Indonesia Forges Ahead into Nuclear Energy, Accelerating Plans with Nuclear Power Plant Development

Indonesia Forges Ahead into Nuclear Energy, Accelerating Plans with Nuclear Power Plant Development
Indonesia Forges Ahead into Nuclear Energy, Accelerating Plans with Nuclear Power Plant Development

Indonesia is on the verge of entering the nuclear energy era with plans for a nuclear power plant (PLTN) underway. To expedite this development, the Nuclear Energy Program Implementation Organization (NEPIO) is being established, awaiting the approval of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

The PLTN Acceleration Team, spearheaded by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, is set to play a crucial role. This team will be accountable to the president, focusing on the preparation and execution of the PLTN construction, aligning with the ambitious goal of achieving an energy transition and net-zero emissions by 2060.

Djoko Siswanto, Secretary-General of the National Energy Council (DEN), emphasized the significance of NEPIO’s formation as a prerequisite from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for Indonesia’s venture into PLTN development. He stated, “IAEA’s recommendation for nuclear commercialization requires us to meet 19 conditions, 16 have been fulfilled, only 3 more, one of them being NEPIO.”

As the government pushes forward, the PLTN Acceleration Team is set to present the organizational structure draft of the nuclear agency to President Jokowi. This move reflects Indonesia’s commitment to embracing nuclear energy as a viable source, subject to international standards and regulations.

In a paradigm shift, the government is accelerating the target for the commercial operation of PLTN. This strategic decision aims to expedite the integration of nuclear power into the broader spectrum of new renewable energy (EBT). This stands as a departure from viewing PLTN as a last-resort option for meeting energy needs.

The draft revision of the Government Regulation (PP) of the Republic of Indonesia Number 79 of 2014 concerning National Energy Policy (KEN) signals this progressive shift. According to DEN, the revised target for the commercial operation of PLTN has been moved up to 2032, underscoring the government’s commitment to advancing sustainable energy sources.

Yunus Saefulhak, Head of the DEN Energy Policy and Conference Facilitation Bureau, elaborated on this transformative approach. He remarked, “Nuclear was the last option, but now it’s not an option but a balancer to fill the energy mix to reduce emissions.” This perspective signifies a move towards integrating nuclear power on equal footing with other new and renewable energy sources.

The previous target of PLTN operating commercially by 2039, as outlined in the national zero-carbon emission roadmap, is being reconsidered. The revised roadmap sets ambitious targets for the EBT mix, ranging between 19% and 21% by 2030. This aligns with the government’s strategic plan to decrease reliance on imported gasoline and LPG, fostering greater energy independence.

Looking ahead, the government envisions a progressive increase in the EBT mix, reaching between 25% and 26% by 2035. This projection is contingent on the assumption that the first nuclear power plant will be operational by 2032, boasting an installed capacity of 250 megawatts (MW). As Indonesia ventures into the nuclear energy frontier, the commitment to achieving a sustainable and diversified energy landscape remains at the forefront of national priorities.