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Jakarta Post

RI revives nuclear power plants vision

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, September 21, 2015   /  05:00 pm

The government has recently rejuvenated a plan to build mega nuclear power plants (PLTN) in the country as it has cooperated to expand knowledge on nuclear technologies and management.

The National Atomic Energy Agency (Batan) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rusatom Overseas, a Rosatom subsidiary that promotes Russian nuclear technology globally and the developer of its foreign projects.

'€œWe highly appreciate the hard work of our Indonesian colleagues aimed at the development of the first commercial nuclear power plant project. The main purpose of the memorandum is to provide an additional basis for further development of cooperation with regards to Rosatom'€™s Integrated Offer that we propose to the Indonesian party,'€ said Rusatom Overseas director general Evgeny Pakermanov in the company'€™s press release last week.

Despite having planned it for a while, Indonesia has yet to build nuclear power plants due to concerns with vulnerability because it is in a volcanic region, the Pacific Rim of Fire.

Japan'€™s Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown in 2011 sparked deep concerns about the safety of nuclear power worldwide, including in Indonesia. The tragedy also reinforced anti-nuclear activism in the country, particularly in areas earmarked for PLTN construction in Central Java.

Batan and Rosatom have been cooperating since last year to develop the country'€™s first nuclear power plant.

Batan earlier said that both agencies were looking forward to establishing a joint team to explore Indonesia'€™s options.

In June, both institutions signed an agreement on the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also appointed Indonesia'€™s Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) as its external auditor for the 2016-2017 term at a recent meeting in Vienna, Austria.

An external auditor for a UN organization is tasked with observing the respective institution and exchanging information on auditing methods and findings.

BPK will succeed India'€™s Comptroller and Auditor General that will end its term in December.

'€œWe would like to thank the IAEA for trusting Indonesia and are committed to giving high quality audits,'€ BPK member Bahrullah Akbar said on Saturday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

In return for the audit service, the BPK will receive an audit fee of 414,000 euros for two years. The fee is non-tax state revenue, he said.

The proposal to become an external auditor was tended by the Foreign Ministry, the Indonesian permanent representative in Vienna and the BPK, he said. On Feb. 2, BPK deputy chairman Sapto Amal Damandari filed the proposal with the IAEA.

Bahrullah said that to get the proposal endorsed, BPK chairman Harry Azhar Azis raised support from 164 representatives of IAEA member states on June 25 and held frequent communications with the Foreign Ministry.

Other strong contenders to become IAEA'€™s external auditor included Germany.

The IAEA is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna.

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