Nuclear power a 'last resort', says VP

Vice President Jusuf Kalla insists nuclear energy is a last resort for Indonesia, saying the country has alternative options more in line with the country’s geologic and sociological conditions for addressing the looming energy crisis.

“Nuclear is suitable only in Java, and this is a last resort. The sophisticated technology developed by Japan in building its nuclear energy [was not even foolproof], as its plant also leaked”, he said, in an apparent reference to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in 2011.

Such risk is very high for Indonesia, which would not be able to handle it extra cautiously,” he said in a seminar on energy diversification here on Tuesday.The Vice President acknowledged that Indonesia had potential in the development of nuclear energy, but that the world was divided over the use of nuclear energy.

Several countries have discontinued nuclear programs, while others are accelerating the construction of plantsHe said that outside Java, Belitung was a suitable site for the establishment of a nuclear power plant, but that connective it through undersea cables to Java would be too costly.

“It could be also built in Kalimantan, but the island has no nuclear resources.”He added it was difficult to build a nuclear power plant in the country because it would elicit strong protests from the public and environmentalists.

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