Nuclear: Resolution Energy for Indonesia in 2025
Category : Karya Siswa/i
Energy is an extremely issue which has been discussed in the world, included Indonesia. It is very important, because energy provides the opportunity for developing economy, education, and technology. Energy need increases as the development of economy, education, and energy increases.
Unfortunately, Indonesian electrification ratio is still about 66% currently. It means that more than 30% of people in Indonesia do not have electricity access. However, the energy access and electricity consumption determine the prosperity level of a country. Energy availability directly affects to economy of a country because almost all sectors require energy – especially transportation and industry. The dependence on electricity will continue to grow. One of the problems is that energy demand growth about 7% per year has not balanced with energy supply. During this time, the fossil sources have supplied the primary energy in Indonesia but it has some bad effects. Therefore, we must search new energy resources to solve this problem.
Nuclear as a new energy
Nuclear is one of the new energy which uses uranium and other radioactive elements as fuel. Nuclear power plant supports the development of clean energy because it does not emit CO2, SO2, NO2, and dust. So nuclear is very supportive to create safe environment and free from global warming and acid rain effects. This can be considered as one effort of the Indonesian President’s commitment in the G-20 Pittsburgh and COP 15 to reduce the green house gasses emission by 2020. Therefore, It is potential to be applied in Indonesia.
Meeting the electricity needs of fourth largest populated country in the world with a limited land like Indonesia, clean energy sources with high intensity such as nuclear power is needed. All countries with large populations in the world have applied it except for Indonesia. Whereas Indonesia has a nuclear materials that can be utilized. Currently, exploration of uranium as nuclear fuel in Indonesia has not done optimally yet. There is two potential sites that have been explored; West Kalimantan at 34,112 tons and 10,000 tons of East Kalimantan. Approximately this amount can be used to generate 1000 MW nuclear power plant for 170 years, or 4000 MW nuclear power plant for 40 years. Based on several geological surveys, the areas like Bangka Belitung, Nusa Tenggara islands, and Papua were estimated to save nuclear fuel reserves significantly, such as Uranium and Thorium. Nuclear materials (radioactive materials) have a half-life that can make it increasingly reduced, so that eventually run out.
Nuclear development in Indonesia
Indonesia is ready to build nuclear power plants. The Indonesian government will continue the plan of nuclear utilization as an energy source. Although there are nuclear power plant accidents, such as three mile island, chernobyl, and lately Fukushima, it cannot be a reason that Indonesia is not adopting nuclear technology. Precisely the accident should give a lot of lessons for Indonesia’s nuclear development plan, such as ensuring the security level of technology. Indeed, there is no 100% safe technology, according to a study by Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, to 4290 accidents in energy industries between the 1969-1996 shows that nuclear is more safe than natural gas, oil and coal. If we develop nuclear then we will go forward and prosper, because it can be applied in the field of energy, nuclear can also be applied in agriculture and health.
Nuclear technology is not a new technology in Indonesia. From technology’s aspect, Its development has been mastered for a big time, considering we have had an agency that foccussed on research, development, and application of nuclear technology – Badan Tenaga Nuklir Nasional (BATAN). Indonesia is also ready for human resources that have been successfully split the atom and produce nuclear chain reaction since Triga Mark II Reactor in Bandung experienced criticism in 1964. Even the ability of the nation has been recognized internationally with the increasing number of our nuclear scientists and workers who involved in joint research through international organization for scientific and technical cooperation in nuclear field – International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and those who are working abroad. Hundreds of Indonesian nuclear scientists have been trained by IAEA and some of they are now trusted by IAEA to organize various nuclear engineering training in Asia Pacific region, including in dealing with nuclear emergencies. Even some of them have become the IAEA inspector that oversee the operation of nuclear power plants and nuclear facilities around the world. So Indonesia is ready for nuclear technology and human resources.
Energy problems in Indonesia
Although Indonesia has abundant new and renewable energy resources, it does not mean that we do not need nuclear. The question is whether the technologies are ready and economical to meet all the needs of the entire Indonesian people in the future? The situations are electricity demand continues to increase, Indonesia population growth rate is increasing, the regional gap between Java and outside Java. All of that have been overcome yet. There are still a lot of industrial and economic areas that cannot be served by the national electricity system. So, we need high-intensity energy sources.
To count the projection of electricity demand used MAED (Model for Analysis of Energy Demand) software, while to optimize energy supply used MARKAL (market allocation). Projection of electricity demand made in according to government plan on (Rencana Umum Ketenagalistrikan Nasional [RUKN]). With assuming constant the growth of electricity 7% per year, it expected that we will require added power capacity about 80,000 MW in 2025. Jamali consuming 70% of national electricity demand, will require added capacity 60,000 MW in 2025. According to base scenario, nuclear will contribute 4,2 GW in 2025, while in optimal scenario will contribute 38 GW in 2025 and 226 in 2050. However, Presidential Regulation No. 5/2006 on National energy policy has determined that the target market of renewable energy by 17% in 2025. Energy Vision 25/25 initiatives to achieve the target market of renewable energy that is higher in energy mix, 25% in 2025. Utilization of nuclear energy is 4% as renewable energy in energy mix. Actually, the number is still very small to reduce CO2 emissions (only 9.1%) while the optimization by using the nuclear is going to reduce CO2 emissions significantly 36.6% in 2025 and 56.6% in 2050. PLTU coal 1000 MW will consume coal about 3,71 million tons/year. It directly releases CO2 about 6,7 million tons/year in air without treatment. If we increase the utilization to need national electrification in Java, the need of coal will increase 80 million tons in 2025. The effects for the environment and human, it will release emission of CO2 (110 million tons in 2020 and 145 million tons in 2025). The emission of SO2, NO2 and dust particles will increase. The emission of SO2 will be 50.000 tons in 2020 and 65.000 ton in 2025. This value is over health limit and make danger not only for environment but also human.
Although the most of energy supply has derived from fossil energy, we should not depend on fossil resources. Indonesian fossil energy reserves will be depleted faster than expected because energy demand will continue to rise. During this time, Indonesian has a strong perception that Indonesia is rich with the reserve of the primary energy sources. In the fact, Indonesia has reserves of coal, natural gas, and petroleum, respectively only 0.55%, 1.39%, and 0.43% of world reserves at this time. With this reserves, the availability of fossil energy can hold out maximum about 80 years.
We should secure our fossil resources. In the future, petroleum fuels will be very valuable, considering air transport still depends on liquid fuels heavily. Currently, Middle Eastern countries which are producing oil would sustain the stock in his country desperately, so they considered nuclear power plant as an alternative energy. Even the Arab Emirates United have signed a cooperation contract with the Korea to build nuclear power plants with 4X 1400 MW capacity in 2020. Natural gas could not be reliable because of dwindling. Some of that have been sold to other countries through long-term contracts. Although it is a mainstay, industry still needs the gas. Coal will become increasingly expensive because we have to use anti-pollution treatment.
We need to change our current mindset that consume energy depends on dirty fossil fuels. Not only we have to change business-as-usual, but also we have to change the paradigm-as-usual. On energy demand, we have to increase energy utilization efficiency while on energy supply we have to be increasing the utilization of new and renewable energy (hydro, wind, solar, biofuels, etc.) and the nuclear power plant needs to be introduced.
Head of BATAN, Dr. Hudi Hastowo stated that potential energy solution to meet the our energy need are:
• Solar Energy requires a costly investment $ 8/watt and low effectiveness 0.1 kW per m2.
• Wind Energy is environmentally friendly and low maintenance costs. Unfortunately the wind potential in Indonesia is not located in places where electricity is needed the most. Average wind speed on Java Island is first class, the smallest class among the 5 classes. The most potential location is of East Indonesia with the utilization 275 MW in 2025.
• Geothermal Energy. The major problem in geothermal is heat source location away from areas that need electricity. In 2025 is planned for 9,500 MW of geothermal utilization.
• Micro hydro. The technology has been mastered by Indonesia. But it has difficult access to the site. In 2025, the utilization of micro hydro is planned 950 MW.
• Ocean energy. Indonesia has the big potential for it, about 1650 MW. The problem lies in technology that has not been controlled and constrained of sea water corrosion. The conclusion is that although renewable energy can be fully realized, but it cannot meet the high energy needs of the Java-Bali electricity in 2025. We have to find other energy sources that can meet the electricity needs. Some results of the study state that nuclear power plant have been very necessary and could be operated in Indonesia to overcome national electricity problem and environment problem.
Nuclear as a resolution
Nuclear was chosen because scientifically Indonesia already has experienced since 1964. Compared to fossil fuels, nuclear power plant development is more expensive but it is cheaper in operation. Beside the target 2025 have to be prepared since the early start however until now only 66% of population that can access the energy. So far nuclear already meets 15% of the world’s electricity needs and prevent 2.1 billion tones of CO2 emission per year. Nuclear technology exactly could make more efficient other electricity power plants (renewable energy). The utilization of nuclear power plants along with other renewable energy sources is an optimal national policy to reduce dependence on one or two types of energy sources only. The role of nuclear in energy mix is to ensure the provision of energy and sustainable development while maintaining environmental sustainability.
Based on the President’s meeting with all governors, BATAN and Ministry of Research and Technology were given the task of socialization for nuclear power plants so that the citizens can be accepting it. Based on UU no. 31/2007, nuclear power plants should be operated in 2020. There are long steps that must be adopted before we start the development, such as preparation of safety documents related to the plan, location, technical aspects, various kinds of the accidents possibility, and country partners.
Delay in nuclear power plant construction and operation will result in high losses, because we have to provide electric power in other ways that is more expensive, or declining economic growth. Thus, nuclear power plant development should be immediately implemented. In addition to supporting the realization of sustainable national energy security of supply, reducing the rate of limited fossil energy reserves depletion, supporting the stability of energy supply, environment friendly, supporting the reduction of global warming impact. Nuclear industry development in this country will also improve the competitiveness and dignity of nation in the international community. And of course, all of this cannot be measured by the material or economic value.
The government should be assertive with this decision and immediately set a time frame and time line. Delay without clarity will lead to many impacts, including political implications for governments, citizens, and nuclear stakeholders. It is no secret plan to build nuclear power plant in Indonesia led to widespread controversy from both pro and contra groups. To reduce the conflict potential, the government should facilitate dialogue between the groups who have differing views to find a goal point and mutually beneficial solution. If it is not done, the distrust of citizens towards the government continues to expand, especially when provoked by a cons group with nuclear development. Of course this will cause re-delays in nuclear power plants constructions.
Another aspect that must be considered in addition to the capabilities and competencies are the development of nuclear power plants must be supported by social culture aspect and openness of data. Citizens do not crammed with benefits of nuclear power plants without knowing the risks, because they are who will have a negative impact from every their cent. With the construction of nuclear power plants, citizens are expected to understand the meaning of nuclear resources in the provision of electricity with all the good and bad effects, so that it will create public awareness to support the operation of nuclear power plant without anxiety.
The citizens can influence the development of nuclear technology. They should think logically about the government’s decision. They should throw the bad thought about nuclear so that they cannot easily provokated. Government, institution/industry and citizens should make a harmonius relationship for the better future.
 Declaration manuscript of MPEL, HIMNI, METI, IEN, and WIN. February 2010.
 Minister of Research and Technology, Suharna Surapranata, in ITB Bandung, 12 March 2011.
 Ferhat Aziz “PLTN dan Kesiapan Kita” on Jurnal Energy 3rd edition July-September 2010 (pp 94-96).
 Rencana Umum Ketenagalistrikan Nasional, 2007
 Kajian BATAN, 2009.
 EBTKE, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resouces, 2010.
 Wartanews. 16 November 2010.