Muhammad Nasir, the research and technology minister, says construction is ongoing for an experimental nuclear power reactor on the outskirts of Jakarta, to pave the way for Indonesia’s first nuclear power plant.
Nasir said the experimental reactor in Serpong, Tangerang, was aimed partly to show the public that nuclear power was safe.
He said fear and resistance against nuclear power in Indonesia had lingered because the public had only little knowledge of the technology, and that it was limited to the nuclear disasters in Chernobyl, Ukraine, and Fukushima, Japan.
“Why have we always made a big deal out of nuclear power? It’s because we haven’t seen for ourselves [how it works], so we’re not convinced,” Nasir said during a visit to the Jakarta Globe newsroom on Tuesday. “That is why we’re currently trying to build a nuclear energy laboratory in Serpong. We need to educate and explain to the children of the nation that nuclear is safe.”