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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

advocacy.

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/10/01/indonesia-running-in-circles-in-bid-to-ratify-anti-nuclear-weapons-treaty.html.

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.   https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/09/25/tug-of-war-stakeholders-clash-over-nuclear-fossil-fuel-addition-to-green-energy-bill.html

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, https://jakartaglobe.id/news/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 Beritasatu.com.

“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

Positive tests for Caesium-137 in some South Tangerang residents

Two people living in South Tangerang exposed to radioactive waste: Nuclear agency, News Desk, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   /   Sat, February 22, 2020 . The Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) has reported that two people living in South Tangerang at the Batan Indah housing complex in Banten, where radioactive materials were recently found discarded, had tested positive for exposure to Caesium-137……..https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/02/22/two-people-living-in-south-tangerang-exposed-to-radioactive-waste-nuclear-agency.html

February 24, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Indonesia | Leave a comment

Indonesian authorities investigate suspected nuclear waste dumping at housing estate

February 20, 2020 Posted by | Indonesia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby’s keen propaganda campaign in Indonesia

Nuclear tourism experience in Bandung to be launched in October   https://www.thejakartapost.com/travel/2019/09/18/nuclear-tourism-experience-in-bandung-to-be-launched-in-october.html, THE JAKARTA POST, Jakarta  /  Wed, September 18, 2019  

The National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) is set to launch a nuclear tourism experience on Oct. 30, aiming to introduce nuclear technology to the public.

“We will have an open house to present the results of our research and development team from 2015 to 2019,” said Jupiter Sitorus Pane, head of the Science and Applied Nuclear Technology Center of Batan in Bandung on Wednesday to Antara news agency.

Jupiter said travelers can visit a number of places related to Batan in Bandung, such as reactors, isotopes production lab, the reactor conversion lab and Applied Nuclear Technology Center.

“Our target market is students and those interested in nuclear sciences. As this is a nuclear facility and considered a vital object, visitors must be at least 18 years old,” he said, adding that the tour will be free of charge.

September 19, 2019 Posted by | Indonesia, marketing | Leave a comment

Strong rejection of nuclear power for Indonesia

Idea to develop nuclear energy receives strong opposition in Indonesia, The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 19, 2019  A lawmaker’s revival of an idea to build a nuclear power plant in Indonesia has triggered public debate over the pros and cons of the technology, particularly about its safety and efficiency.The proposal came from Kurtubi, a member of House of Representatives Commission VII for energy affairs, among others, who demanded the government include that type of energy generation in the 2019 to 2038 National Electricity General Plan (RUKN)……..

In response, Jonan said the government would be very cautious when considering the idea, while there were still many other energy resources in the country that had lower development costs than a nuclear power plant. “The prices of electricity from nuclear energy is less competitive,” he added. …….

Greenpeace Asia Tenggara’s climate change and energy head Tata Mustafa expressed his rejection of the idea, stressing that the country needed to focus on the development of other renewable energy resources.

“The potential of solar energy is 207 gigawatts (GW), while the potential of wind farm energy reached 66 GW,” he said as quoted by kontan.co.id, adding that he doubted the safety of nuclear energy, particularly because of the country’s position on the Ring of Fire that was frequently hit by earthquakes.

Institute for Essential Services Reform executive director Fabby Tumiwa also opposed the plan. He said he was particularly concerned about the management of radioactive waste. “The life span of a nuclear power plant is only 50 years, but radioactive waste will exist for thousands of years. Who will be responsible?” he asked. (bbn)  https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/07/18/idea-to-develop-nuclear-energy-receives-strong-opposition-in-indonesia.html

July 20, 2019 Posted by | Indonesia, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency trying hard to market nuclear power to Indonesia (never mind the earthquakes)

IAEA Director General Visits Indonesia: Highlights Close Cooperation in Using Nuclear Technology, 

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano praised the cooperation between Indonesia and the IAEA in bringing the benefits of nuclear technology to countries in Asia and Africa, during his visit to the country earlier this week. He pointed to areas such as enhancing food security, cattle cultivation, and plant breeding, where Indonesia has assisted trainees from Mozambique and Papua New Guinea.

During the visit, Director General Amano and Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Muhammad Nasir, further strengthened this cooperation, signing Practical Arrangements on enhancing technical cooperation among developing countries. The Practical Arrangements cover a three-year period (2018-2021).

“Indonesia is an advanced user of nuclear technology in many areas and shares its expertise with other countries,” he said………

Mr Amano was also briefed on the consideration being given to possible nuclear power development and areas in which IAEA support would be required.  He noted that having nuclear energy is a Member State’s internal decision and the IAEA stands ready to support efforts when a national decision is made. Elements, such as the IAEA Milestone Approach, which includes public communication, stakeholder involvement and setting up of a nuclear energy programme implementation organization, were covered.  https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-director-general-visits-indonesia-highlights-close-cooperation-in-using-nuclear-technology

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Indonesia, marketing | Leave a comment

The effect of the Agung volcano in Bali, on global temperatures

Analysis: How could the Agung volcano in Bali affect global temperatures? Carbon Brief, ZEKE HAUSFATHER 25.10.2017  While human activity has been the dominant driver of climate change over the past century, natural factors can influence short-term variations in global temperature.

Major volcanic eruptions, in particular, can have a sizable cooling impact on the climate lasting for five years or so.

The Mount Agung volcano in Bali, Indonesia has been showing signs that an eruption is likely to occur this year. Last time Agung erupted, back in 1963, it had a noticeable cooling effect on the Earth’s climate.

Here, Carbon Brief examines how volcanoes influence the climate, and suggests that a new Agung eruption would likely only result in a modest and temporary cooling of global temperatures.

Volcanoes and climate changeVolcanoes generally have a cooling influence on the Earth’s surface.Eruptions send a cloud of ash and dust high into the atmosphere. The sulphur dioxidereleased combines with water to form sulfuric acid aerosols, which reflect incoming sunlight and influence cloud formation. When eruptions are powerful enough to reach the stratosphere (18 km or more above the surface at the equator), these sulphate aerosols can stay aloft for a number of years and have a strong cooling effect on the climate.

Volcanic eruptions also release CO2 into the atmosphere, meaning they contribute to warming by strengthening the greenhouse effect. But this influence is very small, and is outweighed by the cooling impact of the dust and ash.

The location of volcanoes also matter. Major volcanic eruptions near the equator are more likely to have a big effect on global temperatures, while high-latitude eruptions (like Laki) will have their effects more limited to the one hemisphere. Sulphate aerosols from high-latitude volcanoes generally will not cross the equator, while tropical volcanoes tend to cool both hemispheres………

This projection, which is based on the historical relationship between volcanic eruptions and temperature, suggests that an Agung eruption would reduce global temperatures between 0.1C to 0.2C in period from 2018 to 2020, with temperatures mostly recovering back to where they otherwise would be by 2023.

There is no guarantee that an eruption of Agung today would be the same size as the one in 1963, however. A small volcanic eruption that doesn’t reach the stratosphere would have a relatively minor climate impact, as sulphur dioxide from the volcano would quickly fall out of the atmosphere.

On the flip side, we have records of much larger volcanic eruptions, such as Tambora in 1815 that may have cooled the globe by 0.6C or more and led to the “year without a summer”. Even in large eruptions this cooling only lasts a few years, however, as once sulphate aerosols eventually fall back to earth the climate quickly returns to normal.

This projection, which is based on the historical relationship between volcanic eruptions and temperature, suggests that an Agung eruption would reduce global temperatures between 0.1C to 0.2C in period from 2018 to 2020, with temperatures mostly recovering back to where they otherwise would be by 2023.

There is no guarantee that an eruption of Agung today would be the same size as the one in 1963, however. A small volcanic eruption that doesn’t reach the stratosphere would have a relatively minor climate impact, as sulphur dioxide from the volcano would quickly fall out of the atmosphere.

On the flip side, we have records of much larger volcanic eruptions, such as Tambora in 1815 that may have cooled the globe by 0.6C or more and led to the “year without a summer”. Even in large eruptions this cooling only lasts a few years, however, as once sulphate aerosols eventually fall back to earth the climate quickly returns to normal……..https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-could-agung-volcano-bali-affect-global-temperature

December 1, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Indonesia | Leave a comment

“Dirty radioactive bomb” planned for attack in Indonesia – using THORIUM

Indonesian militants planned ‘dirty bomb’ attack – sources, Yahoo 7   By Tom Allard and Agustinus Beo Da Costa, JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian militants planned to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb, security sources said, highlighting the rising ambitions of extremists to wreak destruction in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

But experts cast doubt on their expertise, equipment and chances of success.
The plot was foiled when police raided homes and arrested five suspects in Bandung, West Java, last week, the sources with direct knowledge of the plot said. After the raids, police spoke of a plan to explode a “chemical” bomb but provided no other details……

The three counter-terrorism sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the militants had hoped to transform low-grade radioactive Thorium 232 (Th-232) into deadly Uranium 233 (U-233).
The highly radioactive uranium would be combined with the powerful home-made explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) to create a “nuclear bomb”, according to an instruction manual used by the militants and reviewed by Reuters.
In fact, the device would be, at best, a radiological dispersal device or dirty bomb that could spray radioactive material when the conventional bomb exploded.

A spokesman for Indonesia’s national police, Inspector General Setyo Wasisto, declined to confirm or deny the plot to construct the device, but said it would have been more potent than the two bombs made from TATP that killed three police in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta in May.
“If this bomb was finished, it would have had a more destructive impact than the bomb made from ‘Mother of Satan’,” he said, using the nickname for TATP.
“It could burn anything and make it hard for people to breathe.”
Thorium-232 can be transformed into Uranium-233 but requires the Thorium to absorb a neutron, a process that needs powerful irradiation, generally from a nuclear reactor, according to three analysts contacted by Reuters and the website of the World Nuclear Association, which represents reactor vendors and nuclear engineers, among other industry stakeholders….

One senior Indonesian counter-terrorism source said the Bandung-based cell had bought a large amount of a household item and had begun to extract the Thorium. Reuters has chosen not to name the item.
“They needed three weeks. It was still only one week (into the process when police raided),” the source said…..

According to police, the suspected Bandung plotters were members of JAD and were considering targets like the presidential palace in Jakarta and police headquarters in Bandung and the capital….. (Reporting by Tom Allard and Agustinus Beo Da Costa Additional reporting by Stefanno Reinard; Editing by Ed Davies and Nick Macfie) https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36844136/exclusive-indonesian-militants-planned-dirty-bomb-attack-sources/

 

August 26, 2017 Posted by | Indonesia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, thorium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia is up against it, in trying to sell small nuclear reactors (SMRs) to Indonesia

No Indonesian market for SMRs http://thebulletin.org/no-indonesian-market-smrs10868 28 June 17, M. V. RAMANA    Ramana is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global…

Saying it “takes time” is an understatement. The country’s National Nuclear Energy Agency, or BATAN as it is known from its acronym in the Indonesian language (Badan Tenaga Nuklir Nasional), was set up in the late 1950s and has been advocating nuclear power for Indonesia ever since. In 1972, BATAN started the process of selecting specific sites for nuclear plants when—in conjunction with the ministry in charge of public works and electricity—it established the Preparatory Commission for Development of a Nuclear Power Plant. That eventually led to various sites being chosen for nuclear plant construction on the Muria Peninsula on Indonesia’s most populated island, Java. But in each case, these efforts were stopped—primarily by local opposition, but partly also because of widespread skepticism about BATAN’s claims about the seismic safety of sites on the peninsula.

BATAN then turned its attention to other locations in the country, but with little success. To date, BATAN has conducted site studies on at least 16 potential locales.

BATAN’s efforts at setting up a nuclear power plant in Indonesia have not gone unnoticed. Many reactor vendors have beaten a path to Jakarta’s doorstep, hoping to sell their wares. The list includes South Korea, France, China and, of course—given its status as the leading reactor vendor in this decade—Russia. In recent years, all these countries’ offers have focused on one specific kind of reactor that BATAN has expressed an interest in: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

Why SMRs for Indonesia? Small Modular Reactors have electrical power outputs of less than 300 megawatts. They are being heavily promoted by many countries’ nuclear establishments as having several desirable characteristics when compared to traditional large reactors—in particular, cheaper construction costs per unit, higher safety levels, lower rates of radioactive waste generation, and less likelihood that these reactors and their fuel production facilities could be used to make fissile materials (plutonium or highly enriched uranium) for nuclear weapons. There are no operating SMRs, and it remains to be seen whether any real-world reactor would be built that features any, let alone all, of these characteristics. Indeed, of the different major SMR designs under development, none simultaneously fulfills the key requirements of lower cost, higher safety, less radioactive waste, and reduced opportunity for nuclear weapons proliferation. These are the key problems confronting nuclear power today and constraining its future. It is likely that addressing one or more of these four problems will involve design choices that make some of the other problems worse.

Among the target markets for such reactors are developing countries such as Indonesia. The International Atomic Energy Agency considers SMRs as a good option to electrify “remote regions with less developed infrastructures” because the low-capacity electricity grid that is typical of such areas makes it difficult to introduce a nuclear power plant with large power capacity—say 1,000 megawatts—without destabilizing the grid itself. Indeed, one of the reasons that BATAN claims to be interested in SMRs is that there are many islands in the Indonesian archipelago that require electricity or energy but do not have a high enough level of electrical demand to support the construction of a large nuclear reactor. One of the areas highlighted by BATAN officials as particularly suitable for SMRs is the province of West Kalimantan because its “grid capacity [is]… still limited.” BATAN also suggested that an attractive aspect of SMRs is the lower cost—due in large part to the fact that a small modular reactor will generate only a fraction of the power generated by a large reactor.

Among the SMR designs that have been offered by vendors, and explored by BATAN, are high temperature gas-cooled reactors, submarine-based reactors, floating power plants, and light water reactors.

Who’s in the competition? South Korea was the first to pitch the idea of SMRs to Indonesia: In October 2001, with IAEA approval, BATAN signed an agreement with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to undertake a joint study titled “A preliminary economic feasibility assessment of nuclear desalination in Madura Island.” The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute had been developing a small modular reactor called the System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor since 1996; it had the bonus feature of incorporating additional equipment that could desalinate water in addition to generating electricity.

In the case of China, BATAN signed an agreement with the China Nuclear Engineering Group Corporation in 2016 to jointly develop high temperature gas reactors and train Indonesian professionals to run them—an agreement that resulted from Chinese officials scouting around potential reactor markets.

With France, BATAN signed an agreement with DCNS, a company that has traditionally been involved in a range of naval defense systems but more recently has been developing a submarine-based electricity generating reactor project called Flexblue. (Link in Indonesian.) The idea is to park the submarine on the ocean floor and run a cable from it to land to supply electricity.

Russia, however, has been the most determined suitor. In the mid-2000s, Rosatom proposed a small Russian floating nuclear power plant to supply electricity to Gorontalo province on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Rosatom’s floating nuclear power plants are modeled after the reactors that have been used to power a small fleet of Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers for decades. The idea of a civilian floating nuclear power plant project has been around in Russia since the 1990s, but progress has been slow and erratic. China and the United States have also explored the idea of commercial floating nuclear power plants, but the United States abandoned the idea as uneconomical after spending millions of dollars in research and development.

In October 2006, the governor of Gorontalo announced that the province already had an agreement with Russia’s then state-owned Unified Energy System of Russia to buy a floating power plant.

But despite enthusiasm for the proposal from the provincial government, the Indonesian minister of Research and Technology rejected the idea of using a floating nuclear power plant. As Natio Lasman, then-deputy chairman of Indonesia’s nuclear agency and later chair of Indonesia’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency, told the Wall Street Journal: “I don’t want Indonesia to be used as an experiment.”

Public opposition: A major problem. Many problems may afflict nuclear proposals, regardless of whether the building plans are based on SMRs or large reactors. A key challenge has been public acceptance. Because of the potential for catastrophic accidents and the production of long-lived radioactive waste, nuclear power is perceived as a risky technology, and those living near areas selected to house a nuclear plant—such as the Muria Peninsula—often push back.

And apart from local opposition, the unpopularity of nuclear power among the general population nationwide is often a factor in whether a country develops nuclear power. A poll commissioned by the International Atomic Energy Agency in October 2005 found that only 33 percent of those Indonesians questioned felt that nuclear power was safe and that more plants should be built. In comparison, 28 percent felt that nuclear power was dangerous and all plants should be closed—while 31 percent agreed with the “middle opinion” that what was already in place should be used but that no new plants should be constructed. In the case of Indonesia, of course, that middle opinion is in practice the same as the 28 percent who wanted to close all reactors, because there was (and still is) no operating nuclear power plant in the country.

In 2011, an IPSOS poll conducted after the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident in Japan found that two-thirds of the Indonesian population expressed opposition: 33 percent of Indonesians strongly oppose nuclear power while 34 percent were somewhat opposed. About two-thirds of those polled said that their opinion was not influenced by Fukushima.

BATAN, not surprisingly, feels differently. And it has conducted a series of polls that show greater levels of support. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Nuclear power continues to be controversial in Indonesia, and there is widespread public opposition. Indeed, in December 2015, when then-Energy and Mineral Resources minister Sudirman Said publicly announced that the government had concluded that “this is not the time to build up nuclear power capacity,” one of his stated reasons for avoiding nuclear power was that he did not want “to raise any controversies.”

So, when people like Luhut Pandjaitan—Indonesia’s coordinating maritime affairs minister—talk about the “need to raise public awareness,” it’s reasonable to ask what they mean. Is raising public awareness really just code for coaxing or bribing the people in some areas to allow the construction of a nuclear power plant? The history of the many attempts to site nuclear reactors in Indonesia shows quite clearly that the public is already aware of the hazards involved in nuclear power. The Indonesian public’s longstanding opposition to nuclear power, especially in areas that have been earmarked for potential construction, include concerns about the security of reactor operations, the reliability of reactor designs, radioactive waste, the potential for nuclear proliferation, Indonesia’s geographical position within the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, and the proximity of nuclear sites to seismic faults or volcanoes. Many Indonesians are also concerned about nuclear power’s high economic costs and future dependence on foreign parties for nuclear technology or fuel, and they prefer local renewable energy resources.

Other problems with SMRs. My collaborators at the Indonesian Institute of Energy Economics and at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability and I recently issued a report that detailed the many challenges that would have to be overcome before any small modular reactors are constructed in Indonesia. These challenges include a lack of support for nuclear power at the highest political levels, the absence of tested SMR designs, and the higher electricity-generation costs of SMR technology. We also identified legislative regulations that could become obstacles for specific SMR technologies such as floating power plants, and the political and regulatory problems with SMR construction plans that involve fabricating the bulk of the reactor at off-site factories.

The cost of electricity generated by SMRs is high compared to large conventional nuclear power plants, and high compared to the range of readily available alternatives in Indonesia. The rapidly declining cost of photovoltaic technology is particularly relevant. Studies testify to the large potential of solar energy in Indonesia, and the government has been adopting policies that promise to accelerate the construction of significant amounts of solar capacity.

The lower power level of SMRs also implies that more reactors would have to be built using this technology to produce the same amount of electricity as a few larger reactors—meaning that planners would have to deal with public resistance at many more sites. Public opposition has played a major role in stopping the construction of nuclear power plants so far; small modular reactors might face even more of controversy.

For small modular reactors, the potential benefits accruing from electricity generation come at a higher economic and social cost than other energy sources would require. As a result, it would seem that the construction of SMRs is unlikely, especially in large enough numbers to make a sizeable contribution to Indonesia’s electricity generation.

July 1, 2017 Posted by | Indonesia, marketing, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Small nuclear reactors not a good deal for Indonesia

Nuclear Power and Small Modular Reactors in Indonesia: Potential and Challenges, The Nautilus Institute, Bernadette K. Cogswell, Nataliawati Siahaan, Friga Siera R, M. V. Ramana, and Richard Tanter Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability April 2017 

“………CONCLUSION This report has also outlined many challenges that would have to be overcome before any SMRs are constructed in Indonesia, including a lack of support for nuclear power at the highest (and lower) political levels, public opposition to nuclear power, the absence of tested SMR designs, and the higher electricity generation costs associated with SMR technology. There are also legislative regulations that could become obstacles for specific technologies, such as floating power plants, and the model of SMR construction that involve fabrication of the bulk of the reactor in factories

The first factor, the absence of widespread and sustained political support, has been the major roadblock for the establishment of nuclear power in general. The Indonesian nuclear establishment has been trying to set up nuclear power plants since the 1970s but has so far not managed to persuade government leaders. Indeed, in December 2015, then Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said announced publicly that the government had concluded that “this is not the time to build up nuclear power capacity. We still have many alternatives and we do not need to raise any controversies”.155 Although this decision might be revised in the future, it testifies to lack of broad-based political support. Given this context, those advocating constructing SMRs in a country like Indonesia that has no nuclear power capacity face the basic conundrum: building untested nuclear technologies that might lead to higher electricity generation costs is going to be more of a political challenge than constructing nuclear reactor designs that have been operated in other countries.

The higher electricity generation cost associated with SMRs should be seen not just in comparison with the cost of generating electricity with a large NPP but also with a range of alternatives that are available in Indonesia. Of these, the declining cost of solar photovoltaic technology is particularly relevant. Studies testify to the large potential of solar energy in Indonesia and the government has been adopting policies that promise to accelerate the construction of significant amounts of solar capacity.

The smaller power level of SMRs also implies that producing the same amount of electricity using these as opposed to large reactors would require dealing with public resistance at many more sites. Because public opposition has played a major role in stopping construction of nuclear power plants so far, constructing SMRs might be even more of a challenge than large reactors; for SMRs, the potential benefits accruing from electricity generation comes at a higher economic and social cost. As a result, it would seem that the construction of SMRs is unlikely, especially in large enough numbers to make a sizeable contribution to Indonesia’s electricity generation. http://liu.arts.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/IIEE-Nautilus-SMR-Report-Final-For-Publication-April2017.pdf

May 1, 2017 Posted by | Indonesia, technology | Leave a comment