Russia keen to build nuclear power plant in Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Russia, on Wednesday, expressed interest to invest in Indonesia by building a nuclear power plant to boost the nations power supply, which currently reaches only 89.5 percent.

"We believe that Indonesias power requirement will not be met ideally through the use of conventional methods, which is why we are offering to build a nuclear power plant," Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Mikhail Galuzin informed reporters in Jakarta.

Galuzin stated that Moscow already has rich experience in developing nuclear power plants in various countries in the world. Last year, Russia had helped to implement a nuclear power plant project valued at US$10 billion in Iran.

In May this year, Russias Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation had also proposed the same project to Indonesia through Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Pandjaitan. Rosatom has already proposed various potential sites to build a power plant, with a capacity of over one thousand megawatts, in earthquake-proof areas, such as Bangka Island and East Kalimantan.

However, at that time, Pandjaitan had remarked that Indonesia was not yet ready and needed to first increase public awareness on nuclear power.

Nuclear power is still a debatable topic in Indonesia. According to the World Nuclear Association, Indonesia will need as much as 450 billion kilowatt hour of energy by 2026 based on the assumption that the industrial demand will rise by 10.5 percent every year.

Most of the demand for power is still met by power plants in Java and Bali that use gasoline and natural gas, with a low power reserve that had resulted in frequent blackouts due to high demand.

Looking at the current situation, Russia has offered to build a nuclear power plant that will not only increase the power share ratio but will also ensure reliable supply.

Moreover, stakeholders believe that the highly toxic nuclear waste is hazardous and cannot be recycled.

Until now, the only way to discard nuclear waste was by burying it underground, but since Indonesia is located in the "ring of fire," with a quake-prone environment, this method poses high risks in terms of leaks and poisoning of the underground water table.

Nuclear leaks were reported in Japan in 2011 when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the nuclear facility in Fukushima. According to Greenpeace, the leak could destroy the ecosystem, with the damage lasting for centuries.

Source: Antara News

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