Int`l community appreciates ri`s progress in nuclear technology : official

Serpong, Banten (ANTARA News) - The international community appreciates the progress Indonesia has made in nuclear science and technology, and considers Indonesia fit to assist other countries in developing nuclear science and technology, the country`s top nuclear energy official said.

"In 2011, three officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited Indonesia to see the results of our nuclear science and technology development efforts. This is a confession," Hudi Hastomo, head of the National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan), said here Monday.

The officials were the director general of IAEA Yukiya Amano, the IAEA deputy director general for technical cooperation Kwaku Aning, and the agency`s deputy director general for nuclear science and technology application Daud Mohamad. In addition, there were also the director of technical cooperation of Asia Pacific Dazhu Yang, the director of health Rethy Chhem and the director of food Qu Liang.

According to Hudi, the IAEA officials stated that they were satisfied to see the results of Batan`s nuclear research and development, such as the cultivation of superior rice seeds, superior soybeans, sorghum, superior jatropha seeds that were of great use to make biofuels, superior cotton, food preservation as well as nuclear medicine.

In addition, a number of countries had formally asked Indonesia to provide technical assistance for utilization of nuclear science and technology, among others, the ministry of economics of Mozambique that had signed cooperation documents on science and technology with the ministry of research and technology. Besides that the Jordan Kingdom was also interested in establishing a cooperation on nuclear science and technology with Indonesia, Hudi said.

Jordan submitted a request by a letter to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to provide support in the development of research reactor construction and utilization of phosphate rock as well as to build a nuclear power plant.

"But we rejected the last one because our science in nuclear power plants has not been proven. They intend to build nuclear power plants because their energy supplies still depend on gas from Egypt," Hudi said.

Hudi explained after the hydrogen reactor explosion in Fukushima, a number of countries decided to halt their nuclear programs. However, many other countries would maintain and continue their nuclear programs because of their enormous need for energy.

Post-Fukushima, the director general of IAEA predicted that by 2050 there would be the addition of 90 to more than 200 units of nuclear power plants in the world, so the Fukushima case does not make the world recede to build nuclear power plants, Hudi said.

He confirmed that Batan was not an institution that would build the nuclear power plant in Indonesia. It only prepares for the human resources and conducts the studies concerning the preparation of nuclear power plants if Indonesia starts to construct the power plants.

"Do not let us be not ready when Indonesia realizes that the source of energy is running low while the energy needs is soaring and then there is no choice but building a nuclear power plants. Do not let us import the human resources," he said.

Hudi cited the United Arab Emirates which is rich of soil is realized that its energy would be exhausted and was ready to build four units of nuclear power plants with the technology from Korea, whereas this country does not have nuclear power agencies.

"Eventually they import human resources to establish the necessary institutions, including from Batan who have been working for IAEA. So they actually held a ground breaking shortly after the Fukushima incident," Hudi said.(*)