Indonesia Vows No Nuclear Power Until 2050

Steam rises from the cooling towers of the Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power station at Nogent-Sur-Seine, France. (Reuters Photo/Charles Platiau)

By : Rangga Prakoso | on 9:35 PM December 12, 2015
Category : Business, Economy, Featured

Banda Aceh. Indonesia will not resort to nuclear energy to meet its target of 136.7 gigawatt of power capacity by 2025 and 430 gigawatt by 2050, a minister said on Saturday.

The move means a previous $8-billion plan to operate four nuclear plants with a total capacity of 6 gigawatt by 2025 will be canceled.

"We have arrived at the conclusion 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," Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said said on Saturday in Banda Aceh.

The minister spoke after the National Energy Council, a presidential advisory body, completed its latest National Energy Plan, which is to be signed by President Joko Widodo to become a presidential regulation.

The plan, last revised in 2006, lays down the ground rules and guidelines for energy development in Indonesia, as well as the country's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan from 2006 still left room for nuclear energy, but the latest guidelines say Indonesia should increase the use of renewable energy sources to 23 percent of its total primary energy -- from the current target of 5 percent -- by 2025.

Energy from coal is slashed to 30 percent from 33 percent previously, but Indonesia will rely more on oil, which is set to account for 25 percent of energy in the next decade, from the previous target of 20 percent.

Natural gas will contribute the remaining 22 percent to reach the 2025 target, Sudirman said, without providing details on the energy mix target for 2050.

The minister added that Indonesia will continue to follow developments in the field of nuclear technology and that it would remain a last-resort option for possible use beyond 2050.

While having experimented with nuclear power since the 1950s, Indonesia currently only operates three small-scale reactors: a 100-kilowatt reactor in Yogyakarta, a 250-kW reactor in Bandung and a 30-MW reactor in Serpong, in Banten.

A previous proposal to build larger-scale plants on Central Java's Muria peninsula and in Bangka-Belitung met with resistance from local residents who feared leaks on the scale of the Fukushima disaster in equally earthquake-prone Japan.

Another place that was under consideration to host a nuclear power plant was Kalimantan, where there are no volcanoes and the relatively large distance from tectonic fault lines means the chance of devastating earthquakes is limited.

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