Nuclear power has the potential to address some of the most pressing current concerns of our time, from energy security and climate change to sustainable development and economic well-being. A number of ASEAN countries have begun planning to deploy nuclear power, but to date, no nuclear power plants are in operation in the region. Countries with significantly advanced plans include Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, while other ASEAN nations have also expressed interest and explored plans to develop nuclear energy.
Nevertheless, negative perceptions about nuclear power persist in several countries and need to be addressed if it is to achieve its full potential in contributing to the global transition to clean and reliable energy. Amongst the challenges is addressing misperceptions and misrepresentations to strengthen the public acceptance and social license for this reliable, safe, low-carbon energy source. Public should be clearly communicated with the scientific facts, which include a solid safety record, despite a handful of severe accidents and a new generation of power reactor technologies that will be even safer. In addition, leaders must effectively engage with the public and a wide range of stakeholders, including policy, decision-makers, and civil society, particularly on concerns about nuclear power safety and radioactive waste. Finally, the nuclear industry, along with governments, national regulators, and financial institutions, needs to make good plans to lower the capital costs of the new nuclear build while shortening construction times.