Monday, November 17, 2014
In 1989, the government initiated a study focused on the Muria Peninsula in central Java, which was carried out by the National Atomic Energy Agency. It led to a comprehensive feasibility study for a seven-gigawatt (GW) nuclear plant, with Ujung Lemahabang the specific site selected.
Plans were then deferred indefinitely during 1997. According to the World Nuclear Association website, a 2001 power generation strategy showed that the introduction of a nuclear plant on the 500-kilovolt (kV) Java-Bali grid would be possible in 2016, with initial capacity of 2GW capacity, rising to 6-7GW in 2025.
Under the 2006 National Electricity Planning Scheme and Presidential Decree #43, the project may be given to an independent power project (IPP) to build and operate on one of three sites on the central north coast of Java.
Plans were to call for tenders in 2008 for two 1GW units, Muria 1 and 2, leading to a decision in 2010, with construction starting soon after and commercial operation due to start from 2016 and 2017. This schedule has clearly slipped.
Tenders for Muria units 3 and 4 were expected to be called for in 2016, with commercial operations due to start in 2023. The government has said that it has USD8bn earmarked for four nuclear plants, of 6GW total capacity, to be operational by 2025. Under current plans, it aims to meet 2% of power demand from nuclear by 2017.
In July 2007, Kepco and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PT Medco Energi Internasional to progress a feasibility study on building two 1GW OPR-1000 units from KHNP, at a cost of USD3bn.
Indonesia has several nuclear-related facilities in operation. There are three research reactors: in Serpong, Banten, and Bandung, west Java, and in Yogyakarta, central Java. It also has front-end capabilities in ore processing, conversion and fuel fabrication, all at a laboratory scale. There have been no experiments in reprocessing, but there is a radwaste programme for spent fuel from the research reactors.
The National Atomic Energy Agency (Batan) was due to conduct seismic testing in 2012 on Bangka Island - the proposed site of a 10GW nuclear facility. The agency is working together with state-run contractor Surveyor Indonesia.
Bangka was chosen for its relative proximity to Java and Sumatra, which are Indonesia's most populous islands. Construction is supposed to begin in 2015, and the reactor is set to be operational in 2030, after a five-year testing period. However, we have refrained from incorporating nuclear energy into our forecasts until there is more definitive information regarding the project.
Public acceptance of nuclear energy has dropped as a result of the Fukushima incident in Japan Indonesia's geography further complicates the future for nuclear energy, as the country is located in one of the most seismically active areas in the world.
As such, Indonesia experiences earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, creating a possible safety hazard in nuclear energy generation. This is expected to increase the time and cost of construction significantly.