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Just another U.S. nuclear front group, marketing to Indonesia (never mind about the volcanoes)

USA, Indonesia announce partnership on SMRs

WNN, 20 March 2023

The USA and Indonesia have announced a strategic partnership to help Indonesia develop its nuclear energy programme, supporting Indonesia’s interest in deploying small modular reactor (SMR) technology to meet its energy security and climate goals.

A Memorandum of Agreement, as well as affiliated grants and contracts, was signed during the Indo-Pacific Business Dialogue in Bali, Indonesia. The agreement advances the goals of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and will strengthen Indonesia’s leadership in the ASEAN region on the deployment of advanced, safe and secure nuclear energy technologies, working toward the goal of net-zero emissions in Indonesia by 2060.

Under the agreement, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to PLN Indonesia Power to provide assistance to assess the technical and economic viability of a proposed nuclear power plant, to be located in West Kalimantan. It will include a site selection plan, power plant and interconnection system design, preliminary environmental and social impact assessment, risk assessment, cost estimate and regulatory review.

Indonesia Power selected NuScale Power to carry out the assistance in partnership with a subsidiary of Fluor Corporation and Japan’s JGC Corporation. The proposed 462 MWe facility would utilise NuScale’s SMR technology…………………………………..

In August 2019, Indonesia’s National Atomic Energy Agency (Batan) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with utility Indonesia Power to cooperate in the use of nuclear technology in the energy sector. One area of cooperation will be a feasibility study on the use of nuclear power plants.,-Indonesia-announce-partnership-on-SMRs


March 22, 2023 Posted by | Indonesia, marketing | Leave a comment

U.S. government marketing nuclear power to Indonesia

Indonesia plans to develop a nuclear power plant with a potential capacity
of 462MW in West Kalimantan with funding and technological support from the
United States government.

Infrastructure Journal 20th March 2023

March 21, 2023 Posted by | Indonesia, marketing | Leave a comment

Studies on nuclear radiation’s impact on people necessary: BRIN 4 Nov 22, Jakarta (ANTARA) – Environmental and health studies on the impact of radiation exposure on people living in areas of high natural radiation, such as Mamuju, West Sulawesi, are necessary, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has said.

A researcher from BRIN’s Research Center for Metrology Safety Technology and Nuclear Quality, Eka Djatnika Nugraha, said that in some places in Indonesia, such as Mamuju, people have been exposed to natural radiation that is several times higher than the global average at around 2.4 millisieverts per year.

“This situation may pose a health risk to the public due to chronic external and internal exposure,” Nugraha said in a statement received on Friday.

Mamuju is an area of high natural background radiation due to the high concentration of uranium and thorium in the rocks and soil, he observed.

Thus, studies on the health of people living in such areas could serve as a potential source of information about the effects of chronic low-dose exposure, he added.

In order to obtain scientific evidence on the effects of chronic low-dose radiation exposure on health, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive environmental assessment of the exposure situation in areas of high natural radiation, he elaborated.

Meanwhile, head of BRIN’s Nuclear Energy Research Organization, Rohadi Awaludin, said that it is important to know and understand the safety and protection measures against nuclear radiation technology, especially for everyone involved or in contact with it.

“Nuclear radiation technology, including ionization, has been used and applied to various aspects, including industry and health, food, and others. This technology is the answer to the problems we have, but there are also risks that (one) must be (aware of) from this technology,” he added. 

November 3, 2022 Posted by | Indonesia, radiation, Uranium | Leave a comment

France’s Foreign Minister in Indonesia, raises concerns about AUKUS, nuclear submarines, and risks of weapons proliferation.

the theme of ‘betrayal’ in terms of both being ‘cheated’ out of a deal and being deceived by NATO allies and, in Australia’s case, a historical ally.

AUKUS was about ‘pressing a sense of confrontation with China’

if tomorrow Australia has some nuclear-powered submarines, why not, some other countries could ask for similar technology, it could be Indonesia, why not?’

Australia needs an entente cordiale with Indonesia over nuclear propulsion and non-proliferation, The Strategist, 29 Nov 2021, |David Engel  However relaxed and comfortable Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto might be about Australia’s plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs), the visit to Jakarta of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has probably validated the very different view of Le Drian’s counterpart, Retno Marsudi.

…………………………………………….  the most striking moment of the visit came during Le Drian’s address to Indonesia’s leading international affairs think tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). While his speech focused on issues such as multilateralism and the EU’s position on the Indo-Pacific, his response to a question on ‘minilateralism’—specifically, AUKUS and the Quad—took on a very different tone.

Ignoring the Quad, he levelled his remarks at AUKUS, stressing four points. The first two reiterated the theme of ‘betrayal’ in terms of both being ‘cheated’ out of a deal and being deceived by NATO allies and, in Australia’s case, a historical ally. He talked about American efforts to restore trust through various US commitments to France. He didn’t mention Australia in this context.

More significantly, his third point was that AUKUS was about ‘pressing a sense of confrontation with China’ (as the simultaneous translation put it). He said that, while France was not oblivious to China’s military threats and risks, he believed that the best way to respond to these threats was to ‘develop an alternative model rather than to first of all oppose’.

Perhaps his most significant point for Australian interests was his fourth, which went to the transfer of nuclear technology for submarine propulsion. He pointed out that until now no nuclear-weapon state had done this. But ‘if tomorrow Australia has some nuclear-powered submarines, why not, some other countries could ask for similar technology, it could be Indonesia, why not?’ He continued that, even though this technology was not covered by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the risk the arrangement posed of starting a trend was nonetheless of concern.

Irrespective of Le Drian’s intentions in answering the question in this manner—and it’s noteworthy that he didn’t cover AUKUS in his formal address—he would surely have known that his words would resonate powerfully with his audience, both at CSIS and more generally among Indonesia’s foreign policy establishment. While his depiction of Australia as duplicitous was evidently personal and heartfelt, it would also have struck a chord with those Indonesians who have characterised Canberra the same way over such issues as East Timor, Papua and spying allegations, irrespective of how justified that judgement might be.

Le Drian’s last point went directly to concerns about nuclear proliferation—issues that Indonesia highlighted in its official statement on AUKUS and the planned submarines. It corresponds closely ‘in spirit’ with subsequent official commentary to the effect that Indonesia was considering advocating a change to the NPT aimed at preventing non-nuclear-weapon states from acquiring SSNs………

 whoever governs in Canberra now and into the future should at least make a priority of assuaging Jakarta’s worries on this subject, however overstated and unbalanced they are. While Indonesia’s prospects of changing the NPT and precluding Australia from having SSNs look remote at best—not least because several of its ASEAN colleagues do not share its views of Australia’s ambitions—the sooner the two countries can put this latest irritant to rest the better.

In the circumstances, the onus for doing so must primarily rest with Canberra………

November 30, 2021 Posted by | Indonesia, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Indonesia wants non-peaceful nuclear submarines to be subject to nuclear non-proliferation treaty (surprise, surprise, Australia doesn’t agree)

Caution over nuclear treaty covering subs, Canberra Times, Dominic Giannini, 29 Oct 21,

Caution over nuclear treaty covering subs, Canberra Times, Dominic Giannini, 29 Oct 21,

Australian officials say they don’t believe there is merit in expanding the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to nuclear-powered submarines.

Indonesian officials have said they would seek a “fourth pillar” to include the non-peaceful usage of nuclear technology, closing a “loophole” exposed by Australia’s nuclear-submarine deal with the US and UK.

They say other countries could seek to follow Australia, which would be the first non-nuclear weapons state to acquire nuclear submarines.

Foreign affairs department officials rejected the need to expand the treaty, saying the acquisition of nuclear-propelled submarines was in accordance with Australia’s non-proliferation requirements……

The Indonesians raised concerns about the potential for an arms race in the region after Australia announced its plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines through the AUKUS partnership……..

October 30, 2021 Posted by | Indonesia, politics international | Leave a comment

Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy: How they built the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy: How they built the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant,, KELVIN S. RODOLFO 21 July 21, There is not enough space to list the multitude of construction errors inspector William Albert found at the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

The following is the tenth in a series of excerpts from Kelvin Rodolfo’s ongoing book project Tilting at the Monster of Morong: Forays Against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and Global Nuclear Energy.Some history   A thoughtful congressman, Roilo Golez, once cautioned that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant’s (BNPP) risks were magnified by a “national lack of a culture of safety that is observed in Japan, the United States, and Western Europe.” The BNPP has been accursed with that lack from the very beginning, and remains so today………….

July 22, 2021 Posted by | Indonesia, safety | Leave a comment

Euphoria about nuclear costs, especially about decommissioning – Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) warns Indonesia.

IEEFA: Nuclear power euphoria in Indonesia is all smoke and mirrors with no current technical, financial or market viability,

2 June 21,

Renewables should be the focus of Indonesia’s net-zero pledge.   (IEEFA Indonesia) In growing energy markets like Indonesia, decision makers are facing a barrage of pro-nuclear media coverage as the nuclear industry floods the market with panels and webinars focused on the potential of nuclear power.

new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) highlights that while nuclear is promising as a baseload substitute for coal power, it currently has no technical, financial, or market viability in the Indonesian context. Author of IEEFA’s report Elrika Hamdi says that Indonesian nuclear power supporters often promise that nuclear will be an affordable, safe and sustainable solution for the problem of over-reliance on fossil fuel.

Yet, 70 years after the first nuclear power developments were announced, the technology is quickly losing market share as global power markets pivot toward more cost-competitive renewables and storage solutions.

“Despite the steady erosion of nuclear power’s competitive potential, key Southeast Asian energy ministries continue to be lobbied by nuclear advocates. Many of these lobbyists are international backers of new small modular reactor (SMR) technologies, who are actively engaging with governments and utilities around the region,” says Hamdi.

As old generation large-scale nuclear units face decommissioning, there is little consensus about how long it will take for newer small-scale nuclear technologies to be economically viable or how long-standing safety and waste disposal risks will be addressed.

“Determining the suitability of nuclear for the Indonesian power market will be a challenging task that will require honest and deep engagement by senior policymakers to ensure there is a high degree of accountability as Indonesians need to know the real cost of having nuclear in the power system as well as how the government will handle the problem of nuclear waste.”

Hamdi says that the short-list of nuclear power issues includes technology reliability, safety and safeguards, the geographic conditions of Southeast Asia, the prospects for decommissioning, waste treatment and permanent disposal, fuel availability, affordability, and the risk of persistent cost overruns and frequently overlooked shut-down costs.

Research has shown that an estimated 97% (175 out of 180 projects examined) of nuclear power projects exceed their initial budgets. The average cost overrun for a nuclear power plant was US$1.3 billion per project with construction delays adding 64% more time than initially projected.

Nuclear waste disposal costs also complicate the cost estimation process—typically raising project costs as political risk factors crystallize. The inability of leading nuclear nations to find safe and affordable solutions for permanent high-level nuclear waste disposal leaves expensive back-end cost issues on the table.

The economics of nuclear power in Indonesia is also blurred by the fact that under existing regulations, nuclear accident liabilities for nuclear owners/operators are capped at a maximum of IDR 4 trillion (US$276 million) for power plants with a capacity of more than 2000MWe. It is cut in half as the capacity decreases. This means smaller nuclear reactors would be liable for only a fraction of potential accident costs.

“These open-ended cost issues make it hard to evaluate claims about the market viability of nuclear power in Indonesia’s cost-sensitive market. This is particularly true when most established nuclear nations are pivoting away from commitments to new nuclear power facilities as more flexible renewable plus storage options reshape power sector economics,” says Hamdi.

“If a decision is reached to move ahead with pilot stage nuclear projects, policymakers and the government will need to do a lot of policy work including the technical evaluation, the regulatory preparation and the financial support, including preparation of the currently non-existent third-party liability insurance framework.

“This will place a serious burden on a government already taxed by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to revitalize the financially constrained PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), Indonesia’s national power company.”

PLN also recently pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060. However, the plan released shows nuclear only entering the energy mix in 2040. This demonstrates that PLN is realistic about the technical, financial, and market challenges that need to be overcome if nuclear power is to successfully integrate into Indonesia’s future energy mix.

Hamdi says that until these issues have been acknowledged and fully addressed, the safe path for Indonesia, for now, would be to pause and set realistic goals for its power development strategy.

This includes taking advantage of Indonesia’s abundance of renewable energy resources and market viability.

“Currently only 2.5% of Indonesia’s 400GW renewable energy potential has been utilized.  That means that new technology options such as nuclear must compete with the deflationary cost curve in evidence with increasingly low-cost and low-risk renewable power solutions.

“New innovations to support grid flexibility such as demand response and storage are providing a cost-effective alternative to baseload-heavy planning disciplines. This trend raises questions about how small-scale nuclear reactors will fit into a more diverse power market where more cost-competitive renewable options could under-cut untested technologies that are years away from realizing economies of scale.

“The smaller, easily dispatchable, and walk-away safe promise of the new Gen-IV SMR technology offer is promising, IF and when the technology reaches commercial stage. But until such technology is proven to be technically and financially feasible, Indonesia’s safest option is to pause and set a more realistic net-zero scenario with resources and technologies that are already readily available with less cost, less risk, and less future liabilities.”

Read the report: Tackling Indonesia’s Nuclear Power Euphoria

June 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, Indonesia | Leave a comment

Indonesia’s nuclear ambitions could prove disastrous for the Southeast Asian region

More dangerously, Indonesia’s nuclear stakeholders have traditionally run into trouble selling the idea of nuclear energy to their constituents given widespread fear over Indonesia being prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity given its unique position within the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’.

January 7, 2021 Posted by | Indonesia, politics | Leave a comment

In Indonesia – small nuclear reactors as a prelude to nuclear weapons?

Indonesia’s Nuclear Dream, Revived?  Does the Joko Widodo government have nuclear aspirations? The Diplomat, By Sung-Mi Kim, December 31, 2020   Is Indonesia looking to go nuclear under the Joko Widodo government? In February 2020, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister of maritime affairs and former chief of staff to President Widodo, publicly complained that powerful countries like the United States do not consider Indonesia a serious international player because of its lack of nuclear weapons, seizing some local news headlines. The political heavyweight, a retired four-star army general, is behind a recent bout of interest in cutting-edge nuclear reactor technologies to capitalize on the country’s abundant mineral resources. …..
………the Defense Ministry signed an agreement with U.S.-based nuclear company ThorCon International in July 2020 to collaborate on the research and development of a small thorium molten salt reactor. Initially, ThorCon had made an ambitious proposal in March 2019 to invest $1.2 billion to develop a larger, 500 megawatt floating nuclear power plant in Indonesia by 2027. To this end, ThorCon has been engaging with key state-owned enterprises such as shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia, electricity provider PT PLN, and tin miner PT Timah through a series of MOUs and high-level engagements.  ………

January 2, 2021 Posted by | Indonesia, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Call to Indonesia to ratify UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

“Indonesia running in circles in bid to ratify anti-nuclear weapons treaty”.  Dian Septiari The Jakarta Post Jakarta   /   Fri, October 2, 2020

Indonesia is still dragging its feet in the ratification of an international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons that it signed more than three years ago, even as its neighbors have one by one made good on their commitments. Malaysia was the latest to submit its instrument of ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on Wednesday, making it the 46th country to pass the treaty into law. Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the country’s ratification brought the international community one step closer to amassing the 50 national endorsements needed to bring the treaty into force, Bernama reports.

Adopted on July 7, 2017, the treaty prohibits all activities related to nuclear weapons, including their development, testing, manufacturing, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, use and stationing. In Southeast Asia, Thailand was the first nation to sign and ratify the treaty, only a few months after it was adopted. Vietnam ratified it the following year, followed by Laos in 2019. Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said Indonesia was one of the first 50 countries to sign the treaty in 2017, but the ratification itself was still ongoing. “Of course, ratification cannot be done instantly, because it involves many stakeholders and progress is currently a bit constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi is expected to participate virtually at the High-Level Meeting on Friday to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, which fell on Sept. 26. Muhadi Sugiono, a campaigner for the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), expressed regret that the ratification of the nuclear prohibition treaty had not been made a priority issue in Indonesia’s foreign policy.

………. As the de facto leader of ASEAN, Indonesia is expected to shore up resources against global nuclear proliferation, which the bloc collectively agrees to oppose through the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) treaty. As a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and a coordinator of its working group on disarmament and nonproliferation since 1994, Indonesia was among cosponsors of the 2017 United Nations General Assembly resolution to enforce the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Various observers have since called on Indonesia to make good on its


October 3, 2020 Posted by | Indonesia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Indonesia: strong objections to nuclear and “new” fossil fuel technologies being called ”green” energy

Tug of war: Stakeholders clash over nuclear, fossil fuel addition to green energy bill  Norman Harsono, The Jakarta Post Jakarta   /   Fri, September 25, 2020  Green energy businesses and watchdogs are up in arms over the House of Representatives’ decision to add nuclear and “new” fossil fuel technologies into a landmark green energy bill. Industry players have issued statements and held public hearings with lawmakers over the past two weeks to protest such an addition in the long-awaited New and Renewables Energy (EBT) bill, which promises legal certainty and incentives for listed industries. Nuclear energy, liquefied coal and coal gas – the latter product being pioneered by state-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam – are all categorized as “new” but not “renewable” in the draft bill, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post.

Focus this bill on renewables,” said Halim Kalla, deputy chairman for renewables with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), at a hearing in Jakarta on Monday with the House Commission VII overseeing energy.
Add the new energy to their respective laws [not in the bill],” Surya Darma, chairman of the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society (METI), said to lawmakers on Sept 17. “The type of energy that really does not have its own law is renewables.” METI, an umbrella organization for all local renewable energy associations, referred to the 2001 Oil and Gas law, 1997 Nuclear Energy Law and 2020 Mining Law, which covers coal.
Kadin, METI and a slew of energy watchdogs expect the bill — deliberations on which began in 2017 — to focus on spurring renewable energy use in Indonesia, a country lagging well behind its green energy commitments. Regulations stipulate that Indonesia should have reached a 17.5 percent renewable energy mix by 2019, yet the country only hit 12.36 percent that year. “This bill has been held back for three years,” analyst Jannata Giwangkara of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) said on Wednesday. “It will not immediately solve the issue but it needs to be supported by derivative regulations.” WWF Indonesia climate and energy manager Indra Sari Wardhani added: “The renewables industry is still very nascent. Don’t give it more challenges and competition.”
The business and watchdogs’ pleas responded to the fact that nuclear power plants and new energy technologies have made their way into the draft bill under Article 6 and Article 7, according to the copy.  The latter article outlines the role of the government, private sector, state-owned enterprises (SOE) and a “regulatory agency” in developing nuclear and new energy facilities…….
Indonesia has three small nuclear power plants for research but no commercial-scale plant, the construction of which is an endeavor being pursued by United States-based Thorcon.

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Indonesia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Thorium nuclear plan with USA firm – a dubious deal for Indonesia

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Indonesia, thorium | Leave a comment

Nuclear Agency employee accused of illegally storing radioactive waste at his home

Nuclear Agency Employee Named Suspect for Storing Radioactive Waste,, BY :GARDI GAZARIN, MARCH 14, 2020

Jakarta. An employee of the National Nuclear Energy Agency, or Batan, was named suspect for illegally storing radioactive waste at his home in Batan Indah housing complex in South Tangerang, Banten, police have said.

The news came a month after nuclear authorities launched decontamination operation at the housing complex, followed by criminal investigation by the National Police.

The cleanup, that took weeks to complete, was called after the Batan and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) detected radiation in the area. Around 100 drums of soil and grass containing radioactive substance have been removed from the area.

The suspect, identified by initials S.M., is accused of storing radioactive substance called Cesium-137 and dumping toxic waste at the housing complex, National Police’s special crimes director Brig. Gen. Agung Budijono said on Friday.

“We named S.M. as suspect after we conducted the crime scene investigation,” Agung told Jakarta Globe’s sister publication

“At least 26 witnesses, including Batan and Bapeten officials, have been questioned by the police and it was learned that S.M. has no license for storing and processing radioactive waste,” he said.

The suspect is alleged to have run illegal decontamination services for money at his home. He is charged under the 1997 law on nuclear energy, which carries a sentence of up to two years’ imprisonment.

His position at Batan was not disclosed.

A joint investigation involving Batan, Bapeten and police was formed last month after radiation was detected and nine resident had to undergo medical examination for fear of exposure to Cesium-137, which may pose serious risks to human health including cancer and death.

Nuclear agencies ban companies who hold license to use Cesium-137 from storing or managing radioactive waste themselves. They must send it to Batan’s Center for Radioactive Waste Technology in South Tangerang.

The Batan facility is located around 45 kilometers from the housing complex.

March 16, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Indonesia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Indonesia warned on dangers of nuclear power, advantages of renewable energy

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Indonesia, safety | Leave a comment

Illegal radioactive substances found in South Tangerang house, Jakarta

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Indonesia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment