Yogyakarta, BRIN Public Relations. Energy is the basic need for the people of Indonesia. In line with the growing population, the national needs for energy also continue to rise. For this reason, a good strategy is needed to prepare for future energy needs, one of which is through the energy mix. “Energy mix is ​​necessary as it provides affordable energy to the community,” explained Sugeng Suparwoto, Chairman of Commission VII of the House of Representatives during a specific working visit at BRIN Kartini Reactor Yogyakarta, on Thursday (20/1).

According to him, with the drafting of New and Renewable Energy Bill, all potential energy including nuclear needs to be maximized. This is aimed at securing energy justice for the future, not just energy availability. “We need to be prepared, with the national capacity we have, we are able to realize the New and Renewable Energy Law,” he asserted.

Furthermore, Member of House Commission VII Rico Sia said, “We encourage BRIN to create or follow technological developments, so that we can produce energy at a lower cost, as well as prepare our young human resources to be able to operate nuclear. He realized that one of the obstacles faced by Indonesia is limited human resources capable of managing nuclear power in the future.

In response, BRIN Acting Deputy for Research and Innovation Infrastructure Yan Riyanto explained, “In relation to BRIN’s readiness to support the establishment of nuclear power plants in Indonesia, we open opportunities for students to improve the quality of their education through internship schemes at BRIN’s nuclear reactors and become research assistants.”

In addition, according to him, BRIN will modernize the existing nuclear power. “The first stage is to complete the laboratory facilities and the next stage is to revitalize the reactor,” he explained.

On the same occasion, BRIN Acting Head of Nuclear Energy Research Organization, Agus Sumaryanto conveyed the readiness of BRIN in developing nuclear research in Indonesia. “Presently, BRIN has three nuclear reactors. We have been able to manage nuclear waste. This facility is also supported by equipment that can be used for testing nuclear power plants fuel, materials, and others,” explained Agus.

43 Years of BRIN’s Kartini Reactor Performance

One of BRIN’s nuclear research reactors that has become the focus of attention of Commission VII of House of Representatives is the Kartini Reactor in Yogyakarta. “The Kartini Reactor started operation in 1979 with a power of 100 kW. It functions for research and training for reactor operators, with the core physics laboratory products to be used by domestic and regional universities,” said Muhammad Subekti, BRIN Acting Director of Nuclear Facility Management.

He added that the Yogyakarta Kartini Reactor has a different function from the other two BRIN’s nuclear reactors, namely carrying out the educational function. The Triga-2000 Reactor in Bandung has the functions for environmental research and analysis, marked compounds, air pollutants, and others, while the RSG G.A Siwabessy in Serpong functions for research, production of medical and industrial isotopes, and testing of advanced materials. “Although the three have different functions, they still intersect and support each other in nuclear research activities at BRIN,” explained Subekti.

The Kartini BRIN reactor has practically been operating for 43 years. “In the course of its service to the country, the reactor has made various achievements,” he added. The BRIN Kartini reactor has been recorded as a nominee for the Top 99 Public Service Innovations of the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform in 2020 and 2021. This reactor is equipped with the Internet Reactor Lab (IRL) facilities which have been utilized by 26 domestic universities and three international universities. There have been 2,437 students who came here for practicum under the IRL services.

In the period before the Covid-19 pandemic, an average of 2,000 students visited each year. In 2021, 931 people visited the unit, 71% of which by online. In 2021, the Kartini Reactor made its first contribution as Non-Tax State Revenue (PNBP) of USD 6,200 and IDR37.6 million, respectively.

According to Subekti, in the future the Kartini Reactor is projected to be able to expand utilization of laboratories jointly with universities at the national and international levels. “Currently, BRIN Kartini Reactor has collaborated with 90 national study programs for Core Physics or Reactor Physics courses. This reactor has shared lab collaboration with King Saud University, University of Sharjah UAE, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,” he concluded. (hmw/ ed: drs)