Yukiya Amano (left), director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, during his meeting with deputy foreign minister A.M. Fachir in Jakarta on Monday (05/02). (JG Photo/Sheany)

Indonesia Still in Early Stages of Nuclear Power Development, ‘No Need to Rush,’ IAEA Says


FEBRUARY 05, 2018

Jakarta. Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, said on Monday (05/02) that Indonesia is still in the early stages of its nuclear power development and should not rush to use nuclear energy.

Speaking to reporters in Jakarta, Amano said that countries planning to use nuclear power to meet energy demands must take a step-by-step approach.

"You don’t need to rush: consider various elements, and if you so wish, you can decide and then follow the steps," Amano said.

He also stressed that the IAEA does not intervene on the decision-making of any countries, but will provide assistance once a decision is made.

"If Indonesia decides to use nuclear power, we can help [so that it’s used] safely, securely and sustainably," Amano stressed.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo seeks to add 35 gigawatts of power to the country’s grid and increase the renewable portion of Indonesia’s energy mix to 23 percent by 2025.

As part of this effort, the government has ceased issuing permits for new coal-fired power stations to meet the renewable energy target. Despite this, meeting Indonesia’s growing energy demand may require nuclear power.

The government says that nuclear is its last option. However, in June 2016, Jokowi urged lawmakers to come up with a national roadmap to establish the development of nuclear power, including the construction of experimental power reactors and international cooperation agreements.

Amano said that using nuclear power has its own advantages, including a low emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a major contributor to global warming.

Therefore, the use of nuclear energy may also help Indonesia meet its target of reducing 29 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as conveyed by Jokowi at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in 2015.

Cooperation With IAEA

As part of Amano’s visit to Indonesia, IAEA will also sign a bilateral cooperation agreement with the government, which will focus on improving the lives of ordinary citizens.

On Monday, Amano held a meeting with deputy foreign minister A.M. Fachir to discuss future projects, including in the agricultural sector.

"In the future we are developing cooperation between Unido, FAO, IAEA and Indonesia," Amano said, referring to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.