JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - State enterprises minister Dahlan Iskan said Indonesia must accelerate the use of nuclear energy as an alternative energy source to replace fuel oils whose reserves are limited.
"A nuclear-powered plant to be or not to be must be developed. If we wish to have a reliable and cheap source of energy nuclear technology will be the answer," he said at a national seminar on national energy policy towards self-sufficiency here on Monday.
The former president director of state-owned electricity company PT PLN said a nuclear power is a long-term alternative energy toward national energy self-sufficiency and resilience. "Fear about the danger of nuclear must be eradicated as the fact is not like that."
He said the Fukushima power plant in Japan was damaged only after it was by and earthquake that caused tsunami.Basically the Fukushima nuclear reactor had been designed as a very strong plant. "So strong that I believed, could even withstand a Boeing 747 plane that hit it. But because of an earthquake the reactor failed to stand."
The minister however said that none had been killed in connection with the destruction of the nuclear reactor. "So, actually there is nothing to worry about with regard to nuclear reactor development in the country," he said.
Dahlan said small reactors could first be built in the country as a start having say a capacity of 200 KW. With regard to funding he said funds could be derived from state-owned companies’ corporate social responsiblity schemes.
A lecturer from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Tatang H Soerawidjaja said the need for a nuclear reactor had been urgent. He said the government has set an electricity consumption target of 2,500 kWh per capit per year in 2025 and 7,000 kWh in 2050.
So, in the next 14 years the country’s electricity consumption should increase fourfolds from around 620 kWh at present, he said. The huge rise in electricity demand in a relatively short time is unlikely able to be met without nuclear power plant development."
The chief of the Indonesian Renewable Energy Community (METI), Hilmi Panigoro, meanwhile said the development of PLYN (nuclear power plants) must be made a main target in new and renewable energy development. At present, he said, at least 16 countries have already developed nuclear as an alternative energy supply source.
"Global dependency on nuclear energy is rising along with the increasing demand of electricity." He said some countries reduced the capacity of their nuclear power plants after the Fukushima incident and what happened after that was shortage rose or demand for fossil fuels spiked.