Jakarta – National nuclear development is still weak because the government does not yet have a definite policy regarding the construction of nuclear power plants (PLTN), according to a government-led research agency BRIN nuclear expert, Monday (24/10).
“We haven’t had a decision from the government whether we want to build a nuclear power plant or not,” said BRIN’s Lead Expert Nuclear Technology Developer, Suparman, in a webinar on Renewable Energy and Nuclear Readiness in Supporting Achieving Net Zero Emissions, adding that Indonesia is still in the first stages of developing nuclear power plants. According to Suparman, there are several locations in Indonesia that are suitable for the development of nuclear power plants.
“Even though we are (located) in the ring of fire, there are several suitable places. This means that we meet the requirements of Bapeten (Nuclear Energy Supervisory Agency),” he said, naming Jepara and Banten in the central and western island of Java respectively, and West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan provinces on the island of Borneo.
Suparman said, a number of locations in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) are also potential, “although there are frequent earthquakes, actually when we surveyed there were several safe places.”
Separately, the Executive Director of Energy Watch, Mamit Setiawan, assessed that although nuclear technology may be the cleanest energy and can produce cheaper electricity per kWh, Indonesia is still not ready to utilise nuclear technology in the near future.
He said PLN’s transmission and distribution needs to be ready to absorb nuclear electricity, “because if it arrives, for example, the PLN network is not ready, and black outs happen, it can be dangerous for the nuclear power plant.”
Secondly, said Setiawan, what the government needs to consider is the safety factor, which means nuclear power plants should be prepared to remain safe and not cause disasters. Thirdly, the human resources factor. Nuclear technology is full of risks, he said, and requires human resources who are truly qualified and master the technology.
Setiawan said, the fourth factor that is no less important, is nuclear waste; and the fifth is the geographical factor. He said the construction of nuclear power plants must be carried out in areas free from earthquakes and natural disturbances that have the potential to damage PLN. Lastly, about socialisation and community acceptance. Therefore, according to Setiawan, Indonesia may need to learn from countries that have used nuclear technology, such as Japan, Russia, or the US. (Hartatik)
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