Indonesian experts prefer renewable source to nuclear power plant

20:06, February 11, 2010      

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Due to the high risk, incapability to handle the nuclear waste and high cost to run nuclear power plants, the Indonesian government is advised to opt power plants fueled by renewable resources to cope with growing need of electricity across the country, the result of a discussion said here on Thursday.

Speaking in a session discussing the necessity to build nuclear power plant in the country, Indonesian nuclear expert and representatives of non-government organizations pointed out that Indonesia is not capable to run such a power plant in term of technology and financing.

"First of all, the government must consider the nuclear waste management that resulted in plutonium, a material that can be misused to create powerful bomb. Indonesia apparently doesn't have the technology to do so," Dr Iwan Kurniawan, a nuclear expert and former official of national atomic energy agency (BATAN), said in the discussion.

On the other hand, in international issue level, Indonesia would be hardly able to obtain permit to run nuclear enrichment efforts as part of effort to manage the nuclear waste.

Besides the waste management handling, the fund to initiate nuclear power plant projects was another issue. "At least it would take 40 trillion rupiah (about 4.2 billion U.S. dollars) to finance the construction of a single nuclear reactor," Dr. Iwan said.

Adding more problems that could be faced by Indonesia should the government goes ahead with the plan to build nuclear power plant, Dr. Iwan said that Uranium procurement would be an essential issue since the material must be imported from foreign countries.

Meanwhile, Arif Fiyanto, an official of natural conservancy campaigner organization, Greenpeace, urged the government to optimize the abundance availability of coal and gas to run its power plants to comply with the country's electricity need growth that reaches 6.8 percent per year.

"Instead of using coal and gas to fuel power plants, the government intensively exported those materials to foreign countries," Arif said in the discussion.

He said that Indonesia only takes less than 5 percent of renewable resources to fuel its power plants.

Earlier reports said that the Indonesian government has set a site in Java's northern coastal town of Jepara, Central Java to construct a nuclear power plant which is expected to commence this year, ready to serve in 2016.

Source: Xinhua
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