Indonesia currently has three nuclear reactors, all within Java. (AFP Photo/Christof Stache)

Russia-Indonesia Partnership to Build Future of Indonesian Nuclear Sector

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

OCTOBER 07, 2015

Jakarta. A prominent Russian representative has welcomed the opportunity to develop the peaceful use of nuclear power in Indonesia after a number of Russian companies signed on to a flagship project which is hoped to be the future of Indonesia's nuclear program.

Mikhail Galuzin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), said the nuclear powerhouse nation “hopes for a closer cooperation in the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

In June this year, Indonesia’s National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) signed a deal with Rosatom — Russia’s State Nuclear Energy Corporation  at the Atomexpo international conference and exhibition in Moscow to develop nuclear energy.

Batan now operates three research nuclear reactors, Serpong in Banten, Bandung in West Java and a third location at Yogyakarta in Central Java.

Under the deal, both parties will cooperate on both the scientific and development aspects as well as promote the use of nuclear energy in Indonesia while increasing community awareness about modern nuclear energy technologies.

In April, Rosatom announced a consortium of Russian and Indonesian companies had won a contract for a the preliminary design of a multi-purpose, high temperature, gas-cooled nuclear reactor which is expected to be the flagship for Indonesia's future nuclear program.

“We hope that if from the Indonesian side make a decision to build its first ever nuclear power plant, the Russian company Rusatom can be useful for the interest of Indonesia,” Galuzin said.

“We in Russia have the most advanced technology, services, experience in the world ... Russia provides the full cycle service cooperation,” he said, adding the Russia will also take care of the nuclear waste.

Nuclear power remains a daunting prospect to many Indonesians. Plans for developing a nuclear power plant in 2013 near Jepara, Central Java, were shelved after strong local resident resistance.

However, with ever increasing energy demands, alternatives to fossil fuels — such as nuclear — are becoming an attractive alternative for the future.

Director general of renewable energy at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Rida Mulyana, was reported as saying in April that the government plans to break ground on a nuclear power plant in 2024 or 2025.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has a significant reserve of plutonium in Bangka Belitung island and Uranium in Kalimantan island.

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