Indonesia committed to have nuclear power plant soon

21:53, May 17, 2010      

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Indonesia is committed to have a nuclear power plant soon as new source of energy, officials said here on Monday.

For the purpose, Indonesia has allocated 7 billion rupiah (about 769,633 U.S. dollars) for nuclear power plant socialization to curb fear among people.

"The government has allocated the fund in 2009. That is a clear indication that the government is ready to move to seize the opportunity," Minister for Research and Technology Suharna Suryapranata told a parliamentary hearing.

He said that his ministry is given limited authority for the project, just for preparation of the power plant construction.

However, he said that Indonesia is ready to embrace the technology as since its first preparation in 1979 there has no single case that indicates the government's incapability.

"According to our view, we are ready now and we are waiting for the Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources to implement it, " said the minister.

He admitted that resistance has emerged from various elements of people.

"But we have to know that the nuclear power plant needs a common commitment and we have to coordinate among stakeholders," he said, adding that his ministry agreed to embrace non- governmental organizations that are pro-nuclear power plant.

The minister said that the parliament should bridge the intention to related departments.

Soetan Batoegana and Halim Kalla, members of parliament, said that the legislative institution supports the intention as long as it is beneficial for human kind.

"We will urge the government to materialize the program, not just delaying it for years," said Soetan.

Kalla said that as it is time now for Indonesia not to just depend on fossil fuel for electricity.

Head of the National Atomic Agency (BATAN) Hudi Hastowo said that socialization is badly needed as people are still fear of nuclear explosion in Russia's Chernobyl.

In fact, he said, after the tragedy, there has been a nuclear safety convention, in which party countries that signed and ratified the use of the energy must agree on certain regulations that there is no secret related to the energy utilization.

"The convention says that countries must agree among others to ask each other on the safety condition of nuclear power plants that have been built," said Hudi.

Head of Nuclear Surveillance Body (BAPETEN) As Natio Lasman said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requires strict condition for a country that wants to build a nuclear power plant.

"The IAEA said that nuclear power plants must be built on the ground, not on floating surface. They must be also proven of well- operated no less than three years," he said.

He also said that in the economically point of view, the reactor must provide benefit for a country.

"As the operators would be private parties, surely they know calculation in bringing profitability," he said.

However, members of parliament said that the government must regulate it very carefully so people would not be burdened by the power cost.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:祁澍文)

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