Indonesia Preparing Regulation to Help Develop Nuclear Projects

Indonesia’s National Energy Council (DEN) is preparing a Nuclear Energy Programme Implementation Organisation (NEPIO) to help develop investment environment for the construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs). The country’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources had earlier established a preparatory team for the formation of a NEPIO. It is tasked with assessing the potential of a region for the establishment of an NPP, and preparing infrastructure and regulations. DEN says the formation of the preparatory team is the first stage in a series of necessary steps. The next step will be to explore the potential for NPP development.

Preparations for the first phase of NPP development had started in 2009 and are being reviewed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia has uranium reserves of around 90,000 tonnes and thorium reserves of around 140,000 tonnes – enough to power 10 1,000MWe nuclear for 30 years.

The new regulation will require businesses to complete a safety analysis before beginning to mine for nuclear materials. This includes a feasibility study, a design and construction plan for the mine, as well as emergency responses and countermeasures in case of a nuclear accident.

Businesses will also be required to manage their nuclear waste and conduct radiation exposure training programmes. Mining firms are also required to formally agree that they will not work in service of the development of nuclear weapons. They must submit a business and development plan and regularly provide authorities with an updated inventory of nuclear materials mined and imports of any special equipment.

The new regulations may support the government’s plan to build Indonesia’s first nuclear plant by 2040. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said in September that it had prepared a framework to help meet the 2040 target.

According to government officials, several countries with advanced nuclear programmes have already expressed interest to develop nuclear projects in Indonesia. A number of foreign companies have also approached the government to build small modular reactors (SMRs).

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