1. GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1. Country overview
1.1.1. Governmental System
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with the King as the ruling monarch. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, has reigned for more than sixty-six years, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch and the longest reigning current monarch in the world. The King is recognized as the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, the Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and Defender of the Faith. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized by a European power.
1.1.2. Geography and Climate
Geographically, Thailand is situated in Southeast Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. It is bordered by Myanmar for 1,800 km, Cambodia for 803 km, Laos for 1,754 km, and Malaysia for 506 km. The geographic coordinate is 15 00 N and 100 00 E. The total area is 514,000 km2, including 511,770 km2 of land and 2,230 km2 of water. The climate is tropical. The rainy season is from mid-May to September, and the winter season is dry and cool from November to mid-March. The southern part of Thailand is always hot and humid.
Source: UN Statistics Division
FIG 1. Geographical Location of Thailand
The Thai terrain is generally composed of central plains with the Khorat Plateau in the east and mountains elsewhere. The lowest point is the Gulf of Thailand at 0 m and the highest point is Doi Inthanon at 2,576 m. The natural resources include tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, and fluorite. Agricultural and irrigation land is 49,860 km2, which covers 27.54% of the land, with the permanent crops accounting for 6.93%.
The population of Thailand is 64,631,595; estimates explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
TABLE 1. POPULATION INFORMATION
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|Year||1970||1980||1990||2000||2010||2012||2000 to 2012|
|Population density (inhabitants/km2)||69.32||91.54||109.75||120.62||124.52||125.81||0.35%|
|Urban Population as % of total||-||26.4||29.4||31.1||44.1||45.96||NA|
Source: NESDB (www.nesdb.go.th)
1.1.4. Economic Data
TABLE 2. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|1980||1990||2000||2010||2011||2000 to 2011|
|GDP (millions of current US$)||32,353||85,640||122,725||318,908||345,649||9.33%|
|GDP (millions of constant 2000 US$)||37,275||79,360||122,725||187,494||187,639||4.05%|
|GDP per capita (PPP* US$/capita)||1,090.08||2,910.23||5,007.07||9,225.88||9,396.24||6.01 %|
* PPP: Purchasing Power Parity
Source: IMF World Economic Outlook Database 2012 (www.imf.org)
1.2. 1.2 Energy Information
1.2.1. Estimated available energy
TABLE 3. AVAILABLE ENERGY SOURCES
|Available energy sources 2012|
|Total amount in specific units*||18.8
|Total amount in Petajoule (PJ)||24.16||8.89||29.27||NA|
Source: Fossil Fuels- Energy Statistics of Thailand 2012 by Energy Policy and Planning Office
Renewables- Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand
1.2.2. Energy Statistics
TABLE 4. ENERGY STATISTICS
|Unit: Petajoule||Average annual growth rate (%)|
|1990||2000||2005||2012||2000 to 2012|
|- Other Renewables||-||-||-||-|
|- Other Renewables||-||-||-||-|
|Net import (Import - Export)||-||-||-||-|
** Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import - Export) of secondary energy.
*** Solid fuels include coal, lignite
Source: Energy Statistics of Thailand 2012 by Energy Policy and Planning Office
1.2.3. Energy Policy
Thailand’s energy policy was delivered by P.M. Yingluck Shinawatra on August 23, 2011. The main points are as follow: Promote and drive the energy sector to generate income for the country. As a strategic industry, investment in energy infrastructure will be increased to make Thailand a regional center for the energy business, building upon the competitiveness of its strategic location.
- Reinforce energy security through development of the electrical power grid and exploration of new and existing energy sources, both in Thailand and abroad. Energy sources and types will also be diversified so that Thailand will be able to meet its energy needs from a variety of sustainable energy sources.
- Regulate energy prices to ensure fairness as well as reflect the production costs by adjusting the role of the Oil Fund into a fund which ensures price stability. Subsidies will be available for vulnerable groups.
-The use of natural gas in the transport sector will also be promoted, while the use of gasohol and biodiesel will be promoted for use in the household sector.
- Support the production, use, research and development of renewable and alternative energy sources, with the objective of replacing 25% of the energy generated by fossil fuels within the next decade. Comprehensive development of the energy industry will also be promoted.
- Promote and drive energy conservation through the reduction of power usage in the production process by 25 % within the next two decades. The use of energy efficient equipment and buildings will be promoted, while Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) will be used to reduce emission of Green House Gases and tackle global climate change. Systematically raise consumer awareness to use energy efficiently in order to conserve power in the production and transport sectors, as well as in the household.
1.2.4. Energy demand and supply outlook
Thailand has been highly dependent on natural gas for electricity generation. In 2012, it accounted for 67.5% of the total fuel consumption for electricity generation , followed by coal/lignite (19.5%), fuel oil & diesel (0.7.%), and the rest of renewable energy and other energy (paddy husk, bagasse, agricultural waste, garbage, biogas, black liquor and residual gas from production processes) (12.3%). Figure 1 illustrates the 2012 electricity production share by fuel type.
FIG 2. Fuel Consumption for Electricity Generation 2012.
The Department of Mineral Fuels estimated in 2006 that Thailand’s natural gas reserves might run out within 15-20 years. Alternative energy sources must be considered for future generating units to reduce this dependency. Today the world is facing ever increasing oil and gas prices, and inescapable global warming caused by greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion. Thailand is in the process of reducing the use of fossil fuels and pursuing emission-free energy sources, such as renewable energy and nuclear. In considering renewable energy, such as solar and wind, they are not suitable for baseload electricity generation due to their intermittent nature. As a result, for the first time, a nuclear power plant (NPP) was incorporated in Thailand’s Power Development Plan in 2007 (PDP 2007).
1.3. The Electricity System
1.3.1. Electricity policy and decision making process
The Electricity Authority of Thailand (EGAT) formulated a national power development plan for the period of 2010-2030, known as PDP 2010, within the framework of the Ministry of Energy’s policies. This PDP is dubbed the “green” PDP as it incorporates more green energy into the plan. It replaces the former PDP 2007 plan and its revisions. The plan was first approved by the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) and the Cabinet in November, 2010. After the Fukushima NPP Accident, the plan has been revised twice. The third and current (as of March 2013) revision was approved by the Cabinet in June, 2012. The plans have been used as a guideline for planning the construction of EGAT’s new power plants, power purchase from independent power producers (IPPs), small power producers (SPPs) and neighboring countries, as well as transmission system development to accommodate these new power capacities. According to the current revision of PDP2010, the net additional capacity during 2012-2030 is 55,130 MW (this amount includes the additional capacity from new power plant projects and some power purchased from SPPs and VSPPs). When adding the net additional into the current installed capacity as of December 2011 and subtracting the capacity of retired power plant from the system, the total installed capacity becomes 70,686 MW in 2030.
The strategies of PDP 2010 focused on
Security and adequacy of the power system, following the policies of the Ministry of Energy (MoEN) on environmental concerns;
Promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy to be in line with the Energy Efficiency Development Plan (EE Plan 2011-2030) and the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP 2012 - 2021);
Promotion of cogeneration systems for efficient electricity generation.
1.3.2. Structure of electric power sector
Thailand has adopted the enhanced single buyer model (ESB), in which EGAT is the sole buyer of electricity as shown in Figure 3. In the generation system, EGAT is in charge of a dominant electricity supply, which presently owns approximately 47% (as of December 2011) of the total capacity in the country, while the rest are owned by private power companies in three categories, Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Small Power Producers (SPPs), Very Small Power Producers (VSPPs). In addition to the electricity generation and acquisition, EGAT is also responsible for the country’s transmission system, as well as national and regional control centers. There are two distributing utilities in the Thai electricity system, namely the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA). The MEA is responsible for the distribution, sales and provision of electric energy services in Bangkok Metropolis, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakran provinces and the PEA serves the rest of the country.
FIG 3. Enhanced Single Buyer Model
1.3.3. Main indicators
TABLE 5. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION AND CAPACITY
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|Capacity of electrical plants (MWe)|
|-Purchased from neighboring countries||340||640||2,405||17.71|
|- other renewable||0.02||0.03||0.53||1.54||38.85|
|Electricity production (GWh)|
|- other renewable||0.01||0.01||0.60||2.09||51.77|
|- Total (1)||4,095||14,754||43,190||96,781||134,827||173,250||4.97|
|Total Electricity consumption (GWh)||3,805||13,601||38,203||88,021||121,240.03||161,778||5.20|
Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.
Source: Electricity Production from Chapter 5 of Energy Statistic of Thailand 2012 by EPPO, Capacity from EGAT Annual Report 2012
TABLE 6. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS
|Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita)||22.29||38.84||50.89||64.31|
|Electricity consumption per capita (kWh/capita)||678.56||1,418||1,942||2,506|
|Electricity production/Energy production (%)||29.97||28.41||31.64||27.41|
|Nuclear/Total electricity (%)|
|Ratio of external dependency (%) (1)||59.07||59.67||64.46||54.65|
(1) Net import / Total energy consumption.
* Latest available data
Source: EGAT, EPPO
2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION
2.1. Historical development and current organizational structure
Thailand first considered a NPP in 1966. The option to build a 600 MW BWR at Aow Pai, Chonburi Province was explored. However, after the discovery of natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand in 1978, the project was postponed indefinitely.
In 2007, nuclear power was reintroduced again in the PDP 2007 and in the superseding PDP 2010. The PDP 2010 originally included 5,000 MW of nuclear power, 5 plants of 1000 MW each, in the first revision.
In 2007, The National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) appointed the Nuclear Power Infrastructure Preparation Committee (NPIPC) and the Nuclear Power Program Development Office (NPPDO) to prepare nuclear power infrastructure establishment plans (NPIEP) and a nuclear utility plan. From 2008 to 2011, Thailand worked in the pre-project phase and conducted a feasibility study, including selection of preferred sites. A self-evaluation on 19 issues of national nuclear infrastructure was also performed, and by the end of 2010, the IAEA had conducted the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission in Thailand. The results from the self-evaluation and INIR Mission suggested that Thailand was ready to make a knowledgeable commitment on nuclear power. However, there are several major gaps that should be addressed to continue overall progress in developing an appropriate national nuclear power infrastructure. In the near term, the Government should make a concrete commitment for safe, secure, and peaceful implementation of nuclear power. The national nuclear legislations and regulations need to be enhanced to comply with international legal instruments. Also, the details of a human resource development plan (HRDP) are required for supporting the nuclear power project.
In early 2011, a “readiness report” was submitted for the government to make the decision to “Go Nuclear.” However, after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP in March 2011, the government announced that the decision to continue with the project was postponed for 3 years, and later to 6 years. The PDP 2010 was revised, and nuclear power was reduced to 2,000 MW. The decision to go nuclear will be reconsidered again in 2017, and if the project is continued, the first NPP is expected to be in operation in 2026.
2.1.2. Current organizational chart(s)
Under the Ministry of Energy: EPPO is a pivotal agency in the formulation and administration of energy policies and planning for the national sustainability, and NESC was set up to replace Nuclear Power Program Development Office (NPPDO) for conducting and coordinating nuclear power project, EPPO and NESC are equivalent to a NEPIO.
EGAT, under the Ministry of Energy, will be the operator of NPPs. The Office of Atoms for Peace, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, currently is chartered as the regulatory body for all activities on radioactive sources and nuclear energy.
FIG 4. Chart of nuclear organizations
2.2. Nuclear power plants: Overview
2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants
Table 7 is not applicable.
TABLE 7. STATUS AND PERFORMANCE OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and license renewals
2.3. Future development of Nuclear Power
2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy
Nuclear Power Infrastructure Establishment Plan was put forth in 2007. The Nuclear Power Program Implementation was commenced and planned for the operation of the first NPP in 2020, which was later postponed to 2026. The project was divided into 4 phases.
Phase 1 Pre-project Activities (2008-2010)
Set up NPPDO
Infrastructure work started
Survey of potential sites
Feasibility study completed
Public information and participation
Phase 1 was completed, but the project was put on hold to re-evaluate the safety of nuclear power and promote public acceptance. If the government decides to Go Nuclear in 2017, the following phases will take place.
Phase 2 Program Implementation (2017-2019)
Fully establish regulatory system for NPP
Legislation and international protocol enacted
Prepare to call for bids
Suitable site selected for bidding
Technology/qualified suppliers selected
Phase 3 Construction Phase (2020-2025)
Bidding process completed
Design and engineering
Construction and installation
Test runs and installation
NPP commissioning license
Phase 4 Operation Phase (2026)
Operation and maintenance
Planning for expansion
Industrial and technology development plan
TABLE 8. PLANNED NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|Station/project name||Type||Capacity (MW)||Expected Construction Start Year||Expected Commercial Year|
|EGAT Nuclear Power Plant #1||LWR||1,000||2020||2026|
|EGAT Nuclear Power Plant #2||LWR||1,000||2021||2027|
2.3.2. Project management
The Ministry of Energy and EGAT are the main organizations responsible for the preparation and construction of NPPs.
2.3.3. Project funding
2.3.4. Electric grid development
EGAT develops, owns and operates the national transmission. The current grid system covering the entire country mainly operates at 500 kV, 230 kV and 115 kV. The power system operation is divided into five geographical areas: metropolitan, central, northeastern, southern and northern regions. From the National Control Center based at EGAT's Headquarters and five other regional control centers, EGAT plans, operates and controls the least cost dispatch of generated power from its power plants, as well as from private power plants to load centers via its high voltage transmission lines. The grid system is presently linked to Laos by 115 kV and 230 kV lines and to Malaysia by 115 kV, 132 kV and the new 300 kV HVDC lines. In support of the Pre-Feasibility Study 2010 for the NPP project, the Transmission System Impact Study was performed for the selected site at the time when the NPP will be built. The study analyses were done to ascertain the impact of new NPP units on the performance and reliability of the existing transmission grid system and the requirements for reinforcement.
2.3.5. Site Selection
EGAT has started a site survey. A consultant company has been engaged in surveying, collecting data and ranking the candidate sites. Originally, 17 sites were selected as potential sites. The surveys were conducted on engineering, economic and environmental aspects. The site for the first NPP has not yet been finalized due to public acceptance in the area.
2.4. Organizations involved in construction of NPPs
EGAT will undertake construction of NPP. It will be a turn-key project based on open bidding.
2.5. Organizations involved in operation of NPPs
EGAT will be the operator.
2.6. Organizations involved in decommissioning
EGAT will be the main organization to conduct the decommissioning of the NPPs. OAP as the regulatory body will approve the decommissioning plan, regulate and inspect the activities carried out by the EGAT until the plants are released from regulatory control.
2.7. Fuel cycle including waste management
Thailand does not have significant uranium deposits, so uranium fuel will be imported. Currently, all radioactive wastes from industrial, medical and research facilities are managed by TINT. However, they are only low-level and intermediate-level wastes. The interim storage for high-level waste and spent nuclear fuels from NPP will be managed by EGAT. The long-term strategy for spent nuclear fuel has not been determined. The present intention is to store on-site until appropriate technologies are available.
2.8. Research and development
2.8.1. R&D organizations
TINT and universities teaching nuclear sciences, technology and engineering or physics will conduct the R&D related to NPPs. OAP will also conduct research important to nuclear safety and regulatory functions.
2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies
2.8.3. International co-operation and initiatives
Following is a list of national, regional, interregional activities related to the nuclear power program under the IAEA Technical Cooperation that are effective and active in terms of project implementation:
THA/0/011 Strengthening Nuclear Science and Technology Education
THA/0/012 Acquiring Regulatory Expertise in Preparation for the First Nuclear Power Plant and for a Research Reactor
THA/0/013 Supporting the National Nuclear Engineering Education Center
THA/2/014 Technical Support for Upgrading/Establishment of Infrastructure for Introduction of Nuclear Power
THA4015 Upgrading/Establishing the Infrastructure Required for the Introduction of Nuclear Power
RAS/0/047 Supporting Web-Based Nuclear Education and Training through Regional Networking
RAS/0/056: Providing Legislative Assistance
RAS/4/029 Strengthening Nuclear Power Infrastructure and Planning
RAS/7/016 Establishing a Benchmark for Assessing the Radiological Impact of Nuclear Power Activities on the Marine Environment in the Asia-Pacific region
RAS/9/042 Sustainability of Regional Radiation Protection Infrastructure
RAS/9/050 Education and Training in Support of Radiation Protection Infrastructure
RAS/9/054 Strengthening National Regulatory Infrastructures
RAS/9/056 Strengthening Capabilities for Protection of the Public and the Environment from Radiation Practices
RAS/9/057 Strengthening National and Regional Capabilities for Response to Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies
RAS/9/059: Strengthening Nuclear Regulatory Authorities in the Asia and the Pacific Region
RAS/9/060 Developing Human Resources in Nuclear Security
Cooperation between EGAT and Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC)
Cooperation between EGAT and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd (CGNPC)
Cooperation between EGAT and GDF-SUEZ
Cooperation between EGAT and Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)
2.9. Human resources development
OAP and EGAT have developed their respective human resources development plans to prepare personnel for the nuclear power program.
OAP’s approaches are to improve the competency of current staff and recruit new staff in the needed expertise areas. OAP regulates a research reactor, so there is staff that is familiar with nuclear technology. The needs to expand and acquire more knowledge to accommodate nuclear power are recognized. Scholarships have been granted to both staff and new recruits to study overseas in nuclear-related fields. There are also international and bilateral collaborations with the IAEA and nuclear-advanced countries to provide training courses necessary for nuclear power regulatory activities.
EGAT has developed a detailed HRDP. The human resources will mainly come from the current manpower pool at EGAT. The company has training plans to improve competency of the staff in nuclear engineering and technologies. The plan also includes recruitment of more nuclear specialists. After the bidding process, EGAT could get more training for the staff and recruits through international consultants and/or the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) vendors.
With no clear direction on the future of nuclear energy, not many universities have established a specific program for nuclear sciences and nuclear engineering. The most prominent existing program is at Chulalongkorn University’s Nuclear Engineering Department. The program offers nuclear engineering degrees in graduate levels with a plan to expand to an undergraduate level in the near future.
2.10. Stakeholder Communication
Public awareness and understanding is mainly conducted by OAP, EGAT, TINT, and universities for the general public, media, teachers, and students. A number of activities have been arranged to involve stakeholders in nuclear activities in Thailand, such as visiting the nuclear research reactor and related facilities. Representatives from local areas, opinion leaders, and government officials visited NPPs in operating countries. Since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, the public has lost confidence in the safety of nuclear power, and it has become a major challenge to regain that confidence. A public information program has been conducted to provide the facts of the accident and to address public concerns.
3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
3.1. Regulatory framework
3.1.1. Regulatory authority(s)
The Atomic Energy for Peace Act 1961 established Thai Atomic Energy Commission for Peace (Thai AEC). The AEC is the regulatory authority of Thailand, issuing licenses and regulating facilities and activities on radiation and nuclear issues. The OAP acts as the secretariat of the AEC and the Secretary-General of OAP is the secretary of the Commission.
3.1.2. Licensing Process
The licensing process of nuclear installations is not specified in the main law, the 1961 Act. However, it was considered that the licensing process shall include all stages of the NPPs lifecycle including site evaluation, design, construction, commissioning, operation, decommissioning and release from regulatory control.
During the licensing process, the regulatory body shall conduct regulatory reviews, assessments, and inspections to ensure that the applicant or licensee complies with licensing and design bases including safety analyses, regulations, and safety criteria.
3.2. Main national laws and regulations in nuclear power
The OAP is in a process of drafting a new Atomic Energy Act. The new act will base upon the IAEA Handbook of Nuclear Law in order to reflect all stages of the licensing process and to comply with necessary international legal instruments. The effective laws and regulations at the moment are as follows.
- Atomic Energy for Peace Act (1961);
- Ministerial Regulations (2007) prescribing the conditions, procedures for license application and implementation in connection with special nuclear materials, source materials, by-products or atomic energy;
- Ordinance, Guidance and Procedures issued by OAP
FIG 5. Hierarchy of Thai legislations
1. WIKIPEDIA, the free encyclopedia on the internet Thailand, 2013.
2. Office of the Atoms for Peace (OAP), Progress Report 2012.
3. Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP), Atomic Energy Acts and Ministerial Regulation, 2007.
4. Ministry of Energy, Power Development Plan 2007 (PDP 2007).
5. Ministry of Energy, Power Development Plan 2010 Revision 3, approved 19 June, 2012.
6. Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), Energy Statistics of Thailand 2012.
7. Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Annual Report 2012.
APPENDIX 1: INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS
Thailand is party to and/or has signed:
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapon (NPT) (signed and ratified in 1972)
Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (signed and ratified in 1974)
The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (signed in 1987 and ratified in 1989)
The Convention on Assistance in the case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (signed in 1987 and ratified in 1989)
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
The South East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty (signed and ratified in 1995)
The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (signed in 2005)
To formalize nuclear safety measures, Thailand would join or sign the following conventions in the near future;
Convention of Nuclear Safety
Convention of Physical Protection
The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
The Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention
Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy and Convention of 31st January 1963 Supplementary to the Paris Convention
APPENDIX 2: MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND COMPANIES INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR POWER RELATED ACTIVITIES
Ministry of Energy www.energy.go.th
Ministry of Science and Technology www.most.go.th
Ministry of Foreign Affairs www.mofa.go.th
Chulalongkorn University www.chula.ac.th
|Name of report coordinator:||Mr. Pongkrit SIRIPIROM|
|Institution:||Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP)|
|Contacts: ||16 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Chatuchak|
Bangkok 10900, Thailand