Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Demise of Malacca

WZWH is no historian. But when non-Malay write history insulting the great Malaccan Sultanate  empire and the Johor -Pahang Bendaharas whom this non-Malay writer claim have no relation with the Malaccan Sultanate and the Orang Asli or technically called "Negrito"  as the one and true Bumiputras of Malaysia. Then WZWH found that this writing is provocative! He claims that Malacca was never the largest port in South East Asia.

Please, read this well written history "The Demise of Malacca" by John Doe in OPINION column in FMT. WZWH would like for those who is well verse in history please stand up and rebuff John Doe opinion and please post comments to WZWH blog.

Here the John Doe's arguments as he rest his case...

"The port of Malacca was in a horrible state of affairs. Every night, the river of Malacca had to be chained with logs, to keep the marauding Pirates from attacking this small port. Sailors had to sleep in their ships, to safeguard their cargo, and to prevent the frequent attacks and the burning of ships... Malacca was no longer safe"... -Portuguese Records.

Malacca was never the largest port in SEA. It was never the most important port either. It was always overshadowed by Tioman, Pasai, Patanni, Aceh, and so on. The trouble is, the Indonesian Government does not even want to recognize the Acehnese Kingdom anywhere in their Textbooks, or present day Maps, simply because the Acehnese are claiming independence. (The same quashing of this history is happening to Pattani, hence the everyday violence in Yala, Songkla, Satun and Narathiwat.) The Acehnese territories had been under the Ottoman Empire for a brief spell in the 12th & 13th Century. This leads to further Academic complications as the Ottoman Empire was a creation of the Mongols of Gengis Khan. The Khan's also ruled all of India, and their subsequent descendants built the Taj Mahal. (BTW, Shahrukh Khan, Riz Khan, Yahingir Khan, Jansher Khan are all descendants of the Gengis Khan family.)

You need to understand that the Mongols, or also known as the Moghuls, were of multiple religions. You had the Muslims, the Buddhists, and these Mongolians did actually live in harmony. It wasn't until the days of Kublai Khan when trouble began, as his uncles were too busy fighting each other for territories. Needless to say, Kublai Khan resolved all these issues, and built his Xanadu, in Beijing, known as the Forbidden City today. Yes. Altantuya's ancestor-relatives built the Taj Mahal, and Forbidden City.

Now all this happened BEFORE the birth of Parameswara's great-grandfather. This was the 12th Century. Circa 200 years, right around the time when the Majapahit Kingdom fled, and broke away from the Srivijaya Kingdom. The Majapahit Kingdom then begged China many many times to "recognise, and legalize" their position in Palembang. The vicious Javanese Srivijayan's duly killed the Chinese Emissaries of the Ming, and refused to recognize Majapahit. They had made enemies with the Thais, who were then, under the control of the new Kingdom of Sukkhotai. Yes, Sukkhotai was only formed in the 13th Century. Preciously, Siam were ruled by the Angkorians in the 11th and 12th Century, and subsequently by the Burmese (Bago) from 1558-1773.

Back to the Majapahitans. They even started using and manufacturing their own Chinese coins, known as the Kepeng during the 13th Century. Please remember that the Majapahitans are really Javanese. These Hindus severely oppressed and ruled the gentle Malays of Jambi with an iron thumb. The Malays were innocent Buddhists then. The Hindu Majapahitan Javanese then quashed whatever was left of the Malays, and destroyed most, if not all, of the Malay Buddhist Temples. They all lie in ruins underwater in the Melayu River today. They await Archaeological Excavations, even though they were found more than 12 years ago.

Now this sets the stage for Parameswara. He wanted to kill his own father, because he was greedy, and wanted to be King of Majapahit, and was immediately issued a death warrant by his own father. He then fled to Temasik, where he killed King Tamagi, (who was the Brother of the King of Pattani, then under the rule of Ayodthaya). The port of Patani at that time was one of the busiest and wealthiest ports in the region with trade from China, Japan, Portugal and later on the British, apart from the local traders. The materials on trade were gold, cotton, silk, spices, porcelain and pottery.

Patanni was an excellent Port, situated right in between the Champa Kingdom of Vietnam, and Aceh of Sumatera. Furthermore, Lembah Bujang had been in existence since the 2nd Century, and was considered to be one of the Holiest Hindu sites in Southeast Asia. This was also the oldest Hindu known site in all of SEA. The second oldest would be in My Son (pronounced Mee Senn) in Central Vietnam, of the 3rd Century, under the Champa Empire. Borrobudor (Buddhist) was built n the 6th Century, and Angkor (Hindu), was built in the 8th Century.

All these Kingdoms were constantly flipping between Hinduism, and Buddhism. Depending on the Kings which ruled, their Kingdoms would constantly change from Hinsuism to Buddhism all the time. As such, Prambanan, Chandi Sukkho and Chandi Chetto, and more than 600 Hindu or Buddhist temples were built in Java during the Srivijayan Period alone. The same was true of Angkor. The Kings often hacked the statues of Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, or Ganesan, and replaced them Buddha each time the Kings decided to change religions.

Such was the turbulent backdrop against which Malacca was to enter. It is important to note the dominance of the popular Religions, depending on the incoming traders as well. When the Gujerati traders first arrived in the 2nd Century, they were Hindu. When the same Gujerati traders arrived in the 10th Century, many had converted religions already. Champions of Islam were also arriving. Most notably, was Syed Bukhari, who smashed his penis on a stone, so that he would not "think evil thoughts", was one such Champion. The stone where he smashed his penis can still be viewed in Pariaman, West Sumatera. The Mingangkabau's are extremely proud of it, although we do not know anyone who has emulated Syed Bukhari recently.

On the same topic, Zheng He was probably either never circumcised, or perhaps he was "overcircumcised", as he was a Eunuch. I find it extremely strange that so many Chinese Temples are built in his honor, despite him being a Muslim. Regardless, Zheng He probably helped bring Islam into Malacca, along with his 30,000 Military Armada. The Sultan of Brunei, among others went to China to pay respects to the Ming Emperor. All Ming Emperor's names began with "Tzu" (pronounced Chu), so the fairy tale of Hang Li Poh being a Ming Princess doesn't hold water. There are those who claim that Hang Tu Ah translates to "Noble Warrior/ Leader" in the Thai Language. But, that remains to be confirmed.

It is important to note that despite Malacca having all the written records of a Maritime Law, the question of enforcement has never been brought up. The Royal Sampan Armada was never found, nor was there any grave of any Sultan during the classical Malacca Period.

The only one which is highly suspect, is the one found in Fort Canning Hill in Singapore. However, once you know that Parameswara killed the Temasik King, Tamagi, then, it is highly unlikely that the Malaccan Javanese and Bugis migrants would carry the body of Parameswara all the way back to Singapore for burial. The ruling Thai's would have never allowed this to happen. Also having said that, just like the grave of Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Kesturi, Hang Lekir, and Hang Lekiu, there was never any names written on their grave (unlike the Acehnese Gravestones). All that was there, was a large stone. So, perhaps it was "Officially designated" as a tourist site, and a subtle claim of "Validation", which turned these unknown graves into the graves of warriors.

Just as the Tourism Malaysia Signage states (at the grave of Hang Tuah) "... This was a large stone, marking a grave, and hence, it must have been an important person. As such, it could have been no other than that of Hang Tuah". You see, this is open admission that no one really even knows whose grave this is. Also, by admission, "All we found was a large stone".

Yet, today, this Alleged Hang Tuah Grave is styled like the Touristy "Hang Graves" found in town near Jonker Street. I also find it extremely ironic that Hang Tuah's grave is situated in Kampong Keling. It is only dutiful of me to note now, that it becomes even more ironic that one can find alleged Soldier and Warrior Graves, but not one single Sultan. Yes. Not one single Sultan's Grave has ever been found.

Nor has there been ever any building, or structure of the Great Malaccan Empire been found either. Not one !! Why is this so? Is the Glory of Malacca a fictitious creation no different from the Mythical "Social Contract" which UMNO raves about?

I now turn your attention to Pulau Besar, situated just off the coast of Malacca. You can reach that place by regular Ferry. Why has this island never been mentioned or offered as proof of Malacca? The island is beautiful !! It boasts a golf course which has changed hands at least 4 times (coz of Bankruptcy), and a magnificent Marina City, which has yet to be launched. Construction completed in 2001. And the white sandy beaches are a joy to sunbathe on. The reason? It is apparently haunted !!

Putting ghost stories aside. This island has more than 1,000 graves !!! Of these thousand graves, two are Muslim Graves. And all the rest are Hindu Graves. Many Indians, Muslims, and Chinese flock to this Island on the weekends to pay homage. The graves are from the Malaccan Period, and yet has never been offered as "Proof". Why?

Because there were only TWO Muslim Graves. It is most interesting to note that people go there to pray for Lottery numbers and such. It is even more interesting to note that the Malaccan Government destroyed 7 graves belonging to 7 Brothers. Who are these 7 brothers? And how important were they to warrant their graves to be destroyed with a Bulldozer by Malaysian Officials? And where are any of the Malaccan Kings?

And why is the only other Cemetery, the one on Bukit China? Why are Hindu, and Chinese Graves the only reminders of this allegedly Great Muslim Empire? Where are the Muslim Graves?

The Muslims do NOT cremate their dead, and throw them into the sea, so, again, and again, I question the validity of any Muslim evidence in Malacca.

I stress that the ONLY item which suggests that there was a Malacca was a solitary coin minted. I wrote about it sometime ago (Click HERE). Even then, the coin only states "Yang Arif", which means "The Smart One".

So either this King had no name, or it was not even a Malaccan coin at all !! Half the guys in town are called Arif today. This does not mean in any way that any of them minted this coin. It is also interesting to note that this coin is called a "pitis". As all of us know, the "Pitis" was a solitary coin ripped off from the Duit Pokok, which was used to be presented to the Siamese Kings. Bank Simpanan Nasional still reminds Malaysians of this tribute paid to Ketuanan Siam, as they still use it as their Logo today.

The other issue is the chronology of events. It was recorded that the Thai's attacked Malacca in 1447, and yet, the battle was fought in Muar. Perhaps, we have all been searching in the wrong place, and the original and REAL Malacca is Muar.

Geographically, the Muar river is far superior to the Malacca River. It is as wide as the Singapore River, and the waters are calm. All maps which we see from the Portuguese, and the Dutch, show present day Malacca. This is easy to understand, if the Portuguese relocated Malacca, from Muar to present day Malacca. This also makes perfect sense, that not one artefact from during the "Zaman Gemilang Malacca" has ever been found.

All we see today, are the 16th and 17th Century buildlings. Namely, the Portuguese "A Famosa" Gate, the Dutch Stadhuys, St Paul's Church, and the Dutch Graves located behind it. The fake Museum replica was only recently built to provide an "imaginary" illusion that there was once a magnificent Malacca in its' present day location. Of course, no one will find anything from the pre-Portuguese days.

Present day Malacca is probably NOT even THE Malacca !!! It is simply just another Kampong Nelayan which the Portuguese took over. Even Kampong Keling, and all the other "supporting Villages" which surround present day Malacca do not have a shred of evidence that any of them existed during the "Zaman Gemilang Malacca".

This is so strange. Any visitor should go see "Zaman Gemilang Portuguese dan Belanda" instead. Malacca is begining to be another "National Embarrassment" soon, if this is not quickly rectified.

Assuming now, that there was indeed a Malacca, (but located in Muar), it is important to understand the state of affairs in and around Southeast Asia. Majapahit was going through tough times. The kings were assassinating each other, and there was Civil War in Java between 1401-1406. During the same period, there were also Multiple Earthquakes, Floods, Tsunami's and severe Drought.

All this took its toll on the warring Majapahit, and Srivijayan Kingdoms. Names such as Bhre Kertabhumi, Kertavijaya, Purvavisesha, Bhre Padan Salas, and so on dominated the scene begining with the assasination of Kertavijaya. All wanted to grab power. Most of Indonesia was divided, and subdivided into really small mirco-Kingdoms, and each was fighting the other for power, and control.

As such, the neighbouring ports benefited from this. Malacca (situated in Muar) was one such Port. It was small, young, and was adequately supplying resources to passing ships. However, things changed for the worse towards the end of the 15th Century. In 1499, Majapahit sent a last-resort plea to China to ask for financial assistance. It had gone bankrupt, and foreign merchants had decided not to stop there anymore. Malacca, and the other Sumatran Sultanates colluded to attack the northern Empires of Java. By 1500, they had suceeded in controlling all of the North of the Java.

The most powerful of this Alliance was the Demak Dynasty. He had 30,000 men, was much stronger than Malacca, and he was Chinese. His name is Cek Kok Po. He later adopted the Javanese name of Raden Patah, when he married his Javanese wife. The second strongest Force was Surabaya. The Portuguese saw this as a great opportunity to advance itself to the Spice Islands. As such, it immediately saw that the Civil Wars going on in Java had completely weakened itself. Perang Saudara was working for the Portuguese. However, this same Perang Saudara was also crippling the export of the much needed spices to the West, and their meats were rotting during the warm months of Summer.

In 1509, the first Royal Portuguese trading expedition commanded by Diego Lopez de Sequiera with a fleet of 18 ships arrives in Malacca hence the first European to arrive here. The locals called the Portuguese `Benggali Putih'. In an argument over the collection of "Malaccan taxes", vs the Portuguese going to the Maluku islands to obtain their own spices resulted in the Portuguese ships being ferociously attacked by Malacca. Most escaped except for 20 prisoners. Thus, hatched the idea of Bludgeoning Malacca to use it's strategic location to attack Java, and thus command the Spice Trade of the West. Thus began all the report speaking good things about Malacca to obtain Military funding for the Expedition to control Java, and Maluku.

Now, the following is what was never taught in schools:

B. W. Diffie and G. D. Winius in the book "Foundations of the Portuguese Empire 1415-1580" wrote: "the capture of Malacca by a mere 900 Portuguese and 200 Indians must rank as an event in the history of European expansion no less stunning than the better known conquest of Tenochtitlan by Hernando Cortés". Malacca claimed to have 100,000 fighting men, as was written in Sejarah Melayu (Asal-Usul Raja-Raja). So, either the 100,000 fighting men were utterly useless warriors, or someone was lying about the number. Or, the 900 Portuguese and 200 Indian Warriors had some "special Ketuanan" of sorts...

In 1510, Bendahara Tun Mutahir plots to assassinate the Sultan. Sultan Mahmud Shah executes him and his entire family instead. Sultans Ahmad Shah succeeded the throne temporary from his father Sultan Mahmud Shah. Internal strife of Malacca had begun. With more and more ships skipping past Malacca to go and directly obtain their Spices from Maluku, Malacca was left High-and-Dry. Its neighbours were all at war, and despite its contributions to the attack and conquest of North Java, Malacca was left with absolutely no control whatsoever of any territorial land in Java. In essence, Malacca was cheated, and now it was now suffering. The Portuguese obtained the help of Utimutiraja. He was a Javanese Spy who had a beef with Malacca because of the Malaccan role in the vicious attacks on Java. This Javanese Trader brought with him, his 5,000 personal Militia, to assist in conquering Malacca. All these 5,000 Javanese had developed strong hate for Malacca for their role in the destruction of Javanese Trade, and the capture of Northern Java by the Sumaterans. However, Utimutiraja became greedy. Before the Portuguese started to set sail, he decided to be a two-time spy. The Portuguese executed him instead for his "changing of sides". They then sought the help of a local Malaccan Chitty named Nina Chatu. This local rich Chitty then helped the Portuguese obtain information and deliver information for the impending attack. Meanwhile, the Malaccan Sultanate was still squabbling over which part of North Java they were supposed to control. The port was ignored, and all the traders had gone. This Chitty was very intelligent and smart. He managed to enlist the help of all the traders who were either cheated, or robbed by the Malaccan Sultan, or were disgruntled in some way or another. Thus, the Thais, the Sumatrans, and many Javanese pooled their resources to help the Portuguese. And this was done in record time too. Exactly the following year, the Portuguese return to take over Malacca. Alfonso d' Albuquerque brought his Portuguese fleet, and together with the Thais, the Sumatrans, the Javanese, and a handful of "dan lain-lain" ships attack Malacca on the 10 August 1511, and succeeded.

The Portuguese now had the perfect location from which they could launch strikes against the Javanese who were already so severely weakened, and crippled by their Civil Wars. To add to their problems, the Sumaterans were also constantly attacking the island of Java.

The year is 1628. And the Acehnese ruled Malacca for 8 months. Why was Acehnese Rule never discussed in Malaysian History Books? This was not the first time the Acehnese attacked Malacca. They attacked it in 1537, 1568, 1571, 1582, and terrorized Malacca for the next 60 years. The question is why? Here's the reason. The Portuguese wrote that Malacca was a very important location. This was not from the standpoint of Trade. But this was from the standpoint of a good base to launch attacks on the already weakened Javanese. And why Java? because they were a threat to obtaining "Droga" (Spices in Portuguese) for sale to the entire Western World. Therefore, "He who controls Malacca controls all of Europe" phrase was coined. This was said precisely to obtain the much needed Portuguese Military Funding to launch those attacks. This gamble proved to be correct.

Even before the construction of the A Formosa was completed, the King of Cerebon, King Suliwangi sent 2 Emissaries in 1512, 1nd 1513 to the Portuguese in Malacca to beg for their help. They pleaded with Henrique Leme (Captain, and Ambassador) to help stop the attack of the Cek Kok Poh. The Sultan of Demak from Sumatera. True enough, in 1513, Cek Kok Po, the Chinese Sultan of Demak decides to attack Malacca, as it was a threat to their impending attack on Cerebon. He failed to stop the Portuguese. In gratitutde, the King of Cerebon signed a treaty which allowed the Portuguese of Malacca to build a Defense Fortress and setup a Portuguese settlement in Sunda Kelapa.

Every year, the Pajajaran Kings would then pay the Portuguese 20 tonnes of Pepper for continued protection of North Java. Menawhile, the runaway Older Son of the deposed King of Malacca was volleying continuos attacks on Malacca, in 1518, 1519, and 1523. Each time, he failed. Just for continuity's sake, here is the rest of the Royal Bloodline of Johor. Sultan Mahmud Shah ruled from 1511 to 1528, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah ruled from 1528 to 1564, Sultan Muzaffar Shah ruled from 1564 to 1570, Sultan Jalla Abdul Riayat Shah ruled from 1570 to 1597, Sultan Alauddin ruled from 1597 to 1612, Sultan Abdullah Maayat Shah ruled from 1612 to 1623, Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah II ruled from 1623 to 1677, Sultan Ibrahim ruled from 1677 to 1699

Sultan Mahmud, the ruler of Johor, was a savage and vindictive sadist. He was assassinated in 1699 by a group of nobles, with the killing blow struck by Tun Mergat Seri Rama, whose pregnant wife had been disembowelled at court as a result of Mahmud’s orders. The Bendahara, Abdul Jalil, seizing the opportunity, immediately appointed himself as Sultan. Parameswara's eldest son's Bloodline ends here. The present day Sultanate of Johore, is descended from a completely unrelated Bendahara Line, and has no ties to the Javanese-Parameswara line whatsoever.

The Bendahara, Abdul Jalil took over the throne from 1699 to 1717, Sultan Suleiman Badr Al-Aman Shah ruled from 1722 to 1760, Sultan Abdul Jalil Muazzam ruled on 1760 and Sultan Mahmud ruled from 1761 to 1813, and the rest is history.

Meanwhile, the story continues at Malacca. The Portuguese realized that they could never advance to Java from their Position in Goa. Hence, they chose Malacca as a new camp. Why Malacca? It would have been suicidal to try to take over Aceh, Pasai, or Majapahit, as they were simply too strong and well fortified. Singapore wasn't to be "discovered" for the next 200 years. Plus, it was located smack in the middle of the Pirate-Infested Johore-Riau Islands. Hence, Malacca was chosen. It was financially weakened, by the Malaccan attacks on North Java, it was in a relatively unprotected part of the Sumatran Straits, and (regardless of whether it was actually in Muar or Johor), it was generally well known to be the weakest of any Ports in the region. Since Malacca was only chosen as a Port from which to launch Military Mission, the real capabilities of Malacca as a trading port became irrelevant. It wasn't long before VOA, (under the Dutch), began to realize the importance of Maluku, and decided to set their sights on Java. The very factors which allowed the Portuguese to conquer Malacca, became their weakness, and they succumbed to the Dutch in 1645.

You see, Malacca was not the great Port it was made out to be. It was a Military location, poised for launching attacks onto Java, and various other parts of Indonesia. It was a Naval Base, of sorts. Not a Trading Post.

All the nice descriptions of Malacca was simply to obtain Military funding. Most important to note, is, there is no evidence of any pre-Portuguese Malacca anywhere to be found. You want a real Location? Try Lembah Bujang instead !!!

Built in the 2nd century with the help of the Gujerati's, the local Malays were iconic Hindu's, and helped spread Hinduism all over Southeast Asia fro a staggering 1,500 years. This was known as the Golden Hindu Era. Lembah Bujang is a real Empire, built 1,200 years BEFORE Malacca !!

From Lembah Bujang, Hinduism spread to the Kingdom of Champa in the 3rd Century. And then to Borrobudor in the 6th Century, and lastly to Angkor in the 8th Century. The Kingdom of Angkor was destroyed in the 13th century, a full 200 years before Parameswara was even born !! That is the importance of Lembah Bujang.

Short of Perak Man from 10,000 years ago, and Niah Caves from 40,000 years ago, nothing else compares to the age of Lembah Bujang !! But using Perak Man, or Niah Man would be opening an entirely new can of worms, because they were both Negritos, hence, fortifying the Orang Asli's position as the one and true Bumiputras of Malaysia.

1,567 Anak Peneroka Felda Miliki PhD

Tun Razak tubuh Felda untuk kebaikan orang Melayu terutama bagi generasi muda Melayu. Tun Razak nampak visi ini bila peluang pelajaran yang dinikmati oleh anak-anak peneroka Felda dan generasi-generasi seterusnya akan megubah diri sendiri, keluarga, masyarakat dan negara.

Ini faktanya dari 76,415 anak peneroka Felda yang mendapatkan pendidikan di IPTA dan IPTS:
  • 1,567 peringkat PhD
  • 27,160 peringkat ijazah pertama dan sarjana
  • 47,688 peringkat diploma
Seramai 1,567 anak peneroka Lembaga Kemajuan Tanah Persekutuan (Felda) mendapat pendidikan di peringkat doktor falsafah atau PhD, kata Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Beliau berkata mereka adalah sebahagian daripada 76,415 anak peneroka Felda yang berjaya melanjutkan pengajian ke institusi pengajian tinggi.

Daripada jumlah itu, seramai 27,160 memiliki ijazah pertama dan sarjana manakala bakinya iaitu 47,688 mendapat pendidikan di peringkat diploma.

Ahmad berkata mereka yang mendapat keputusan akademik kurang cemerlang pula ditawarkan tempat di kolej Felda dan kolej luar seperti Pusat Giat Mara dan Institut Kemahiran Negara bagi mendapat sijil kemahiran.

“Sehingga kini, seramai 29,243 orang generasi Felda telah dilatih dalam pelbagai bidang kemahiran,” katanya dalam jawapan bertulis kepada soalan Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj (PSM-Sungai Siput) pada persidangan Dewan Rakyat di sini, pada Rabu.

Jeyakumar mahu tahu bilangan anak peneroka Felda yang berusia 20 tahun ke atas mengikut pencapaian akademik tertinggi mereka.

Menurut Ahmad, selain itu, kursus peringkat diploma untuk anak peneroka turut ditawarkan Universiti LimKokWing dan Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara, selain serta kursus Jurutera Pelatih Penyelenggaraan Pesawat dan Juruteknik Pelatih Rendah yang diselia syarikat penerbangan negara Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Ini adalah salah satu objektif DEB untuk memberi peluang pendidikan kepada anak-anak muda Melayu untuk bersama-sama bertanggungjawab membangunkan Malaysia secara sama rata di antara kaum-kaum lain.

"The Politics of Populist Outrage Versus the Politics of Building"

DS Najib worth mentioning that the politics of development (infrastructures) is not relevant now, people want the present ruling government to change. DS Najib even proposed a new approach of political model. The Facebook of more than 200,000 young people against the proposed development of "Menara Warisan" 100 storeys reflects this kind of politics.

Here WZWH would like to show the same situation where the politics of populist outrage versus the politics of building. Professor Jonathan Simon at the Berkeley Blog:

The narrative choices faced by the Obama Administration in confronting the Great Recession were nicely outlined yesterday in the editorial pages of the New York Times. Columnist Frank Rich offered a blistering critique of the Administration for ceding populist outrage to the right by failing to go after Wall Street executives responsible for the financial crash with investigations and stiff punishments, going so far as to say that “the Obama administration seems not to have a prosecutorial gene”...

Rich’s editorial colleague Tom Friedman voices a different kind of disappointment. Obama’s focus on the future, and his talk of investing in rebuilding America, has turned out to be just talk. The billions spent on stimulus turned out to include only tinkering on the edges of a massive need for reinvestment. ...

The critiques suggest an Obama Presidency caught in between its reluctance to embrace the old politics of governing through crime, and its inability to launch new politics of infrastructure. After his health care defeat in 1994, Bill Clinton made himself into a the Prosecutor-in-Chief, supporting harsh and punitive laws on crime, immigration, and welfare. Clinton was reelected, but he accomplished little of importance for the nation. Since the 2008 campaign I have been impressed with Obama’s commitment to avoiding a politics based on demonizing. He could have framed Wall Street leaders as felons and sought to build legitimacy by sending as many of them to prison as possible and he might be more popular now if he had. It may be that he was simply too cozy with Wall Street (which did send him a lot of campaign support in 2008) but I prefer to believe Obama rejects a politics that converts fear into anger by demonizing an enemy and than seeking to punish it. Everything about President Obama’s style as a speaker and a leader, cuts against his effectiveness as a prosecutorial President. The bigger question is why Obama did not try to lead the kind of infrastructure rebuilding politics he promised during the campaign.

Ironically, both the politics of punishment and the politics of building draw on fear which is the essential source of energy in liberal governance. Think of the way FDR drew on fear of the Great Depression and fear of European fascism to create the New Deal and US involvement in the World War II. Obama has not lacked for similar threats against which to mobilize America. Both the financial crisis and last summer’s Gulf oil spill provided powerful examples of the threat posed by decades of underinvestment in infrastructure and under-regulation of corporate greed. Without demonizing either Wall Street or oil companies, Obama could have used the Oval office to make a sustained campaign for rebuilding American infrastructure and regulatory capacity.

It is not too late for both. A stronger Republican hold on congress will make new legislation impossible, but it will frame a stark choice between a government that actively seeks to protect ordinary Americans and one that leaves them to their fates. The Republican effort to repeal the health care reform and the privatize social security will pose this choice starkly come January. ...

Paul Krugman argues that the election is all about economic conditions, and I have no quarrel with that. The shape of the economy is the biggest factor in the election, and Obama's failure to put a stimulus package of sufficient size in place predetermined the outcome of the midterm elections. The question is whether Obama could have gotten a larger package through Congress, or another round of stimulus.

Many people argue that Obama as much as he could get with the stimulus package even if it was too small, the politics would not allow anything more. Perhaps so, but what about additional stimulus? Could he have exploited threats associated with events like the oil spill to argue for a second round of infrastructure spending, perhaps even seeking out examples of crumbling infrastructure to exploit in the media George Bush like through photo ops and other means? A "Make America Strong and Safe" campaign for infrastructure, something like that? Coalitions in support of action need to be built, they don't just happen, and if the administration wanted to get more infrastructure spending to help with the recovery, more help for state and local governments, more regulation, a larger stimulus package to begin with, a jobs program, whatever, it needed to get out and make the case. Maybe it still wouldn't have worked, but at least people would know that they tried.

[I don't really like framing this in terms of fear. Creating undue fear, or fear where there is no threat, to create support for a desired course of action is not what I'm calling for. Not at all. Politicians often make arguments in dramatic style to capture people's attention and "mobilize America," but holding people accountable for their actions, even if they are "Wall Street leaders," making people aware of legitimate concerns about the state of the Nation's infrastructure, or explaining the harm that can come from inadequate regulation and too large too fail banks does not cross the undue and false fear line.]

Asean Go For Nuclear Energy

Russia eyes more nuclear power projects in Asia.

Asian nations are keen on striking nuclear power deals with Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday, as world powers race to secure projects in the energy-hungry region.

"Our partners expressed particular interest in nuclear energy, noting Russia's vast experience in this sphere," Lavrov said in Hanoi, where President Dmitry Medvedev attended a regional summit.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the ASEAN summit in Hanoi on October 30, 2010. 

During Medvedev's visit to Vietnam, Russia will also sign a multi-billion-euro deal on Sunday to build Vietnam's first nuclear power plant.

An official with Russian state nuclear conglomerate Rosatom told AFP the construction of the two-unit plant is estimated at over 4.0 billion euros (5.5 billion dollars).

Russia is locked in a global race with competitors like the United States, Japan and France to clinch lucrative worldwide contracts as demand for nuclear energy increases.

Vietnam has approved the construction of the country's first nuclear power stations, and its initial plans call for four reactors with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts, at least one of which should be operational from 2020.

Lavrov added that Russia and its ASEAN partners were interested in pursuing joint projects in geothermal energy in the region.

"The prospects are quite good," he said, adding the potential projects would be the focus of the countries' action plan through 2015.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary general Surin Pitsuwan told reporters at the 10-member bloc's summit in Hanoi that leaders agreed on the need for clean energy projects in the region.

"Without energy we could not drive our economy, but at the same time using traditional energy may impact upon our global environment," he said, adding that member countries are working on "green energy, clean energy, new, alternative energy that would not have any impact on the environment".

Russia hails Asia ties as it eyes nuclear projects.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday invited closer ties with Southeast Asia as Moscow positions itself for lucrative nuclear projects in the energy-hungry region.

"Russia is open for such cooperation, including on the creation of various alliances," Medvedev told the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at a summit in Vietnam's capital.

Medvedev will Sunday oversee the signing of a multi-billion-euro deal to build Vietnam's first nuclear power plant, one of a number of deals aimed at reviving relations with the Soviet-era Communist ally.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also in Hanoi, said other Asian nations are also keen on striking nuclear power deals with Russia -- which is one of the world powers racing to secure projects in Asia.

The ASEAN members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The EAS consists of ASEAN plus Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gugurnya Novelis Cikgu Ibrahim Omar

WZWH berasa sedih kerana gugurnya sebutir bintang kesusasteraan Melayu, al-Fatihah. Pada Jumaat 29 Oktober 2010 novelis "Desa Pinggitan", Ibrahim Omar, 74 meninggal dunia di Kampung Mela, Lipis Pahang.

Beliau dikenali sebagai Cikgu Ibrahim kerana pernah bertugas sebagai guru di Pahang dan Perak. Pada tahun 1966, Ibrahim pernah menjadi Guru Besar di Sekolah Arab Al-Ehya Assyarif, Gunung Semanggol, Perak.

Nama Ibrahim juga tidak asing bagi para pelajar pada tahun 1960-an kerana novel Desa Pingitan, karyanya pernah menjadi teks Kesusasteraan Melayu untuk peperiksaan SPM 1966-1968.

Buku biografi "Wajah" terbitan DBP keluaran tahun 1988 merumuskan bahawa novel "Desa Pingitan" mengemukakan kisah masyarakat Melayu di kampung dan bandar dengan perbezaan hidup serta sikap terhadap pembangunan.

Novel itu terus segar dibaca sehingga kini kerana Ibrahim lebih awal telah menerapkan elemen 1Malaysia di dalam "Desa Pingitan".

Beliau meninggalkan banyak antologi cerpen dan 50 buah novel. Antaranya:

  • "Desa Pingitan" DBP 1964 diterjemah ke dalam bahasa Inggeris
  • "Embun dan Tanah" PMB 1965
  • "Hilang" PNS 1966
  • "Hujan Panas" PTKT 1966
  • "Patah Galah Haluan Perahu" UM 1973
  • "Tiba Masanya" UP&D 1977

Ibrahim dilahirkan pada 17 Jun 1936 di Kampung Jeram Landak, Mela, Lipis Pahang. Beliau pernah belajar SM Inggeris Clifford, Kuala Lipis sebelum memilih kerjaya sebagai guru dan penulis kreatif berupa novel dan skrip drama Radio Malaysia sejak awal 1960-an.

Kemuncak kejayaan Ibrahim ialah apabila novel "Desa Pingitan" memenangi tempat pertama dalam sayembara anjuran DBP pada tahun 1962 di Kuala Lumpur.

Beliau pernah menjadi penulis sepenuh masa dan editor Utusan Malaysia pada tahun 1975.

Kali terakhir Ibrahim menghadiri majlis ilmu di Institut Perguruan Tengku Ampuan Afzan Kuala Lipis empat bulan lalu.

Watak beliau sebagai insan merendah diri serta gemar bercakap tentang motivasi, falsafah dan selitan jenaka bermutu.

Pertama kali WZWH berjumpa dengan Ibrahim Omar di Restoran Azza, Jerantut pada lewat tahun 1980-an. Beliau menceritakan pengalaman sewaktu berada di London dan kisah orang Inggeris. 

Beliau ada hubungan persaudaraan dengan WZWH kerana moyang WZWH yang bernama Wan Ismail bin Wan Salleh pernah berkahwin dengan Cik Khaimah anak Orang Kaya Mela dari Kampung Jeram landak, Mela kira-kira 150 tahun dulu. Keturunan ini termasuklah keluarga bomoh patah yang terkenal di kampung Jeram Landak.

"Kita jangan tinggalkan bidang kesusasteraan kerana di dalamnya banyak mengajar kita tentang erti kemanusiaan dan saya gembira kerana Kementerian Pelajaran kini memperkasakan semula subjek itu di sekolah," kata Ibrahim Omar.

WZWH fikir kalaulah Ibrahim Omar dan Pak Sako masih muda belia sudah tentu mereka akan menjadi penulis blog yang hebat dan "contemporary".

Construction Of Jerantut Nuclear City

This posting is just a wild imagination of WZWH envisioning the Propose Construction Of Jerantut Nuclear City. It may happens in probably 100 years timeline. This is WZWH fantasy...

Plans are advancing for the construction of the first industrial park in Malaysia to help with the rapid development of the country's nuclear power industry, with detailed engineering and construction preparation work at the site in Tembeling, Jerantut District, expected to start soon. 

The inland city of Jerantut, on the Tembeling Valley, has been selected to house the 'Nuclear City'. It is some 150 kilometres (100 miles) southwest of Kuantan and close to the cities of Kuala Lipis, Temerloh and Jengka. It also lies midway along Pahang’s inland, where several nuclear power plants have been constructed or are planned.

In Jerantut District itself, there are currently five nuclear power reactors in operation and two under construction at Kuala Tembeling. There are also two reactors under construction at the Kuala Tekai plant. By 2030, when all nine units should be in operation, electrical generating capacity will total some 6300 MWe.

In addition to the nuclear power plants, the headquarters of 18 leading Malaysian nuclear equipment suppliers are currently in Jerantut, as are branch offices of all the major Malaysian nuclear design institutes and construction companies.

In March 2025, Malaysia National Nuclear Corporation (MNNC) launched its nuclear power base - 'Malaysia Nuclear Power City' - in Jerantut. In April, the Pahang State government signed a "strategic energy cooperation agreement" with Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC). The conceptual design of the Jerantut Nuclear City has been completed in Kuala Lumpur. In July, local and state officials met to formally approve the project and to finalize the location, scope and industries involved. Detailed engineering and construction preparation work was expected to start almost immediately.

MNNC and the Pahang government plan to accelerate the construction of the nuclear components centre and training centre in Jerantut. The central area of the industrial park and the exhibition centre was to be launched first in July 2025. Enterprises in the industrial park will enjoy priority for bidding quota, bidding training, qualification guidance and specific purchasing with MNNC.

Malaysia will reportedly spend some $20 billion over the next ten years on developing the 130 square-kilometre Jerantut Nuclear City.

The Jerantut nuclear industrial park is entitled to all the preferential benefits granted to national economic and technological zones and national hi-tech industrial zones.

The Nuclear City is expected to have four main areas of work: development of the nuclear power equipment manufacturing industry; nuclear training and education; applied nuclear science industries (medical, agricultural, radiation detection and tracing); and promotion of the nuclear industry.

On its website, the Jerantut Nuclear City said that it will be based on the Burgundy region of France, which successfully became an industrial centre for the French nuclear industry. Several small and medium sized French nuclear-related companies moved to Burgundy to actively participate in the global market.

On 12 August, a group of 30 members from the French-China Electricity Partnership (PFCE) and the French Nuclear Industry Association (GIIN) visited Jerantut seeking to find opportunities for cooperation and investment projects for some 52 French suppliers to Electricité de France (EdF). They signed a letter of intent for promoting cooperation in nuclear related industry with the local government.

Politik Urusniaga Tenaga Nuklear Dunia

Dalam posting yang lepas WZWH sudah melabelkan zaman sekarang ialah zaman tenaga nuklear "renaissance" Asia. Naga-naga ekonomi Asia seperti Jepun, China, Korea Selatan, India dan banyak lagi sedang dalam perlumbaan pembinaan loji tenaga nuklear.

Masing-masing berminat kepada tenaga nuklear, ketika Amerika Utara dan Eropah sudah lesu. Ini kerana tuntutan keperluan ekonomi. Tenaga nuklear menggerakan industri lanjutan tinggi dengan lebih pantas lagi. Tidak hairan  negara Amerika Selatan pun berminat.

Yang begitu menonjol sekali ialah China diikuti Korea Selatan dan Jepun. China mahu menjadi "superpower" dunia dan mahu mengalahkan Amerika Syarikat. Sememangnya Amerika Syarikat membuat kesilapan dasar tenaga nuklear sejak 30 tahun lepas kerana mengabaikannya walaupun perlumbaan senjata nuklearnya tetap rancak.

Negara Islam Asia sudah bergerak sekarang. Iran, Pakistan, Turki (separuh Asia separuh Eropah) telah memulakan program tenaga nuklearnya. Mereka masih menunggu Malaysia menyertai kelab negara Islam tenaga nuklear. UAE dan Indonesia malah Bangladesh sudah mula menempah kelab.

WZWH akan paparkan hubungan urusniaga tenaga nuklear dunia dan politik tidak boleh diketepikan kerana masing-masing mencari rodong (partner) yang sesuai. Ini adalah kepentingan strategik tenaga masa depan dan bisnes yang sangat lumayan mencecah ribuan bilion USD.
  • China mengadakan urusniaga dengan Pakistan, Belarus dan kerjasama dengan Perancis.
  • Korea Selatan mengadakan urusniaga dengan Turki, UAE, Indonesia, Filipina dan Afrika Selatan.
  • Jepun mengadakan usahasama dengan India.
  • Rusia mengadakan urusniaga dengan Iran,Turki, Vietnam, Bangladesh dan Venezuela. Usahasama dengan China.
  • Amerika Syarikat mendiamkan diri selain kerjasama dengan Israel, Korea Selatan dan kemungkinan Singapura.
Amerika Syarikat walaupun tidak aktif urusniaga tenaga nuklear tapi melalui syarikat-syarikatnya yang banyak mengadakan kerjasama dengan Korea Selatan secara tidak lansung mendapat faedahnya. Amerika Syarikat dan Korea Selatan telah memujuk Korea Utara dengan bantuan membangunkan reaktor nuklear jika Korea Utara membatalkan rancangan senjata nuklear plutonium. Rundingan sedang berjalan.

Bagaimana dengan Malaysia? Dengan siapa mahu menjalinkan usahasama dan urusniaga. Kalau kita imbas kembali DS Najib membuat pengumuman yang Malaysia mungkin menimbangkan tenaga nuklear sebagai tenaga alternatif bila beliau melawat Korea Selatan pada tahun 2009.

WZWH merasakan Korea Selatan sebagai pilihan kerana sebab-sebab berikut:
  • Rising star in nuclear power
  • South Korea has recently become increasingly active in seeking international nuclear energy deals. Kepco earlier this year won a deal to build a $20 billion power plant in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Kepco presently operates 20 nuclear power plants in South Korea, and another six are being constructed.
  • According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, South Korean nuclear plants are among the safest in the world. Under IAEA figures, South Korean nuclear plants had only one accident in the past 30 years, while that figure was two for Japan, six for the United States, eight for Russia and 35 for France.
  • South Korean nuclear plants also are the least expensive in terms of unit power generation, according to industry sources. The South Korean option costs about $2.3/kW, while that figure is $2.9/kW in the case of France and Japan, $3.05/kW for Russia and $3.58/kW for the United States.
  • Despite ongoing concern by environmentalist groups over the safety of nuclear power plants worldwide, the IAEA says that further development of this sector is inevitable. The IAEA predicts that 300 new nuclear plants will be built throughout the world by 2030.
  • Kepco is the world's sixth largest nuclear energy company in terms of power generated.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chernobyl - Myths and Reality

Chernobyl in 2005
The 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Soviet Ukraine - the only nuclear power accident ever to harm the public - spawned widespread fears about the safety of nuclear power. But the Chernobyl reactor had an acutely flawed design - one which would never have been allowed to be built outside the Soviet Union. It also had weak safety features that failed to guard against human error.

In contrast, the U.S. Three Mile Island accident, which harmed no one, was confined by the extensive protective systems that are now the worldwide industry standard. Reactors with Chernobyl's severe shortcomings have been eliminated or improved - and will never be built again.

Using the world's top experts, the UN has conducted exhaustive studies of the health effects of Chernobyl - beyond the original death toll of 31. Of around 4,000 thyroid cancer cases attributed to the accident, nearly all were successfully treated. Beyond this - after 20 years - there is no scientific evidence of any increase in cancer incidence at locations near or far. Theoretical projections of Chernobyl's possible long-term effects predict 4,000 late-in-life cancer deaths. Any such increase would be too small to confirm statistically.

The UN's authorative findings do not minimise the gravity of what happened at Chernobyl. But they do refute many sensationalized reports and help to place that singular event in perspective. Coal-mining accidents and gas explosions account for thousands of fatalities each year. Ironically, these deaths are so common that they generally go unreported. For example, a single mining accident killing scores of people may occur with little note, even while causing more fatalities in a day than have occurred in the full history of nuclear power.

The greatest health impact from over-use of fossil fuel comes from air pollution. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that such pollution causes nearly three million deaths each year. Medical scientists predict that the fossil fuel mortality rate will triple by the year 2025. These devastating health effects - which equate to 600 'pollution Chernobyls' each day in the near future - overwhelm even the most distorted myths about nuclear power.

A Superb Record of Nuclear Safety

Although Chernobyl blemished the image of nuclear energy, the accident's positive legacy is an even stronger system of nuclear safety worldwide. In 1989, the nuclear industry established the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) to foster a global nuclear safety culture. Through private-sector diplomacy, WANO has built a transnational network of technical exchange that includes all countries with nuclear power. Today every nuclear power reactor in the world is part of the WANO system of operational peer review. The aim of WANO's peer-review system standards set by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Advances in safety practice are unmistakable. At most plants worldwide, reportable safety-related 'events' are now near zero. National and international insurance laws assign responsibility to nuclear plant operators. In the U.S. for example, reactor operators share in a 'pooled' private insurance system that has never cost taxpayers a penny.

Today, nuclear power plants have a superb safety record - both for plant workers and the public. In the transport of nuclear material, highly engineered containers - capable of withstanding enormous impact - are the industrial norm. More than 20,000 containers of spent fuel and high-level waste have been shipped safely over a total distance exceeding 30 million kilometres. During the transport of these and other radioactive substances - whether for research, medicine or nuclear - there had never been a harmful radioactive release.

Facts on Radiation 

Radiation is release naturally from the ground and atmosphere in all places on Earth. This 'natural background' radiation, which varies considerable from region to region, is part of the environment to which all human beings are conditioned. Like many things, radiation can be both beneficial and harmful. Large doses are dangerous. Abundant evidence indicates that small doses are harmless.

The radiation produced within the core of nuclear reactors is similar to natural radiation but more intense. At nuclear power plants, protective shielding isolates this radiation, allowing millions of people to live in safety nearby. Typically, the radiation people receive comes 90% from nature and 10% from medical exposures. Radiation exposure from nuclear power is negligible.

Environment Agency-Managing Nuclear Waste UK Example

WZWH had studied in Scotland, UK for almost four years. The UK Environment Agency in managing nuclear waste is example that WZWH would like the government of Malaysia will adopt once nuclear power plants are in operation.

Managing nuclear waste

Our role in managing nuclear waste

How different types of waste are managed

We categorise Radioactive waste in the UK according to its radioactivity.

High level waste

High level waste (HLW) is turned into a glass-like material (vitrification) and stored at the Sellafield site.
We regulate higher activity wastes on nuclear licensed sites jointly with the Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (part of the Health and Safety Executive).
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) covers environmental issues for sites in Scotland.

Intermediate level waste

At present, we are concentrating on the regulation of intermediate level waste (ILW). This offers particular challenges when it is being treated, due to the number of different waste types.

Low level waste

Most low level waste (LLW) is disposed of in landfills at the LLW disposal facility at Drigg.

Our role in managing nuclear waste

We regulate how nuclear sites dispose of their radioactive waste (solid waste and discharges to water and air) by granting site-based permits to the companies who run them.
We make sure they minimise the amount of radioactive waste they produce and check they do not exceed their authorised discharge and disposal limits.
We assess proposals from an environmental perspective to ensure packaged wastes are suitable for storage and final disposal.
We interact closely with nuclear licensees, government departments and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
Much of our work is carried out in partnership with colleagues in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Development of joint regulatory guidance on radioactive waste mangement

We are developing further technical guidance in collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to give more detail about the expected content of radioactive waste management cases.

Radioactive Waste Management

  • Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology which takes full responsibility for all its wastes and fully costs this into the product.
  • The amount of radioactive wastes is very small relative to wastes produced by fossil fuel electricity generation.
  • Used nuclear fuel may be treated as a resource or simply as a waste.
  • Safe methods for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste are technically proven; the international consensus is that this should be deep geological disposal.
All parts of the nuclear fuel cycle produce some radioactive waste (radwaste) and the cost of managing and disposing of this is part of the electricity cost, i.e. it is internalised and paid for by the electricity consumers.

At each stage of the fuel cycle there are proven technologies to dispose of the radioactive wastes safely. For low- and intermediate-level wastes these are mostly being implemented. For high-level wastes some countries await the accumulation of enough of it to warrant building geological repositories; others, such as the USA, have encountered political delays.

The radioactivity of all nuclear waste decays with time. Each radionuclidea contained in the waste has a half-life – the time taken for half of its atoms to decay and thus for it to lose half of its radioactivity. Radionuclides with long half-lives tend to be alpha and beta emitters – making their handling easier – while those with short half-lives tend to emit the more penetrating gamma rays. Eventually all radioactive wastes decay into non-radioactive elements. The more radioactive an isotope is, the faster it decays.

The main objective in managing and disposing of radioactive (or other) waste is to protect people and the environment. This means isolating or diluting the waste so that the rate or concentration of any radionuclides returned to the biosphere is harmless. To achieve this, practically all wastes are contained and managed – some clearly need deep and permanent burial. From nuclear power generation, none is allowed to cause harmful pollution.

All toxic wastes need to be dealt with safely, not just radioactive wastes. In countries with nuclear power, radioactive wastes comprise less than 1% of total industrial toxic wastes (the balance of which remains hazardous indefinitely).

Types of radioactive wastes

Exempt waste & very low level waste

Exempt waste and very low level waste (VLLW) contains radioactive materials at a level which is not considered harmful to people or the surrounding environment. It consists mainly of demolished material (such as concrete, plaster, bricks, metal, valves, piping etc) produced during rehabilitation or dismantling operations on nuclear industrial sites. Other industries, such as food processing, chemical, steel etc also produce VLLW as a result of the concentration of natural radioactivity present in certain minerals used in their manufacturing processes (see also information page on Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials). The waste is therefore disposed of with domestic refuse, although countries such as France are currently developing facilities to store VLLW in specifically designed VLLW disposal facilities.

Low-level waste

Low-level waste (LLW) is generated from hospitals and industry, as well as the nuclear fuel cycle. It comprises paper, rags, tools, clothing, filters etc, which contain small amounts of mostly short-lived radioactivity. It does not require shielding during handling and transport and is suitable for shallow land burial. To reduce its volume, it is often compacted or incinerated before disposal. It comprises some 90% of the volume but only 1% of the radioactivity of all radioactive waste.

Intermediate-level waste

Intermediate-level waste (ILW) contains higher amounts of radioactivity and some requires shielding. It typically comprises resins, chemical sludges and metal fuel cladding, as well as contaminated materials from reactor decommissioning. Smaller items and any non-solids may be solidified in concrete or bitumen for disposal. It makes up some 7% of the volume and has 4% of the radioactivity of all radwaste.

High-level waste

High-level waste (HLW) arises from the 'burning' of uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor. HLW contains the fission products and transuranic elements generated in the reactor core. It is highly radioactive and hot, so requires cooling and shielding. It can be considered as the 'ash' from 'burning' uranium. HLW accounts for over 95% of the total radioactivity produced in the process of electricity generation. There are two distinct kinds of HLW:
Used fuel itself.
Separated waste from reprocessing the used fuel. 

HLW has both long-lived and short-lived components, depending on the length of time it will take for the radioactivity of particular radionuclides to decrease to levels that are considered no longer hazardous for people and the surrounding environment. If generally short-lived fission products can be separated from long-lived actinides, this distinction becomes important in management and disposal of HLW.

Waste management for used fuel and HLW from nuclear power reactors
CountryPolicyFacilities and progress towards final repositories
  • Central waste storage at Dessel
  • Underground laboratory established 1984 at Mol
  • Construction of repository to begin about 2035
CanadaDirect disposal
  • Nuclear Waste Management Organisation set up 2002
  • Deep geological repository confirmed as policy, retrievable
  • Repository site search from 2009, planned for use 2025
  • Central used fuel storage at LanZhou
  • Repository site selection to be completed by 2020
  • Underground research laboratory from 2020, disposal from 2050
FinlandDirect disposal
  • Program start 1983, two used fuel storages in operation
  • Posiva Oy set up 1995 to implement deep geological disposal
  • Underground research laboratory Onkalo under construction
  • Repository planned from this, near Olkiluoto, open in 2020
  • Underground rock laboratories in clay and granite
  • Parliamentary confirmation in 2006 of deep geological disposal, containers to be retrievable and policy "reversible"
  • Bure clay deposit is likely repository site to be licensed 2015, operating 2025
but moving to direct disposal
  • Repository planning started 1973
  • Used fuel storage at Ahaus and Gorleben salt dome
  • Geological repository may be operational at Gorleben after 2025
  • Research on deep geological disposal for HLW
  • Underground laboratory at Mizunami in granite since 1996
  • High-level waste storage facility at Rokkasho since 1995
  • High-level waste storage approved for Mutsu from 2010
  • NUMO set up 2000, site selection for deep geological repository under way to 2025, operation from 2035, retrievable
  • Underground laboratory in granite or gneiss in Krasnoyarsk region from 2015, may evolve into repository
  • Sites for final repository under investigation on Kola peninsula
  • Various interim storage facilities in operation
South KoreaDirect disposal
  • Waste program confirmed 1998
  • Central interim storage planned from 2016
SpainDirect disposal
  • ENRESA established 1984, its plan accepted 1999
  • Central interim storage probably at Trillo from 2010
  • Research on deep geological disposal, decision after 2010
SwedenDirect disposal
  • Central used fuel storage facility – CLAB – in operation since 1985
  • Underground research laboratory at Aspo for HLW repository
  • Osthammar site selected for repository (volunteered location)
  • Central interim storage for HLW at Zwilag since 2001
  • Central low & ILW storages operating since 1993
  • Underground research laboratory for high-level waste repository at Grimsel since 1983
  • Deep repository by 2020, containers to be retrievable
United KingdomReprocessing
  • Low-level waste repository in operation since 1959
  • HLW from reprocessing is vitrified and stored at Sellafield
  • Repository location to be on basis of community agreement
  • New NDA subsidiary to progress geological disposal
USADirect disposal
but reconsidering
  • DoE responsible for used fuel from 1998, $32 billion waste fund
  • Considerable research and development on repository in welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada
  • 2002 decision that geological repository be at Yucca Mountain was countered politically in 2009

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