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27 December 2009
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Uranium-rich Indonesian province poised to set up nuclear power plant

Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province has uranium reserves enough to generate electricity for 150 years, national news agency Antara quoted a local development planning official as saying Saturday.

"Based on data West Kalimantan minimally has 25,000 tons of uranium reserves spread in Melawi district," Fathan A Rasyid, the head of the regional development planning board, said.

He said a nuclear power plant would be the solution to the electricity shortage problem in the region and even in all of Kalimantan.

"Recently the regional development planning board has agreed to develop a nuclear power plant to overcome electricity supply problems," he said. He said West Kalimantan would need a nuclear power plant with a minimum capacity of 1,00 watt to overcome its electricity supply shortage.

"As a result of the electricity shortage, some investors` applications to invest in the region have had to be turned down," he said. He said construction of nuclear power plants should be taken into serious consideration to overcome electricity supply problems in the future.

"Our target is to build a nuclear power plant within the next 10 to 16 years. The plan is now already in a feasibility study phase or in phase two," he said.

Earlier, West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis before had said two districts, namely Melawi and Landak, could become the locations of West Kalimantan`s future nuclear power plant.

He said it was feasible for a nuclear power plant to be set up in the region because one of its districts had uranium reserves.

West Kalimantan was also relatively free from natural disasters like earthquakes. "Now the problem is how to master or obtain the technology needed to prevent leaks and dispose of the waste," he said.

The governor said he had already submitted the proposal to build a nuclear power plant in West Kalimantan to the National Energy Council.

But he admitted it would all depend on the commitment of the central government. "Many investors actually have expressed interest in building the plant," he added.

The bulk of West Kalamantan`s need for electricity comes from Pontianak and its sorrounding areas while the the province`s peak load reaches around 123MW and its power generating capacity 148MW.


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