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Nuclear Power in Indonesia

(Updated April 2017)

Indonesia has a greater depth of experience and infrastructure in nuclear

technology than any other southeast Asian country except Australia.
A 10 MWe experimental nuclear power reactor is planned to be built at
Serpong, near Jakarta. Conceptual design has been completed by Russia.
Plans for larger units are delayed.

Indonesia's population of 242 million is served by power generation capacity of only 52

GWe in 2015. IEA figures for 2013 show production of 216 TWh, 3 TWh imports, 110
TWh from brown coal, 52 TWh from gas, 27 TWh from oil, 17 TWh from hydro and 9
TWh geothermal. It has per capita electricity consumption of around 500 kWh/yr, but
36% of the population in 2013 have no access to electricity. The government has
targeted a 26% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.
With an industrial production growth rate of 10.5%, electricity demand is estimated to
reach 450 billion kWh in 2026. At present a low reserve margin with poor power plant
availability results in frequent blackouts. The Java-Bali grid system accounts for more
than three quarters of Indonesia's electricity demand 132 TWh in 2012. PT PLN
(Persero), the Indonesia Electricity Corporation, projects 55 GWe new capacity by 2021,
38 GWe of this coal-fired. For 2025, 115 GWe capacity is projected, 20% of this from
new and renewable sources. Persero also plans major grid enhancements on Java, on
Sumatra, and Kalimantan, with a HVDC link Sumatra to Java.
More than one-third of Indonesia's electricity is generated by oil and gas, so as well as
catering for growth in demand in its most populous region, the move to nuclear power
will free up oil for export. However, in mid-2012 the National Energy Council (DEN) said
that nuclear power was an unlikely last resort in the country.
In March 2015 the government issued a white paper on national energy development
policy to 2050. In this, nuclear power is expected to provide 5 GWe by 2025, alongside
other new and renewable sources providing 12 GWe. In December the National Energy
Council completed the national energy plan to 2050 which awaited presidential
signature. This is reported to exclude major nuclear capacity, but has major increases in
oil, gas and renewables.

Nuclear proposals large scale

Following earlier tentative proposals, in 1989 the government initiated a study focused
on the Muria Peninsula in central Java and carried out by the National Atomic Energy
Agency (BATAN Badan Tenaga Nuklir Nasional) established in 1958. It led to a
comprehensive feasibility study for a 7000 MWe plant, completed in 1996, with Ujung
Lemahabang as the specific site, selected for its tectonic stability. Plans for the initial
plant on the Muria Peninsula in central Java were then deferred indefinitely early in
1997. A National Nuclear Act was passed in 1997.
Then a 2001 power generation strategy showed that introduction of a nuclear plant on
the 500 kV Java-Bali grid would be possible in 2016 for 2 GWe rising to 6-7 GWe in
2025, using proven 1000 MWe technology with investment cost $2000/kWe.
Under the 2006 National Electricity Planning Scheme 2006-26 and Presidential Decree
#43 in 2006 the project may be given to an Independent Power Producer to build and
operate. Sites on the central north coast of Java were then under consideration, with
access to the countrys main grid infrastructure. Plans were to call tenders in 2008 for
two 1000 MWe units, Muria 1&2, leading to decision in 2010 with construction starting
soon after and commercial operation from 2016 and 2017, but these plans were put on
hold. Fuel services would be purchased from abroad and fuel would preferably be
leased. Used fuel would be stored centrally in the medium term.
The government said that it had $8 billion earmarked for four nuclear plants of total 6
GWe to be in operation by 2025, and aimed to meet 2% of power demand from nuclear
by 2017. It was anticipated that nuclear generation cost would be about 4 cents/kWh
(US) compared with 7 c/kWh for oil and gas.
In July 2007 Korea Electric Power Corp. and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP)
signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia's PT Medco Energi
Internasional to progress a feasibility study on building two 1000 MWe OPR-1000 units
from KHNP at a cost of US$ 3 billion. This was part of a wider energy collaboration.
In mid-2010 three sites were being considered for main plants: Muria (central Java,
actually 3 locations), Banten (west Java) and Bangka Island (off southern Sumatra to
NE, 2 locations: West Bangka and South Bangka). All are on the north shores, away
from the tectonic subduction zone. Over 2011-13 BATAN undertook a feasibility study
for Bangka, and it signed an agreement with the Bangka-Belitung provincial
government. Bangka is far from any active volcano, has low seismic hazard, no tsunami
hazard (shallow sea), and low population. Site evaluation of Muntok, West Bangka and
Permis, South Bangka, showed both to be suitable for some 10 GWe capacity meeting
40% of the demand in Sumatra, Java and Bali. Most of this capacity would be at the
West Bangka site, with 600 MWe at Permis. After a change in provincial government,
these Bangka sites receded from immediate consideration.
BATANs focus in 2013 shifted to West Kalimantan, using small reactor units suited to
the relative lack of grid infrastructure there and where most electricity is imported from
Malaysia. Six designs were being evaluated. In November 2013 the Research &
Technology Ministry (RISTEK) affirmed its intention of building a small (eg 30 MWe)
power reactor, at an unspecified place.
In December 2014 BATAN announced site investigations at Jepara, on the west side of
the Muria peninsula, Central Java, and Bangka-Belitung. It said: Both regions are
feasible for nuclear power plant development about 12 units in Jepara with a capacity
each of 1,000 MWe and 10 units in Bangka Belitung with each having a capacity of
1,000 MWe. In May 2015 the Energy & Mineral Resources ministry said that a
feasibility study on building a nuclear power plant at Bangka-Belitung had been
completed and another was under way for Kalimantan. The question of whether such a
plant would be under PT PLN or private remained open.
According to JAEA, BATAN published plans in June 2014 for two 1000 MWe LWR
reactors on Java, Madura or Bali from 2027, and for two more in Sumatra (Bangka?)
from 2031. This is unconfirmed from BATAN but was reported in connection with the
JAEA HTR agreement in 2014.
In September 2015 Rusatom Overseas signed an agreement with BATAN on the
construction of large nuclear power plants in Indonesia. It also referred to floating
nuclear power plants (FNPP, see below).
In January 2016 BATAN said that a nuclear energy program implementation
organisation (NEPIO) was planned for launch in 2016, to move towards having up to
four large reactors online by 2025.

Nuclear proposals small scale

In December 2013, on the 55th anniversary of founding BATAN, the minister said that a
30 MW experimental nuclear power reactor (RDE) or non-commercial power reactor
(RDNK) and a gamma irradiation facility would be built by BATAN at Serpong, the site
of its largest research reactor. In March 2015 BATAN said: RDE/RDNK is a strategy of
the government to introduce the nuclear reactor which produces electricity and at the
same time could be used for experiment/research. The RDE selected is the fourth
generation which possesses higher safety technology than the previous generations.
RDE is a miniature nuclear power plant which in the future could be applied to regions
which do not need a large power source, especially in the Central and Eastern parts of
Indonesia. As well as producing electricity, eventually this type of reactor could be
utilized for desalination, production of hydrogen, and coal liquifaction process... Several
countries are attracted to become partners of Indonesia to contribute in the
development of the RDNK/RDE, among others Japan, China, South Africa and Russia.
BATAN expects that RDE/RDNK may operate from 2019, and in April 2016 BATANs
website showed that it is planning to build a test and demonstration high-temperature
gas-cooled reactor (HTR) of 10 MWt as RDE.
RDE/RDNK plans were with a view to a number of 100 MWe units following in
Kalimantan, Sulawesi and islands. Construction of the demonstration unit was expected
to take four years, with the start of operation after 2020.
Then in April 2015 Rusatom announced that a consortium of Russian and Indonesian
companies led by NUKEM Technologies had won a contract for the preliminary design
of the multi-purpose 10 MWe HTR in Indonesia, which would be a flagship project in
the future of Indonesias nuclear program. It will be a pebble-bed HTR at Serpong.
NUKEM is already involved with fuel for the research reactors there, and it has
considerable expertise in HTRs from Germany and South Africa. The reason for
deciding on an HTR is that there is more potential for process heat and hydrogen for
fertilisers. Atomstroyexport, OKBM and SRI SIA Luch are involved. The contract covers
a feasibility study on the conceptual design and the basic design documentation. These
were completed by OKBM Afrikantov in December 2015, and will lead to BATAN calling
for bids to construct the reactor, for both electricity and process heat. Atomproekt, part
of the ASE Group, is architect general.
In August 2016 China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) signed a cooperation
agreement with BATAN to develop HTRs in Indonesia. CNEC reported that Indonesia
aimed to construct small HTRs on Kalimantan and Sulawesi from 2027.
Russia is keen to export floating nuclear power plants (FNPP), on a fully-serviced basis,
to Indonesia as a means of providing power to its smaller inhabited islands. In August
2015 Rosatom and BATAN signed a cooperation agreement on the construction of
these. Earlier, the province of Gorontalo on Sulawesi was reported to be considering an
FNPP from Russia.
In October 2015 Martingale from the USA signed an agreement with the Indonesia
Thorium Consortium comprising state-owned companies PT Industry Nuklir Indonesia
(INUKI), PT PLN and PT Pertamina to build a ThorCon thorium molten salt reactor to
generate electricity. Martingale is developing the ThorCon 250 MWe design, and aims
to commission one there in the 2020s.
In March 2017 Pertamina, Inuki and PLN completed a preliminary feasibility study on
the Thorcon proposal which was positive, and the consortium is now seeking approval
from BATAN. Subject to this, construction would begin in 2019 for 2025 operation, as
the first nuclear power plant in Indonesia.
In addition, before any of the above small-scale proposals, BATAN had undertaken a
pre-feasibility study for a small Korean SMART reactor for power and desalination on
Madura island. However, this awaits the building of a reference plant in Korea.

International support for Indonesian plans

Russia's Rosatom signed a memorandum of understanding on the peaceful uses of
nuclear energy with BATAN in June 2015. This is designed to lead to other areas of
cooperation beyond the HTR project, including the possibility of constructing Russian
nuclear power units in Indonesia. In March 2017 an agreement was signed between the
nuclear regulatory authorities of Russia and Indonesia, Rostechnadzor and BAPETEN,
to cooperate in a range of issues related to the regulation of nuclear and radiation safety
as well as nuclear security.
The Japanese and Indonesian governments signed a cooperation agreement in
November 2007 relating to assistance to be provided for the preparation, planning, and
promotion of Indonesia's nuclear power development and assistance for public relations
activities. In August 2014 the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) announced that it
has agreed to extend this cooperation agreement with BATAN to include research and
development of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTRs).
The IAEA has been reviewing the safety aspects of both Muria and Madura proposals,
with Indonesia's Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency Badan Pengawas Tenaga Nuklir
(BAPETEN). It was then looking at the Bangka sites. BAPETEN was established in
1998 and reports directly to the President.
Public opinion
In December 2013 RISTEK reported the results of a poll conducted by an independent
agency PT Iconesia Solution. Community acceptance in Indonesia is increasing, and
76.5% agreed with the development of nuclear science and technology, while 60.4%
agreed with developing a nuclear power plant in the country.
In 2014, nationally 72% accepted nuclear power (N=3000); in Jamali it was 74% and
Bangka Belitung 57% (both N=1000).

Indonesia has a number of nuclear-related facilities in operation. BATAN operates three
research reactors: in Serpong, Banten on the western outskirts of Jakarta (30 MW), at
Bandung, west Java (2 MW), and in Yogyakarta, central Java (100 kW).
The country also has front-end capabilities in ore processing, conversion and fuel
fabrication, all at a laboratory scale, though PT Batan Teknologi assembles fuel
elements for the research reactors using imported US fuel.
There have been no experiments in reprocessing, but BATAN operates a radwaste
program including for spent fuel from the research reactors.
In Serpong, at the Research Centre for Science and Technology (PUSPIPTEK), is the
German 30 MW Multipurpose Reactor G.A. Siwabessy (RSG-GAS). This started up in
1987, and is managed and operated by the Multi Purpose Reactor Centre (PRSG). It is
intended to support the introduction of nuclear power to the country. It is normally run at
15 MW, though PRSG aimed to run it for 4200 hours of high-power operation from
BATANs Centre for Nuclear Technology and Reactor Safety (PTKRN) is responsible for
increasing the safety of the 30 MW research reactor at Serpong, and for commissioning
the planned experimental power reactor (RDE) there. PTKRN is charged with assessing
by 2019 the experimental power reactor, the various research reactors, and LWR
nuclear power plants, as well as developing research facilities.
Also at Serpong PUSPIPTEK are the Centre for Advanced Material Science &
Technology (PSTBM), Centre for Development of Nuclear Informatics (PPIN), Nuclear
Device Engineering Centre (NEDC), Radioisotope and Radiopharmaceutical
Technology Centre (PTRR, formerly Radioisotopes and Radiopharmaceuticals Centre,
PRR), Materials Technology Centre for Nuclear Fuel (PTBBN), Radioactive Waste
Technology Centre (PTLR), Nuclear Industrial Materials Technology Centre (PTBIN),
Centre for Nuclear Standardisation and Quality (PSMN), Centre for Nuclear Facility
Engineering (PRFN), and the Centre for Nuclear Technology Partnership (PKTN).
A government-owned company, PT Batan Teknologi (PT-BATEK), produces medical
and industrial isotopes (including Mo-99) for domestic needs using the facilities in
Serpong. Medical isotope production has been shifted from Bandung to there.
Friday Market (Pasar Jumat) in Jakarta is a larger nuclear establishment, with the
Isotopes and Radiation Technology Applications Centre (PATIR), Centre for Technology
of Nuclear Safety and Metrology (PTKMR), Nuclear Geology Development Centre
(PPGN), Centre for Education and Training (PDL), Centre for Assessment of Nuclear
Energy Systems (PKSEN), and the Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology
Dissemination (PDIN).
At the Bandung Reactor Centre, BATANs Centre for Applied Nuclear Science and
Technology (PSTNT) operates the Triga 2000 research reactor. This was the countrys
first research reactor, a small Triga mkII, which started up in 1964 and was
subsequently boosted to 2 MW in 2000. In 2017 it was being re-licensed, though plans
are being made for its shutdown in a few years, and decommissioning. The site also
hosts the Nuclear Materials Technology and Radiometric Centre (PTNBR) where
nuclear medicine in the country was established.
In August 2016 BATAN with Indonesian Nuclear Industry LLC and BAPETEN
completed the downblending of all unirradiated high-enriched uranium and 1.4 kg of
irradiated HEU to below 20%, eliminating the last HEU in SE Asia. The HEU was left
over from Mo-99 production to 2011. Production of Mo-99 from low-enriched uranium
was due to start in 2016 at Serpong.
At Yogyakarta, BATANs Centre for Accelerator Science & Technology (PSTA)
operates the 100 kW Kartini Triga research reactor which started up in 1979 and is
licensed to 2019. The College of Nuclear Technology (STTN) is also there and uses the
reactor for training.

Regulation and safety

A 2014 review of law and regulations confirmed that BATAN had the authority to
develop and operate the RDNK/RDE reactor in accordance with the 1997 Nuclear
Energy Act and the 2014 Government Regulation on Licensing of Nuclear Installation
and the Utilization of Nuclear Materials, with the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency
In November 2009 the IAEA undertook an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review
mission to Indonesia. Against 19 parameters, "no actions needed" on six, "significant
actions needed" on three, and the rest "minor actions needed". In respect to IAEA
milestones, the country is at the first: "ready to make a knowledgeable commitment".
During the 1980s many technical people were trained in anticipation of nuclear power
development then, many of these are still available for the new project.

There are some uranium resources in Kalimantan, and possibly West Papua. BATAN in
September 2010 quoted 53,000 tonnes as high-cost resources: 29,000 t in West
Kalimantan and 24,000 t in Bangka Belitung, including some associated with rare earths
in monazite by-product from tin mining.

International agreements and non-proliferation

Indonesia's safeguards agreement with the IAEA under the NPT entered force in 1980
and the Additional Protocol entered force in 1999. In 1997 it signed the Joint Convention
on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and Radioactive Waste Management.

BATAN 2012 summary of situation for IAEA
BATAN, Soft Launching of the Non Commercial Power Reactor (RDNK)/Experimental
Power Reactor (RDE) (1 March 2015)
Rosatom, Russian-Indonesian consortium won the tender for the preliminary design of
the research reactor in Indonesia [in Russia] (17 April 2015)