- Feasibility study of a nuclear power plant in Thailand

Main Article Content

Suksan Polla
Tanakorn Wongwuttanasatian

Abstract

This research aims to study appropriate alternative nuclear technologies, costs of their power
compared with other types of power plant, approaches in convincing public to accept nuclear power
plant and guidelines in selecting appropriate construction location by learning from the experiences
found in 4 other countries namely: Japan, China, South Korea, and Vietnam to be proposed as effective
solutions to be implemented in Thailand. Findings in this study conclude that the optimal technology
suitable for Thailand is the 1,170MW AP-1000 high-pressure nuclear power plant (PWR) technology. This
is due to its advantages in cost effectiveness, shortest payback period, shortest construction time, most
modernity, simple maintenance and spares parts availability, less radioactive waste, highest safety and
efficiency. Besides, investment cost of this technology is 40,000-80,000 Baht / kW, which is more expensive
than coal plant, but when comparing to those of solar and wind power plants, it is much cheaper.
Furthermore, nuclear power plants have the advantage in terms of long-term energy security and
lower operating costs than other types of power plants. Two major approaches in convincing public to
accept nuclear power plant solutions include; Building confidence toward perspectives of public
regarding nuclear technology and its operation personnel, and ensuring public about advantages of this
technology. These approaches can be implemented in the following 3 stages; 1) Pre-construction
phase, where feasibility study is required, safety must be first considered in technology design. Public
involvement and public relations of the project must be implemented 2) During construction period,
project public relations must be continuously promoted 3) Operation running period, or post construction
period ; public relations about radioactivity , greenhouse gas emission and nuclear waste management
must be continuously implemented. Offering study visiting for people and official agencies and
responding to public demand in creating confidence regarding to nuclear officers sine Thailand has less
personnel, therefore, improving personal skills for people in this field is a must. In term of safety, this
study reveals that Nuclear Power Plant is a clean technology that is environmentally friendly and does
not emit greenhouse gases. For radiations effecting people living in the nearby areas, they basically
encounter natural radiation for 67.7%, medical radiation for 30.7% and radiation from nuclear power
for only 0.15%

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Research Article