the IAEA and funding support from the European Commission and Government of Canada, we are establishing a Nuclear Security Detection Equipment and Physical Protection Laboratory to strengthen and sustain nuclear security capabilities. We would like to express our appreciation to both donors. We also encourage more generous partners to continuously contribute to the Nuclear Security Fund (NSF).

 

  • Thirdly, Malaysia completed the International Physical Protection Advisory Service Expert Mission (IPPAS) in April 2016, with the involvement of national security key stakeholders. Therefore, this has raised the awareness and understanding of nuclear security practices and systems that would serve as a useful guide to enhance Malaysia’s nuclear security systems at its licensed facility. At the same time, we recognise the potential benefits, which could be realised from the recommendations of the Integrated Nuclear Security Advisory Services (INSServ) Mission in 2005. We view the benefits of INSServ as equally important as IPPAS and would like to encourage the Agency to focus its efforts on strengthening the INSServ Mission.

 

  1. Malaysia believes that nuclear security measures could only be implemented effectively through a fair and inclusive participation of developing countries in the development of IAEA Nuclear Security Series Guidance documents. We thus encourage more invitations to be extended to experts particularly from developing countries to participate in various IAEA’s missions. We firmly believe that developing countries’ practical experience and best practices in the field of nuclear security are essential and should be taken into account in providing a useful benchmark and guidance to countries that require similar nuclear security needs.

 

  1. Malaysia recognises the distinction between nuclear security and nuclear safety. We underscore the importance of promoting synergies between these two important fields so as to strengthen coordination of activities as well as in ensuring that resources are effectively utilised for the full benefits of all Member States.

 

  1. Malaysia welcomes the entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in June 2016, as this signifies the collective commitments of Member States to strengthen nuclear security. At the national level, Malaysia is currently undertaking the necessary administrative measures and legislative process to accede to the said Convention and its Amendment.

 

  1. As a State Party to the NPT and a Member State of the IAEA, Malaysia is fully committed to supporting efforts to achieve global nuclear security. Although our focus here centres on nuclear security, there is a continued need to redouble efforts towards the ultimate goal of attaining general and complete disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, in particular, nuclear weapons.

 

  1. Let us recall the unanimous conclusion rendered by the International Court of Justice, two decades ago, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. I quote, “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

 

Mr. President,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Overall, the contribution of nuclear security towards the broader goal of strengthening international peace and security remains paramount. In this regard, we would like to record our sincere appreciation to Ambassador Song of the Republic of Korea and Ambassador Ayoko of Nigeria for their tireless efforts in finalising the Ministerial Declaration.

 

  1. Lastly, we continue to pledge our full support and cooperation to work closely with the Agency in strengthening nuclear security worldwide. We are proud that a Malaysian, Dato’ Raja Adnan, has been appointed as the Director for the Division of Nuclear Security. We would like to thank DG Amano and Member States for their support as well as the trust and confidence placed in him to undertake this important task.

 

Thank you.

International Conference on Nuclear Security

The International Conference on Nuclear Security is held triennially. This year, the theme is “Commitments and Actions”, and I led a delegation of 10 to Vienna, Austria, where the secretariat International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is based.

IAEA was set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organisation, comprising of  167 Member States including Malaysia as of December 2015. It promotes safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

Among the Malaysian delegation were four from the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the IAEA in Vienna, four from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board or Lembaga Lesen Tenaga Atom, one from Nuclear Malaysia and myself. The Atomic Energy Licensing Board and Nuclear Malaysia are agencies under the purview of MOSTI.

The conference was held from 5th to 9th December. However I had to leave on the 6th for the Malaysia Commercialisation Year Summit on the 8th.

 

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With the Malaysian Delegation.

Others were Malaysian officials who are selected and sponsored by IAEA to deliver technical papers in the Scientific and Technical Programme, after the Ministerial Session ended today. The officers are from Atomic Energy Licensing Board and Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Royal Malaysia Police, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, National Security Council, Ministry of Health, University Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Tenaga Nasional.

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Pre council with the Malaysian delegates.
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Had a sideline meeting with officers from Zimbabwe. They were Brigadier General Mupande, Mr Masunda from the Ministry of Defense and Mr Munaki of Intelligence.

 

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Delivering my statement during the Ministerial Session on December 5th, 2016.

 

We are concerned about threats to nuclear security and therefore have to take active steps to combat illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material.

In my statement I reiterated that Malaysia would join the collective commitment to strengthen nuclear security worldwide, as we are undertaking measures to acede to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

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I called on IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. We discussed collaborations between the IAEA and Malaysia.
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With the Minister of Science and Technology, Thailand, H.E. Pichet Durongkaveroj, on my left, and Malaysian and Thai officials. Pichet and I have met in a number of International meetings. Malaysia and Thailand, with IAEA’s support successfully implemented Cross Border Nuclear Security Exercise at Joint Border from 31 October – 4 November 2016 (Alor Setar, Kedah and Sadao, Thailand).
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We are proud that a fellow Malaysian, Dato’ Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan (right), has been appointed as the Director for the Division of Nuclear Security of the IAEA. On the left is Mr. Hamrah Mohd. Ali, Director General of Atomic Energy Licensing Board Malaysia.
For my statement please click here.

For news on this conference reported by the IAEA please click here.