Nuclear power in Indonesia

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Nuclear power in Indonesia is located in Indonesia
Triga Mark II
Triga Mark II
Nuclear reactors in Indonesia (view)
Red pog.svg Research Reactors
Green pog.svg Possible locations for a power plant

The program for nuclear power in Indonesia includes plans to build nuclear reactors in the country for peaceful purposes. The national legislative organ for nuclear energy, Badan Pengawas Tenaga Nuklir (BAPETEN), was founded in 1998. The national agency for atomic energy is BATAN.[1]


In 1954, research on atomic energy began in Indonesia. Apart from producing electricity, nuclear technology is also used for medical and agricultural purposes and for food safety. Plans for an atomic program were scaled back in 1997 due to the discovery of the Natuna gas field, but have since revived since 2005.[2]

According to Presidential Decree Five in 2006, Indonesia should have four nuclear-power plants built by 2025. Their total capacity will be at least 4,000 MW of electricity, about 1.96 percent of projected electricity demand in 2025 (200,000 to 350,000 MW).[3] Indonesia has stated that the program will be developed in accordance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),[citation needed] and Mohammed ElBaradei was invited to visit the country in December 2006. Protests against plans for nuclear power were held in June 2007 in central Java,[2] and increased in mid-2007.[4]

In December 2013 it was reported that Indonesia was planning to begin constructing a reactor in 2015.[5] In February 2014 the Indonesian Government confirmed that it was planning to construct a 30MW reactor in the near future.[6] However, as of December 2015, 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.[7]

In August 2016, CNEC and BATAN agreed to jointly develop a HTGR in Indonesia.[8]

Indonesia and International Nuclear co-operation[edit]

Indonesia is a member of the IAEA, and a signatory to the NPT.

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty[edit]

On December 6, 2011 the Indonesian Parliament ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Indonesia agreed not to conduct nuclear-weapons testing,[9][10] but nuclear power plants are unaffected.

Cooperation with other countries[edit]

In 2006 Indonesia signed treaties for nuclear cooperation with a number of countries, including South Korea, Russia, Australia and the United States. Australia has indicated its willingness to supply Indonesia with uranium for peaceful purposes. A well-publicized agreement with a Russian company to build a floating nuclear reactor in Gorontalo ran aground; Indonesia has since made it clear that it wants a higher-capacity nuclear power plant, and will construct a land-based plant. In mid-2014, BATAN and Russia's state-owned Rosatom have signed an agreement for developing the (30MW) Indonesia's first nuclear power plant.[11]

IAEA appraisal[edit]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) considers Indonesia ready to develop nuclear energy in a statement issued in November 2009. Its appraisal considered four readiness aspects: human resources, stakeholders, industry and regulations. The Indonesian Nuclear Board (BATAN) has carried out research since the 1980s.[12]

National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN)[edit]

BATAN is Indonesia's National Nuclear Energy Agency; it is an Executive Agency based in Indonesia as referred to in Indonesia Law Number 10 of Year 1997 on Nuclear Power, also in Indonesia Presidential Regulation No. 46. In 2013 BATAN is referred to as Non-Ministerial Government Institution responsible to the President via the Ministry of Research-Technology and Higher Education. BATAN has the task of carrying out Indonesian governmental duties in the field of research, development and utilization of nuclear science and technology in accordance to the provisions of the legislation.

BATAN exported a small amount of molybdenum-99 fission material (Mo99) to Malaysia, the Philippines and Bangladesh (with a total value of Rp 50 billion ($5.5 million) in 2011. Due to a drop in world radioisotope production and increased demand from China and Japan, BATAN will invest Rp 100 billion ($11.1 million) to increase its production capacity to 900 Ci per week (from its present 40 Ci). Full capacity could be realized in 2013, but large-scale exports are possible by late 2012.[13]

Reactor locations[edit]

For research purposes, the following experimental nuclear reactors have already been built in Indonesia:

  1. Kartini nuclear research reactor in Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
  2. MPR RSG-GA Siwabessy nuclear research reactor in Serpong, Banten
  3. Triga Mark III nuclear research reactor in Bandung, West Java

According to an observer, Indonesia is capable of building a nuclear reactor in every province due to ample materials and geological support. As a tin-mining area, monazite exists throughout Bangka and Belitung island. Nearly 183 tons of monazite sediment was found in Mount Muntai, sufficient for nuclear power plants which will be built in West and South Bangka.[14][full citation needed]

BATAN continues searching for uranium sources and suitable sites for nuclear power plants. Bangka Belitung is geologically stable and near the country's greatest electricity-consuming regions: Java and Sumatra. Local residents are more receptive to hosting a nuclear power plant, compared with other locations. Although local residents were opposed, BATAN was still considering the previously-studied locations of Mount Muria, Jepara, Central Java and Serang, Banten.[15]

In July 2011, the Bangka Belitung governor requested the government to continue its plans for nuclear power plants in the Muntok and Permis areas between 2025 and 2030. The two plants will produce two gigawatts of electricity at a cost of Rp 70 trillion ($8.2 billion), producing 40 percent of electricity needs in Sumatra, Java and Bali.[16]

Several locations have been proposed for nuclear reactors to generate electricity:

  1. Cape Muria, Kudus (Central Java)
  2. Gorontalo, in northernSulawesi
  3. Bangka Belitung province (two plants with a total capacity of 18 GW)[17]
  4. Kalimantan[18][full citation needed]

Concerning the Fukushima accident, an Indonesian geodesics lecturer stated that while most of Japan was earthquake-prone, Indonesia has many quake-free areas in Kalimantan, Bangka-Belitung, northern Java (a populous area) and Irian.[19]


A physics lecturer from Airlangga University has stated that the need for electricity continues to increase, while fossil-fuel reserves are being depleted; Indonesia is ready and able to develop a nuclear-power plant. Nuclear experts have conducted nuclear research since the 1970s.[20] The Indonesian Nuclear Energy Regulation Agency BAPETEN has confirmed that seven nuclear supervisors were on IAEA missions in several countries (including one in Tokyo, Japan), and Indonesia is ready to operate nuclear power plants as soon as those facilities are built.[21]

Despite the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Indonesia is unlikely to halt its plan to build its first nuclear-power plant due to an electricity crisis. A nuclear-energy development head at Indonesia's National Nuclear Energy Agency said that concerns about a disaster such as Japan's were misplaced; plants in Indonesia would use more advanced technology than the four-decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant in Japan.[22] Modern plants are designed to operate in the circumstances of total power failure like that experienced at Fukushima, relying on passive safety systems that do not require electricity to function.

Natural resources[edit]

Indonesia has at least two uranium mines: the Remaja-Hitam and Rirang-Tanah Merah mines, located in western Kalimantan (Borneo). If these prove insufficient, the country may import uranium.

National Nuclear Energy Agency predicted that Indonesia has 70,000 tonnes of uranium reserves (from hypothetic category to definite category) and 170,000 tonnes thorium reserves (all in hypothetic category). Mostly Uranium found in West Kalimantan and the rest in Papua, Bangka Belitung dan West Sulawesi, while Thorium found mostly in Bangka Belitung and the rest in West Kalimantan. In Mamuju Regency, West Sulawesi, Uranium is detected about 100–1.500 ppm (part per million) and Thorium about 400–1.800 ppm. Singkep district, Mamuju Regency has the highest Gamma Radiation in Indonesia.[23]

To commercialize the uranium and other radioactive materials, first parliament should amended the Law No. 10/1997 on Nuclear Energy which does not allow domestic or foreign investors to exploit radioactive resources for commercial purposes ( just for research purposes).[24]


Indonesia's nuclear plans have met with criticism from Greenpeace, other groups and individuals. In June 2007 nearly 4,200 protesters rallied in Central Java, calling on the government to abandon plans to build a nuclear power plant in their area. Specific concerns included the dangers posed by nuclear waste and the location of the country on the Pacific Ring of Fire, with geological activity (such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) hazardous to nuclear reactors.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BAPETEN—Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (introduction)". Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c ABC News. Thousands protest against Indonesian nuclear plant. June 12, 2007.
  3. ^ "Indonesia planning to have four nuke power plants by 2025". October 23, 2011. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  4. ^ "CNIC(Citizens' Nuclear Information Center)". 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  5. ^ New Build (2013-12-19). "Construction of Indonesia nuclear power plant may begin in 2015 | Nuclear Energy Insider". Archived from the original on 2014-12-05. Retrieved 2015-04-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Indonesia Vows No Nuclear Power Until 2050 | Jakarta Globe". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Australia Welcomes Indonesia's Decision to Ratify CTBT". December 8, 2011. Archived from the original on 2016-01-18. Retrieved 2015-04-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ "Indonesia Ratifies Global Ban on Nuclear Tests". December 6, 2011. Archived from the original on 2016-01-18. Retrieved 2015-04-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ Margareth S. Aritonang (September 4, 2014). "BATAN seeks partnership with Russia's Rosatom". Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  12. ^ "IAEA considers Indonesia ready to develop nuclear energy". Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  13. ^ "Batan teknologi to tap world radioisotope market". March 27, 2012.
  14. ^ "Monazite stock in Babel sufficient to build nuclear power plant". 2014-11-18. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  15. ^ "Batan to survey nuclear power plant sites". 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  16. ^ "Nuclear plants to be built in Bangka Belitung". 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  17. ^ Terzis, Gillian (April 12, 2011). "Fukushima crisis fails to dampen Indonesia's nuclear ambitions". The Guardian. London.
  18. ^ "Russia offers RI help on nuclear power". 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  19. ^ "RI Soil Too Unstable For Nuke Power". Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  20. ^ Burhani, Ruslan (2011-03-26). "RI ready for nuclear technology: Observer". ANTARA News. Retrieved 2011-03-28. The problem is, Indonesia`s need for electricity is continuing to go up, while fossil fuel reserves are to be depleted soon. In fact, the oil price is currently soaring, [said] Khusnun Ain, a lecturer at the Physics Department of the Science and Mathematics Faculty of Airlangga University. ... In view of the Indonesian capability for nuclear technology, he said Indonesian nuclear experts are ready and prepared, yet they have successfully conducted some nuclear research safely.
  21. ^ "Indonesia unlikely to halt its nuclear plan". 2015-03-26. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  22. ^ "Indonesia Still Intent on Building Nuclear Power Plants". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  23. ^ B Kunto Wibisono. "Indonesia miliki cadangan uranium 70.000 ton". Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  24. ^ "Batan: Indonesia has 78,000 Tons of Uranium Reserves". September 5, 2016.


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