RI Soil Too Unstable For Nuke Power
Sat, March 19 2011 12:46 | 1903 Views
Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Environmentalists and public activists have launched years of protests, arguing that Indonesia`s soil is too unstable for the building and safe operation of nuclear power plants.
It is because Indonesian`s more than 17,000 islands are scattered along a belt of volcanic and seismic activity, known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire" that makes the country one of the most quake-prone places on the planet.
Despite the nuclear crisis which was touched off by the powerful earthquake and its ensuing devastating tsunami in Japan, Indonesian officials are pushing ahead with plans to build the country`s first nuclear power plants.
But energy expert Lilo Sunaryo said in Semarang, Central Java, on Friday that Indonesia had to learn from the nuclear disaster in Japan and then review its nuclear power plants project.
"Indonesia has to learn from the disaster of reactor nuclear leaks in Japan and review its plan to build nuclear power plants," Lilo Sunaryo said.
Although the people of Japan have sophisticated technology and a high degree of discipline, Lilo said they were still overwhelmed by the nuclear catastrophe.
Even the Japanese government itself has admitted that it was overwhelmed by the scale of last week`s twin natural disasters and the nuclear crisis, triggered by the earthquake and tsunami that claimed more than 10,000 lives.
"Let alone Indonesia which lacks of both technology and discipline. Some countries have even abandoned their nuclear power plants and the rest have reviewed their plans to build such facilities," Lilo said, referring to the Philippines, Malaysia, Spain, and Venezuela.
In the Philippines the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) has gone unused as the events in Japan have led the country to discard its plans to activate the plant.
A proposal to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in the Philippines is at least for now dead in the water after partial meltdowns at 2 nuclear reactors in Japan revived fears of a Chernobyl-like disaster.
Meanwhile, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said it was better for his country not to have a nuclear power plant.
"You know my view about it. We do not know enough about the reaction of this material," Mahathir was quoted by Bernama as telling to reporters when he was asked for his view on building the nuclear power plant.
In Madrid, AFP reported recently that the Spanish government would review security measures at all its six nuclear power plants in the wake of the disaster in Japan.
"A review of the security systems of all the reactors in the country will take place to learn as many lessons as possible from what happened in Japan," Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian told Spanish Parliament.
According to AFP, Venezuelan President Hugo Chaves in Caracas last Tuesday said he suspended his country`s fledgling nuclear energy program in the wake of nuclear crisis in Japan.
Hugo Chaves said he had directed Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez to freeze the plans they have been advancing, for preliminary studies of a peaceful Venezuelan nuclear program.
"What has happened in the last hours is extremely risky and dangerous for the whole world, because despite the advanced technology that Japan has, just look at what has been happening with some nuclear reactors," Chavez said.
In the light of all these Lilo Sunaryo said it was no longer necessary for Indonesia to have a nuclear power plant.
According to him, a nuclear plant for Indonesia was a dilemma because besides producing energy it also produces hazardous substances with a tendency to create various kinds of diseases.
"The world at present is not in a situation of cold war and therefore the use of alternative energy should be optimized," Lilo said.
He pointed out that alternative energy could be obtained from sun, wind, geothermal, tidal waves, sea currents, and agricultural waste such as dried rice stalks or straw.
"Alternative energy will never be exhausted because nature can always provide it, and so will the energy from agricultural waste from straws so long as the people consume rice, but energy sources such as oil, gas, coal, and uranium would run out sooner or later" he said.
Lilo said Indonesia should not live in high risk with the use of nuclear energy.
"The nuclear power plants will only be profitable for the factory but not for the people at large," Lilo warned.
But ironically Irwan Meilono, a geodesics lecturer at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), said in Bandung on Tuesday that Indonesia should not fear to build its nuclear power plants following the explosion at a similar facility in Fukushima, Japan.
He said Japan`s nuclear reactor blast was caused by an earthquake because most of Japan was quake prone, and although Indonesia suffered frequent earthquake, it still has many quake-free areas in Kalimantan, Bangka-Belitung, and northern parts of Java island.
"In relation to the disaster, Indonesia is predicted to resume the building of a nuclear power plant at by 2018 or 2020," Irwan said.
According to him, Kalimantan, Bangka Belitung and Irian are some regions considered as potential areas to build the nuclear power plants.
The nuclear plans are part of an ambitious proposal by Indonesia
to triple its electricity output by 2025 while weaning itself off imported oil and onto local coal, gas, and renewable and atomic energy.
A 2006 decree by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono calls for 5 percent of electricity to come from nuclear and other new energy and renewable energy sources by then.
The most prominent project is a proposal to build two plants with a combined capacity of 18,000 megawatts by 2022 in the provincial government of Bangka-Belitung because it is far from the most active fault lines. (*)
(T.O001/A/O001/A/O001) 19-03-2011 13:06:32
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