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The world as I see it

Nuclear Energy in Indonesia

by Agus Praditya – for an online course assignment


1.      Introduction

The increasing of demand and supply of energy is a reality and a necessity to support social-economic development of a country. Indonesia, as a developing country, has a high electricity demand due to National Economic Development based on industrialization and supported by a strong agriculture base. It can be noted that in the last five years, the annual electricity growth rate has been assumed at around 9% per annum.

The main energy source fueling Indonesia’s economy is oil, although decreasing domestic production, increasing domestic consumption, and global price hikes over the past few years have reduced oil consumption and prompted effort to develop other energy resources, coal. Coal will be the primary domestic energy resource, especially to fuel new power generation capacities since Indonesia’s plans to rapidly expand the use of coal for power generation by building more  than 3,000 MW of new coal-fired power generation in Western Java alone by 2010.

Figure 1 : Primary energy supply by source in Indonesia

The expanded use of coal will significantly increase emissions of SOx, NOx, PM10, and other pollutants. Therefore, this will cause health impacts, like asthma attacks, lower respiratory illness (children), respiratory symptoms, and other respiratory diseases. And for this reason, Indonesia’s goverment intends to applying an optimum energy mix comprising all viable energy sources. The Presidential Regulation No.5 year 2006 indicates the target of energy mix until 2025 and the share of nuclear energy is about 2% of primary energy or 4% of electricity.


2.      Indonesia’s Nuclear Energy Development

Indonesia has several decades of history of activities towards the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including planning for power generation as can be seen from this figure below:

Figure 2 : Indonesia’s nuclear power program history

And towards the plan in introducing Indonesia’s first Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the Act number 31 year 1964 does not suffice anymore with the current developing situation. Therefore it is replaced with Act number 10 year 1997, which seperating the regulatory body from implementing agency by the forming of two seperate agencies, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN) and National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) as the executing body which have the task to execute the use of nuclear energy. Then, in 2007, goverment release another act, Act number 17 year 2007 on Long Term National Development Plan of Indonesia for 2005 to 2025.

BATAN, as the executing body, have the main duties to conduct government activities in the field of research, development, and the beneficial applications of nuclear energy in accordance with the law and regulation. These means that BATAN is responsible in general surveys, explorations and exploitations of nuclear ore, raw material production for manufacturing and fabrication of nuclear fuel, production of radioisotopes for research and development, and radioactive waste management. And in order to prepare manpower to support construction, operation and maintenance of the future NPP in Indonesia, BATAN has performed the R&D in reactor technology, nuclear safety, fuel cycles, instrumentation and control system, and radioactive waste management.

At present BATAN have 3 research reactors which are spread out in the Nuclear Research Centers in Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Serpong.

1)   Bandung Nuclear Complex has the Triga Mark II Reactor which started with a power of 250 kW in 1965. The power of this reactor was then increased to 1000 kW in 1971 and further to 2000 kW in the year 2000. Other facilities in this area are the laboratory for physics, chemistry and biology, production of isotopes and labeled compounds. In addition, nuclear medicine firstly developed in Bandung nuclear complex was the embryo of the nuclear medicine in Indonesia. The activities of nuclear medicine was then further developed in several hospitals in Indonesia.

2)   Kartini Reactor is a nuclear reactor with a power of 100 kW in operation since 1979 at Yogyakarta Nuclear Research Center. The purpose of this reactor is for education and training facility. In addition, supervision of occupational radiation safety and that of environmental radioactivity are also conducted.

3)   The Multipurpose 30 MW Research Reactor (completed at 1992) at Serpong Nuclear Research Center have been used mainly for material testing, nuclear analytical analysis, isotope production, neutron beam experiment, and for education. This reactor also having been built with the objectives to support development of the nuclear industry and for preparation, development as well as the operation of Nuclear Power Plants in Indonesia.


In order to support the nuclear energy program, several research facilities have been built in the Serpong Nuclear Research Center, among the multipurpose 30 MW reactor. There is also Pasar Jum’at Nuclear Complex with its 3 units of Co 60 Gamma Irradiators for Application of Isotope and Radiation Technology and the Exploration Area in West Kalimantan for researching in exploration and test mining of nuclear ores.

Indonesia has done extensive prepatory work on most infrastructure issues that would allow the country to make decision to further consider introduction of nuclear power, i.e. to go from phase 1 to phase 2 to in Milestone methodology.

Figure 3 : Indonesia’s nuclear infrastructure development program

Another important issue in nuclear power introduction is the human resources development for the safety of nuclear facilities and technology development. Indonesia through its nuclear energy agency (BATAN) has made and devoted special efforts to prepare highly competence personnel in preservation and enhancement of nuclear knowledge towards Indonesia’s plan to operate the first NPP by 2016. This aim is further supported by sending personnel abroad to obtain Master or Doctoral degree, and sending personnel aboard for on the job training (i.e. to General Electric and Westinghouse companies to participate in their NPP design activities or to the research institute in Japan or Republic of Korea). BATAN also nominates its staff to participate in the International Training Courses organized abroad by the IAEA, RCA, FNCA or foreign institutions under the bilateral cooperation.


3.      Introduce Nuclear Power in Indonesia

Public Acceptance is one of the most important issues in the introduction of nuclear power. Public acceptance is derived from public understanding that the nuclear programme is indispensable and beneficial to the Indonesian economy and environment. And public understanding may results in public support for nuclear power programme.

The first step is the public information has to be intensified in line with the dissemination of proven nuclear technology application activities already carried out for couple years in various provinces together with various research and development institutes and local governments, universities, private companies, and non-governmental organizations. Secondly, tell the information about nuclear power, not only NPP, but rather the role of this energy source within the context of objectives for the social, political and economic development of a country. Government and nuclear industry must also create open and transparent policy in the nuclear decision making process to fulfill the “right to know” of the public.

In the top of that, training for the journalists must be given in the first priority. Experiences show that the mass media has becoming an important factor in the role of forming public opinion as well as informing and educating the people. Therefore maintaining a friendly relationship with the journalist is one of the classical ways. BATAN has organized the nuclear science and technology training programme for Indonesian scientific journalists on September 2003.


4.      Conclusion

The social-economic development are increasing demand and supply of energy to a limited number of sources of energy currently available. Due to the secure long-term energy supply, nuclear power is the only alternative at present for replacing the fossil base load generation, especially in Java.

Indonesia through its nuclear energy agency (BATAN) has made and devoted special efforts to build a nuclear science and technology (using three its Nuclear Research Center) and to prepare highly competence personnel in preservation and enhancement of nuclear knowledge towards Indonesia’s plan to operate the first NPP by 2016.



[1] United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ASIA. Indonesia Country Report. From Ideas to Action : Clean Energy Solutions for Asia to Address Climate Change. June 2007.

[2] Sastratenaya, Achmad S. and Ariyanto Sudi. Nuclear Energy Development in Indonesia. IAEA TC workshop long range planning.Vienna, June 14-17, 2010.

[3] Soetrisnanto, Arnold. Status of Nuclear Power Development in Indonesia. Nuclear Power Asia Conference 2010.

[4] Ardisasmita, M.S. Preservation and Enchancement of Nuclear Knowledge Towards Indonesia’s Plan to Operate First Nuclear Power Plant by 2016. National Nuclear Energy Agency. Jakarta. 2006.

[5] Presentation on BATAN : National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) Indonesia. RCARO. December 2009.

[6] http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/ PDF/cnpp2003/CNPP_Webpage/country-profiles/Indonesia/ Indonesia2003.htm


One response to “Nuclear Energy in Indonesia

  1. andihendra June 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    nyimak dulu gan

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