Special report: Thai public opinion on nuclear power plant


In the latest wake of nuclear radioactivity in Japan, many Thais have protested against the government’s plan to build a nuclear power plant on fears that it might harm lives and the environment. In the latest ABAC Poll, over 3,000 Thai people across Thailand have participated in the survey where most of them objected the plan. 

The survey shows that the majority of them have been following the news on the radiation leakage since the deadly quake hit Japan three weeks ago. Despite massive concerns over the plan to build a nuclear power plant in the Kingdom, the Nuclear Society of Thailand had come out and stated the benefits Thailand could have while being able to produce more energy for domestic consumption. Only less than a quarter of them have expressed their agreement over the plan.

Almost all of them opposed the construction in the vicinity of their neighborhoods while the remaining 10% have shown support for it. Geographically, Bangkok residents have expressed the strongest objection against the nuclear power plant followed closely by people in the Southern provinces, Northern and Northeastern Thailand.

According to a report in the Thai Post Newspaper, Thailand has long been determined to construct its own nuclear power plant. It was included in the Power Development Plan 2010 which stated that Thailand should build nuclear power plants with the production capacity of 5,000 megawatts. However, criticisms and objections from experts and Thai people have casted doubts over its benefits, citing ensuing health and environmental issues as seen around the Map Ta Phut Complex.

The Nuclear Society of Thailand added that it was important to enforce stricter rules and regulations to minimize the impact of the industrial activities on the environment, claiming that it was the only problem Thailand faced at present.

With the report emphasizing the inability of the government to address the issues, the Thai public doesn’t feel safe enough over the idea of Thailand’s own nuclear power plant. Among 31 nations across the world, the United States has 104 nuclear reactors while France possesses 59 of them and Japan 57.