12 Jun 2010

Tonga King's nuclear plan comes as a surprise

7:02 am on 12 June 2010

The King of Tonga says nuclear power could provide part of the solution to the Kingdom's energy needs in addition to renewable sources like solar and wind power.

King George Tupou 5th urged the Legislative Assembly to consider his suggestion in his opening address and says nuclear power could help reduce dependency on diesel fuel.

The Prime Minister's advisor, Lopeti Senituli, says nuclear power is not included in Tonga's road map which sets energy targets over the next ten years.

"Now his majesty has suggested that we should also consider nuclear energy. He has not given any specific targets, dates or deadlines, so there's nothing concrete at this stage."

Lopeti Senituli says the King's suggestions need to be discussed with Tonga's development partners.

The World Bank has pledged support for Tonga's Energy Road Map.