Banjarmasin (ANTARA News) - Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said it was now the time for Indonesia to begin developing nuclear energy to fulfill the country`s energy needs and food resources development to improve people`s welfare.

"If people are willing and able to accept nuclear energy, we have to begin before we run out of natural resources such as coal and others," said the minister here Friday.

According to the minister, it was very difficult to change the public`s stigma on nuclear which making it difficult to develop much cheaper than other energy technologies.

Indonesian society still think that nuclear energy only be used for bombing purpose as happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and nuclear radiation leaking threat in Fukushima reactor in Japan.

Japan`s nuclear incidence makes Indonesian people to be more difficult to accept such energy development, because they thought the death of thousands of residents due to radiation whereas the majority was caused by the tsunami.

Nuclear is also claimed to have a great benefit not only for the development of energy such as electricity but can also be developed to meet the increase need of food sector.

Hatta said that nuclear can also be used for development of high grade rice seeds which will resulting better rice quality than its regular seedlings.

"So, it is the right time to develop nuclear technology, if people starting to accept it," he said.

Kalimantan Island is considerably suitable for developing nuclear energy because of its quake-free characteristics unlike the Java Island.

Central Kalimantan and East Kalimantan are the ready areas to develop this nuclear energy, but the ministry is currently focusing to develop nuclear energy in Sumatra region.

Head of National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) Hadi Hustowo said in the same occasion that the people`s negative stigma on nuclear still hampering the development of cheaper energy source where the energy can be used for other purposes such as hospitals and agriculture.

In South Kalimantan there are two agencies utilizing nuclear energy namely, Ulin Banjarmasin General Hospital and in livestock`s feed mill in Pelaihari, Tanah Laut District.

"Energy utilization at these two sites in South Kalimantan have been approved by the Batan," he said.


Editor: Suryanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2012