Monday, 3 June 2013


Nuclear Power Plant (PLTN) is suitable to replace fossil energy, including coal, do to its highly significant potency and its being environmentally friendly. One gram of uranium with is nuclear fission reaction is equivalent to thousands of tons of coal. Or one gram of uranium could produce thousands of megawatt of power. “Coal consumption has been harmful to the environment, so we should use other suitable energy sources, one of them is nuclear”, Minister of Research and Technology, Gusty Muhammad Hatta, told Business News.

PLTN construction requires carefulness, especially the location for power plant centre. Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Some areas are sensitive to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as Indonesia is surrounded by the Pacific Basin. This area has a horseshoe from covering 40,000 km. Around 90 percent of earthquakes occurring, 81 of the biggest happened along the ring of fire. “If we are careless, when there is an earthquake, the nuclear reactor could leak.”

Based on analysis of the Ministry of Research and Technology, Bangka Belitung (Babel) island is relatively safe as it is far from the ring of fire. Babel is protected by Sumatera island. “There has never been any earthquake and there are no volcanoes in Babel.” The geographical condition of Babel is relatively safe, and it is easy to supply energy to Sumatera which is to be transmitted to Java. The cost is highly efficient, and safety is guaranteed.”

As a comparison, Kalimantan is less efficient and less suitable for construction of PLTN than Babel. If PLTN is constructed in Kalimantan, the cost can be very expensive. Even though there are many mining businesses which need electricity for their operations, PLTN requires a high cost. Yet, however, the Ministry of Research and Technology considers that nuclear human resource and experts in Indonesia are very competent. But, it is hampered by sociological problem. Many communities are concerned if nuclear reactor explodes, like what happened in Fukushima, Japan and Chernobyl in Russia. The Fukushima nuclear reactor explosion is due to old reactor. If the reactor is new, there will be no problem. We and the Atomic Energy Agency (BATAN) and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN) have been adopting triple S basic principle, namely safeguard, security, and safety. “We hold on the principle and priority, so we are confident that it is suitable to construct PLTN in Babel.”

PT Pertamina invites the society to empower environmentally friendly energy sources. At the time of the designation of Pertamina Days in Jakarta, President Director of Pertamina, Karen Agustiawan, invited all stakeholders to become “friends of earth”. For half a century, Pertamina has been dedicating to the nation and becoming national development pillar, especially in energy sector.

In accordance with its new vision as World Class Energy Company and government’s energy mix concept, Pertamina will gradually increase empowerment of environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources, like geothermal, solar cell, biofuel, waste energy, nuclear, and other renewable energy sources.

“Through Pertamina Days with the theme “55 years Pertamina Friend of Earth” we invite all parties to preserve the earth, one of the attempts is by supporting Pertamina in developing environmentally friendly renewable energy which is useful not only for us but for our environment”, Karen told Business News.

Pertamina also strengthens ties with New Zealand through the singing of MoU with the University of Auckland, New Zealand in providing professional development program for geothermal engineers.

Through the partnership, the University of Auckland will provide various kinds of educatiob and training programs, including Postgraduate Certificate for Geothermal Energy Technology in New Zealand. The New Zealand-based certification program will be implemented for a minimum of 15 participants per year from Pertamina Geothermal Energy University in Auckland. And, Pertamina will also conduct a brief training session on geothermal in Indonesia, including coaching and mentoring program.

In April this year, the New Zealand government signed a bilateral agreement with the Indonesian government to support plan for development of geothermal energy with a capacity of 4 Giga Watts (GW) by 2012.

This partnership strengthens ties between both countries which has been going on for in past forty years. This is stated by the Dean of the Technical Faculty of the University of Auckland, Professor Michael Davis.

The University of Auckland and the New Zealand have a long history in sharing geothermal skill with Indonesia. New Zealand and Indonesia engineers constructed the first geothermal power plant in the 1970s in Indonesia. At that time, Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland has provided training to more than 160 Indonesian engineers. 

Business News - December 12, 2012

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