Indonesia puts on hold plan for nuclear power plant

Updated On: Jun 23, 2010

The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on June 18 that his government currently has no plan for a nuclear power plant, and that the discussion on the topic is temporarily halted. Future governments may finally reconsider such a plan, “but for now, the current government has no definitive plan for that,” Yudhoyono explained.

For many years, Indonesia has been envisioning a nuclear power plant as a solution to the over-dependence on non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas, on which the country relies for electricity generation. In 2004, Yudhoyono ordered a careful study on nuclear energy, then in 2006 he finally announced a plan that a nuclear power plant will be completed by 2016 in Jepara, Central Java.    

However, the government has since faced with various oppositions to the plan. Local NGOs and Greenpeace staged a rally against the proposal in 2007, while Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia raised concerns that such plan will bring Indonesia a step closer to producing nuclear weapons. Experts also pointed out serious dangers due to high volcanic and seismic risks in the region. In mentioning these negative reactions during the interview on June 18, Yudhoyono noted that “we need to be very careful. We are not sure whether people in Indonesia - as well as people of other countries - would welcome such a nuclear plant.”

No plans for nuclear power in Indonesia
 [The Straits Times, 19 June 2010] 
President says nuclear power plant not a priority [The Jakarta Post, 19 June 2010]

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