Ms Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Government is currently reviewing Generation IV nuclear reactors as a potential source of energy for Singapore in the future; and (b) what criteria will be considered in reviewing nuclear power as a potential source of energy for Singapore
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong
1. Singapore is keeping our options open to various low-carbon energy solutions for the long-term. Our strategy is to harness: a) natural gas, which is the cleanest-burning fuel; b) solar energy; c) regional power grids; and d) low-carbon solutions such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage. These energy sources and technologies are likely to be the most viable in the coming decades. The Government is also monitoring the development of technologies that may let us tap on geothermal, wind, tidal, and nuclear energy, which are currently assessed to be less suitable for deployment in Singapore.
2. Regarding nuclear energy, the Government conducted a pre-feasibility study in 2012 which concluded that available nuclear energy technologies then were not yet suitable for deployment in Singapore. Today, advanced nuclear plant technologies and designs, such as Small Modular Reactors, Generation IV, and fusion reactors, are being developed globally and have the potential to be much safer than many of the plants that are in operation now. However, most of these technologies are still undergoing research and development, and have not begun commercial operations. Singapore will continue to monitor the progress of safe nuclear energy technologies and keep our energy options open.
3. We will also continue to strengthen our capabilities to understand nuclear science and technology. We will do so by supporting research in relevant areas of nuclear science and engineering, and training a pool of scientists and experts through education programmes in local and overseas universities. This will allow us to continue to assess the implications and benefits of evolving nuclear energy technologies and regional nuclear energy developments for Singapore, and enhance our operational preparedness.
4. Our future energy mix will depend on technological advancements which can help us tap on various energy sources. Any decision to deploy new energy technologies will need to be considered against the technology’s safety and reliability, affordability and environmental sustainability. This must be complemented by efforts to enhance energy efficiency across all sectors and consumers. The Government will work hand-in-hand with our workforce, researchers, industries and consumers, to achieve our vision of a cleaner, more efficient, and secure energy future for Singapore.