Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The head of the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), Djarot S. Wisnusubroto, has said he expects the construction of a nuclear power plant (PLTN) to begin by 2015.

"It will be impossible for us to begin construction of a PLTN next year because of the legislative and presidential elections. Most likely, it will begin in 2015," Djarot said at the opening of a nanotechnology symposium in Serpong, Tangerang district, Banten, on Monday.

He said the results of a feasibility study of two locations for the construction of a PLTN in Bangka Belitung, namely South Bangka Belitung and West Bangka Belitung, indicated that both the sites are suitable for the construction of a nuclear power plant.

The result of the survey recommends the construction of about 10 plants with a total capacity of 10,000 MW in the two regions.

"We have not decided where the plants will be constructed. The government will decide that," he added.

He noted that more than 60 percent of the people surveyed supported the construction of a PLTN in the interest of generating the required power supply. Power outages are common in Indonesia.

"BATAN has been successful in developing nuclear energy. Over the past 30 years, we have developed nuclear reactors in Serpong and maintained them safely," the BATAN head said.

Djarot added that BATAN also planned to build a non-commercial PLTN reactor in the vicinity of the Technology and Science Research Center (Puspitek) in Serpong in 2015. That would prove nuclear energy generation is safe if managed appropriately.

Indonesian Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said late last month that the government is committed to its plan of building a nuclear power plant, noting that over 76 percent of the people surveyed support the development of a PLTN.

"We will build a nuclear reactor for generating power," Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta had stated. However, the location of the nuclear power plant, which will have a capacity of approximately 30 MW, has not yet been decided.

According to a survey conducted by an independent organization for BATAN, 76.5 percent of Indonesians approve of nuclear development for scientific and technological purposes, such as energy development, medical care, animal husbandry and food security.

It was reported recently that studies are underway on the possibility of building two nuclear power plants in Bangka Belitung province, with a capacity of 10,600 MW. Nuclear power plants are expected to supply and meet 40 percent of the requirement for electricity in Sumatra, Java and Bali.

"The nuclear power plants are expected to become operational by 2025 or 2030 and, hopefully, they will meet 40 percent of the electricity needs of Sumatra, Java and Bali," said Governor of Bangka Belitung province Ekon Maulana Ali.

The government plans to build two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 10,600 MW. One plant will be built in the West Bangka district with a capacity of 10,000 MW, while the second one will be in Permis, South Bangka, with a capacity of 600 MW.

"The central government hopes that by 2015, the preparatory and planning stages will be completed. If the feasibility study results show that the locations are feasible for the construction of a nuclear power plant, then the government will proceed with the project," he added.


Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
Copyright © ANTARA 2013