Nuclear Energy Production in the South China Sea basin as an International Issue

Mohamed C.A.R.


The  South China Sea is divided into two parts; the northern South China Sea (nSCS) and the southern South China Sea (sSCS), where the nSCS  includes Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Republic of China.  The sSCS region consists of Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. The South China Sea  is a semi-closed system and  is largely influenced by  the western Pacific region especially during monsoon seasons.  By late 2020 countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia intend to operate nuclear reactors as an alternative energy source. Some radionuclide produced during their  operation will enter themarine ecosystem through the water cooling process. This will affect most neighboring coastal waters as transboundary pollution. A recent investigation on seafood conducted before the Fukushima, Japan tsunami event by The Hong Kong Observatory clearly shows that artificial radionuclides such as plutonium-239, tritium, strontium-90, carbon-14, iodine-131, cesium-137 and potassium-40 were found at positive concentration levels.  There were no significant differences in Cs-137 activities both in surface and bottom water samples atthe 95% confidence level. The activity of Cs-137 was found to be in the range of 1.47 to 3.36 Bq/m3and 1.69 to 3.32 Bq/m3for both Sabah and Sarawak, respectively.

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