Serpong – BRIN Public Relations. The Government is serious in realizing the commitment to achieve the Net Zero Emission (NZE) target by 2060. The strategy being carried out is development of New and Renewable Energy (EBT), one of which is nuclear energy. The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) through the Nuclear Energy Research Organization (ORTN) continues to develop nuclear technology for the construction of Nuclear Power Plants (PLTN) in Indonesia, which is currently still under the review stage. Nuclear power plants are one of the mainstay sources of energy and have been widely used in developed countries, and have been proven to be able to produce electrical energy more efficiently with fewer emissions compared to fossil energy sources.

Nuclear energy is an alternative choice in producing electrical energy with zero emission. In more detail, Research Professor at ORTN – BRIN, Djarot Sulistio Wisnubroto presented several advantages and disadvantages of constructing a nuclear power plant. According to him, construction of a nuclear power plant does require a large initial cost, and the handling of waste products takes a long time, but the advantages are much higher, such as longer operating time, low carbon emissions and less use of land area.

“Nuclear Power Plant has many advantages. It has a long operating period, more than 80 years. It has very low carbon emissions, is the most reliable energy source, uses less land, and relatively affordable,” explained Djarot. This was conveyed in the IATKI Engineering Lecture webinar under the theme “Nuclear Energy Mix Towards Indonesia Net Zero Carbon 2060”, Saturday (05/03).

According to Djarot, Indonesia’s readiness to have a nuclear power plant has been evaluated directly at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) mission to Indonesia in 2009 for the first phase of infrastructure, namely before the government said that it wanted to build a nuclear power plant. The results of the IAEA evaluation show that Indonesia has met nearly all the requirements.

Indonesia has prepared the human resources since the 1990s. Human resources for the workforce are most needed during the construction process of nuclear power plant, while for operation, only hundreds of human resources are required.

“Our success in operating three research reactors in Serpong, Bandung, and Yogyakarta can serve as experience capital to operate nuclear power plants, although research reactors do not produce electricity as in nuclear power plants,” he added.

Djarot concluded that in terms of human resources and infrastructure, Indonesia is ready for the nuclear power plant development program, but the main challenge is socio-political consideration. “The challenges are not technology, human resources or infrastructure but more on social political,’ he said

Member of the Expert Council of the Indonesian Electricity Society, Arnold Soetrisnanto explained why it is time for Indonesia to utilize nuclear energy, “We have entered the energy transition era, and we are preparing Indonesia for net zero carbon by 2060. Of course, nuclear which emits zero carbon during operation can be taken into consideration,” explained Arnold.

Arnold also added that nuclear energy is a renewable energy and has a longer usage period compared to fossil fuel energy. Nuclear energy is not based on natural resources, but on technology and human capabilities.

“Nuclear does not depend on natural resources but on technology. To what extent can humans think to create nuclear technology, as the raw materials are on the earth, sun, and in the solar system,” he added.

Former member of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Kurtubi emphasized that Indonesia is in dire need of new and renewable energy, one of which is nuclear power plants, from which the community hope to get cheap electrical energy and are environmentally friendly. Kurtubi also sees obstacles in establishing nuclear power plants in Indonesia, “The obstacle is clearly socio-political, because some stakeholders are business people in the field of other natural resources,” Generation IV nuclear power plants are suitable to be built in Indonesia. If we continue to be afraid of nuclear power incidents, then there will never be a nuclear power plant in Indonesia,” he concluded. (yrt,wn)