SINGAPORE will continue to build a pool of at least 100 experts on nuclear safety in the medium to long term, although it has not yet made a decision on whether to introduce this form of energy into Singapore’s energy mix.Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said in Parliament on Wednesday (Apr 3): “Any deployment decision will require detailed studies of the safety, reliability, affordability and environmental sustainability of nuclear energy in our local context.” In his update on the matter, he noted that the Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative, set up in 2014, has already awarded 30 scholarships for postgraduate studies in areas related to nuclear science and engineering. It has also developed about 40 researchers specialising in radiobiology, radiochemistry and nuclear safety, working towards Singapore’s goal of having 100 nuclear safety experts.But nuclear fusion technology for the generation of energy is “still quite nascent” and “probably at least a decade away”, as the net energy input needed for the reaction is far more than the amount that can be harnessed from it.

Meanwhile, older versions of conventional nuclear reactors, which use nuclear fission technology, typically require large safety buffer zones beyond the radius of Singapore.

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