Southeast Asia’s Nuclear Path Post-Fukushima
From Asia Times
By Sahara Piang Brahim
Southeast Asia is experiencing sustained economic growth and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Two countries are leading the region to further economic expansion – the Philippines registering a growth rate of 7.1% and Indonesia 6.2% in the third quarter of 2012 are the fastest and the second-fastest growing economies in the region.
Although the annual growth rate varies from one country to another, the Southeast Asian countries are projected to expand over the next five years. A recent forecast by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that the region as a whole is expected to achieve an annual average growth rate of 5.5% from 2013 to 2017. This growth, which characterizes the region today and will continue to do so in coming years, suggests the need to meet growing energy demand.
Energy security is one of the biggest challenges confronting the countries in Southeast Asia as they continue to depend on energy imports to meet most of their energy needs. To address their energy security challenges, they are showing an interest in nuclear development. While renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have the potential to address the challenge of energy security, nuclear energy is the only viable, environmentally clean alternative that can generate power on a large scale. In terms of nuclear plans and nuclear development, Vietnam and Indonesia are at the forefront.
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