Indonesia plans to generate nuclear energy with Aussie Uranium

According to Karen Michelmore, "We have to make a decision this year, so that a start can be made early next year," Indonesia’s Research and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman told Indonesia’s Tempo magazine this month, reported The Canberra Times (29/9/2007, p. B2).

Nuclear energy essential for Indonesia’s development: The government is looking at building up to four nuclear power stations on the Mt Muria peninsula site, generating between 4000 and 6000 megawatts of much-needed low-cost electricity by 2016. Nuclear energy is seen as essential for the country’s development, with an extra 1500 to 2000 megawatts of power expected to be needed from 2016.

Sources for power generation are limited: "The places that most need electrical power are Java, Madura and Bali. Sources for power generation on this island are limited," Kusmayanto said. "Oil and coal are found in Sumatra and Kalimantan [but] if power stations were built in those areas, the distribution would be costly. The alternative was to build a nuclear power plant. where those costs wouldn’t be an issue." He said the Mt Muria site was considered the safest of 13 to 14 potential sites surveyed by the government.

Australia committed to peaceful nuclear cooperation with Indonesia: Kusmayanto told the magazine the government was waiting "for the presidential decree" that would order the formation of a team to take the project forward. In August, Indonesia said it would expect to buy uranium from Australia if its nuclear energy plans go ahead. And under the Lombok Treaty, signed last year, Australia committed to peaceful nuclear cooperation with Indonesia, which is also a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The Canberra Times, 29/9/2007, p. B2

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