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    S'pore think-tank studying benefits of floating nuclear power plants for S-E Asia


    September 30, 2022 - The Straits Times

     

      Studying the potential benefits of nuclear technology in South-east Asia is among key research areas of a Singapore-based think-tank that was officially launched on Thursday.

      The ongoing study by the Centre for Strategic Energy and Resources (CSER) focuses on small modular reactors and floating nuclear power plants, said its co-founder and chief executive, Dr Victor Nian, during the centre's launch at the Danish ambassador's residence in the Thomson Road area.

      This comes as the global energy crisis, fuelled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the race to bring down carbon emissions in the energy sector have rekindled interest in nuclear power as a cleaner source of electricity.

      CSER, which has an office in Bukit Batok, is also looking into an offshore floating multi-utility complex enabled by advanced nuclear power technologies, said Dr Nian.

      The independent think-tank started in 2018 as a global research network of experts from more than 15 countries and organisations to collaborate on projects and studies to wean the global energy sector off fossil fuels.

      Said Dr Nian: "With international collaboration becoming more difficult amid rising uncertainties of the future geopolitical landscape, the decision was made to transform from a virtual think-tank into a physical one."

      It was founded with the objective of helping countries and companies strategically achieve their energy transition and carbon neutrality goals, he added.

      On Thursday, Denmark's Ambassador to Singapore and Brunei, Ms Sandra Jensen Landi, signed on behalf of the Royal Danish Embassy to become the centre's first institutional member.

      The current geopolitical climate has made sustainability and meeting climate goals more challenging, said Ms Landi, who is a member of CSER's international advisory panel.

      She cited recent gas leaks in pipelines between Russia and Europe off the Danish coast which are suspected to have been an act of sabotage.

      The Danish authorities have said emissions from these leaks could amount to 32 per cent of the country's annual carbon dioxide emissions.

      "We would like to support a global shift to cleaner energy. This is a high-priority area for the government of Denmark represented here in Singapore," she said.

      For example, Denmark plans to build artificial energy islands to harvest electricity using offshore wind turbines. The energy will decarbonise the energy grids of Denmark and surrounding countries, as well as provide green fuels for hard-to-abate sectors, said Ms Landi.

      "This is a way that we can make smart and sustainable systems, and it is something that can be an inspiration also for this region, where countries have different renewable energy sources," she added.

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