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1 May 2010

Indonesia reschedules nuclear project launch to 2018-2020

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Indonesia is now definitively planning to have a nuclear power plant some time between 2018 and 2020, instead of in 2016 as previously scheduled, national news agency Antara quoted National Nuclear Power Agency (Batan) chief Hadi Hastowo as saying.

"It has been postponed to 2018-2020 because it is not possible to build it in 2016," Hadi said at a discussion themed "Remembering the Chernobyl Disaster 24 Years Ago" here Friday.

He said the Indonesian public should know that the country's need for electricity is to soar drastically in the future and that building a nuclear power plant must be included in the national energy development plan if future electricity shortages would be prevented.

"A nuclear power plant will not negate other alternative energy sources because it will only be a supplement to ensure the constant availability of electricity. All the other alternative energy sources such as geothermal, hydro, wind, solar and biomass will remain in the national development plan," he said.

The available reserves of the alternative energy sources, however, would not be enough to meet future needs for electricity.

For instance, Indonesia's geothermal reserves totaled 28 GW which was not enough. Hydro-power reserves were continuously diminishing, wind power could not be relied on because winds in the country were generally not strong enough, solar power required the use of solar cells which were very expensive, he said.

According to Hadi, nuclear power technology today was much more advanced than one or two decades ago and very concerned about safety. Fourth generation nuclear power plants today were also more economical and producing minimum amounts of waste.

Also, he said, since Chernobyl, the world has seen the adoption of various conventions that were providing administrative guarantees for the safety of nuclear power plants such as the Nuclear Safety Convention, the Convention on Early Warning Notification on Nuclear Accidents and the Third Party Liability Convention.

"Indonesia has ratified all the international conventions needed to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants," he said.


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