Indonesia planning to have four nuke power plants by 2025

Balikpapan, East Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Under the governemnt``s energy development plans, Indonesia should have built four nuclear power plants by 2025, a nuclear energy supervisory official said .

"The four plants will have a combined capacity to produce at least 4.000 MW of electricity, " Dr Asnatio Lasman, head of the Nuclear Energy Supervisory Agency (Bapeten), said here on Saturday.

The 4000 MW of electricity would be equal to 1.96 percent of the projected electricity demand in 2025 which was s 200,000-350,000 MW.

"The target of building 4 nuclear power plants has been formalized in Presidential Decree (Kepres) No 5`2006." said Asnatio who has a science doctoral degree from Gadjah Mada University.

In comparison, Malaysia would also have four nuclear power plants by the same year, Thailand five and Vietnam 16. This meant Southeast Asia nations would have a total of 29 nuclear power plants by the year of 2025.

Asnatio predicted that Vietnam, with 16 nuclear power stations, would eventually become an electricity supplier to its Indochinese neighbors Laos, Burma, and Cambodia.

On the Asian continent there would be a total of 320 nuclear power plants in 2030. Most of them built in Asian industrial countries, China, South Korea, and India.

Asnatui said the world currently had 442 nuclear power stations of which 104 were located in USA

Meanwhile, Bapeten`s public relations officer, Aries Setyanto, said the cost of building a nuclear power plant was indeed very high, namely around Rp20 trillion with the additional burden of providing reserve funds to deal with possible impacts at the rate of Rp4 trillion per 1,000 MW.

Most of the budget to build a nuclear power plant was for construction of the best possible infrastructure and recruitment of the best human resources available. The infrastructure alone would take 20 percent of the budget.

Although expensive to build, a nuclear power station was an efficient energy maker. One gram of Uranium 235 could yield energy equivalent to three tons of coal.

Setyanto said nuclear power energy was also environmentally friendly compared to coal and oil energy which emits carbon emissions.

Indonesia is known to have 29 million tons of uranium reserves in Kalimantan and 24 million tons more in Bangka Belitung.

"These amounts of reserves are enough to produce electricity in Indonesia for more than 60 years," he said.