Nuclear is not a cheap energy: Think tank

Nuclear is not a cheap energy: Think tank

Nuclear energy remains costly and dangerous and its use should be carefully considered, according to Institute for Essential Service Reform (IESR) Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa.

"Nuclear is expensive and very risky. A nuclear power plant can operate for 40 to 50 years, but the waste can remain for thousands of years," Fabby said during a talk show in Jakarta on Sunday.

Citing IESR data, Fabby said that nuclear power plants in other countries had observed a steep incline in the cost of investment after the construction phase, mentioning as an example the US Vogtle nuclear power plant units 3 and 4, which began construction by Southern Company in March 2012 and November 2013.

The investment was estimated to be US$14.3 billion in total, but in 2014, the company announced that the sum had increased to $15.7 billion.

The government recently revealed that it was carrying out a feasibility study for the construction of nuclear power plants in the provinces of Kalimantan and Bangka-Belitung.

Rinaldy Dalimi from the National Energy Council voiced similar concerns, citing data from Japanese power plants.

"It's not true that, as has been claimed, [nuclear energy] is inexpensive," he said.

In Japan, he said, nuclear energy cost around 16 US cents per kilowatt hour before subsidies, higher than steam and hydro power plants at 3 cents per kWh.

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