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Energy Watch argues why nuclear energy is a distant dream for Indonesia

Tempo - October 26, 2022

Riri Rahayu, Jakarta – Energy Watch executive director Mamit Setiawan on Tuesday to Tempo argues that nuclear technology – which is widely considered the cleanest and economically viable energy source per Kwh – is not ready to be applied by Indonesia in the near future.

There are a number of aspects that must be considered by the government before establishing nuclear power plant infrastructure, with the first being the transmission and distribution preparedness from state-owned electricity firm PLN in absorbing electricity from nuclear.

"Let's say in a scenario where the PLN network is not ready to face a blackout, then it can be dangerous for the nuclear power plant (PLTN)," said Mamit on October 25.

The second crucial aspect according to him is the safety aspect in terms of how ready the government is in building a nuclear power plant that is safe and will not cause potential disasters in the future. The third aspect is the detrimental human resources that would require them to master a new technology for Indonesia.

Other aspects that he believes are much more important are overcoming nuclear waste and the geographical conditions where the PLTN will be built, such facilities must be built at locations that are free from earthquakes and natural disruptions that could potentially destroy such a facility. And lastly, according to the Energy Watch executive, is public acceptance of such a facility being built.

"I think we still need a long time, especially the dissemination of this technology that can be accepted by the community," said Mamit.

However, in order to achieve net zero emission (NZE), he explained, Indonesia should start at least five more years or already conducting pre-feasibility studies at a minimum. "Construction could start in 2040, for example," he said.

Nuclear governance key toward development

BRIN Nuclear Technology Developer key expert, Suparman, said there are several places in Indonesia that are candidates to be locations for nuclear energy development.

"Even though we are in the ring of fire, there are several feasible places. This means that we meet the requirements of Bapeten (Nuclear Energy Supervisory Agency)," said Suparman in a webinar on Renewable and Nuclear Energy Readiness in Support of Achieving Net Zero Emissions, Monday, October 24.

These areas include Jepara, Banten, West Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan. In addition, a number of locations in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) have the potential as development sites.

Indonesia's nuclear site and human resources are actually ready, according to him. It's just that national nuclear development is still weak because the government does not yet have a definite policy regarding the development of nuclear power plants.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1649412/energy-watch-argues-why-nuclear-energy-is-a-distant-dream-for-indonesi