PLTN Muria

Sep 5th, 2007, in IM Posts, by

PLTN Muria, and nuclear energy in general, is haram for some.

Haram

Dozens of Muslim leaders from Jepara, Central Java branch of Nahdlatul Ulama gathered together on 1st and 2nd September and issued a fatwa declaring that nuclear energy is haram, or forbidden, because it is likely to cause more harm than good.

The government, for the past few years, has been planning to build several nuclear power plants, at least one of them in the Jepara district, at Mt. Muria (PLTN Muria). Under the government's plan, the project at Mt. Muria will be tendered in 2008, with construction beginning in 2010, and the plant coming online in 2016, providing about 2% of the nation's burgeoning energy needs, or 4,000 megawatts, says the Jakarta Post.

PLTN Muria Location
PLTN Muria Location.

The clerics' spokesman, Kholilurohman, said:

After considering all the arguments from the experts, in favour and against, this forum has decided that the development of the Muria power plant is haram.

The clerics worried most of all about the ability of the future plant operator to ensure the safety of the PLTN Muria, especially the handling of radioactive waste.

State Minister for Research and Technology Kusmayanto Kadiman was present to give the government's side of the story at the meeting, which was also attended by about 1,000 people from Balong village, Kembang district, Jepara. Balong village is the designated site for the nuclear plant.

The discussions between Kusmayanto and the villagers and clerics became heated after the villagers demanded that the minister sign a statement cancelling the project. The minister refused and had to be escorted to safety by security officers.

Not Haram Yet

Meanwhile the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) plans to call the leaders of the Jepara Nahdlatul Ulama to account for their "rash" fatwa.

Ma'ruf Amin of MUI says fatwas have to be based on careful study and sound, established legal arguments.

What is the legal basis of their judgement? If they are just making it up as they go along, then they can't do that.

The MUI itself had never issued a fatwa on nuclear power, he said, because the government had not asked it to. [1]


31 Comments on “PLTN Muria”

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  1. avatar Peter says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 8:02 am

    The clerics worried most of all about the ability of the future plant operator to ensure the safety of the PLTN Muria, especially the handling of radioactive waste.

    They have a good point there. I feel sorry for the luckless people who will have to suffer the consequences of having nuclear waste dumped in their backyards. We already saw what happened to the folks with the “mud volcano”. I would hope – but not expect – for the government to make sure that none of its citizens’ rights were trampled upon in the aftermath of a project like this.

    The fatwa is an interesting one, however. I wonder which verses from the Quran could be applicable to the issue of nuclear power.

  2. avatar Andrew says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Given Indonesia’s “very excellent” track record of maintaining equipment and facilities, I would object to the idea as well if I lived in the area. Planes fall out of the sky, ships sink, trains jump off the track… what now, they want to build a nuclear powerplant? Haram or not, it’s not a good idea…

  3. avatar Djoko says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 10:49 am

    The fatwa is an interesting one, however. I wonder which verses from the Quran could be applicable to the issue of nuclear power.

    From what I’ve read around the place about it, most likely verses and concepts to do with public welfare and general considerations of advantages vs. disadvantages. From the Ansor Youth website:

    “PLTN tidak hanya menyangkut masalah energi, tapi juga lingkungan, sosial, politik, dan ekonomi. Untuk meneropong masalah tersebut, batasnya adalah manfaat dan bahaya bagi kepentingan umat,” katanya.

    “The nuclear power plant is not just about energy, but also about the environment, social, political and economic considerations. The standard for examining this issue are its benefits and dangers for the Islamic community.”

    This basic kind of standard is one of the considerations in most Islamic rulings on public welfare.

    At the moment though its just a local ruling, and the National NU (much less the MUI as mentioned in the article) have yet to put out a ruling on it.

  4. avatar Pena Budaya says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Are these people – who reject the nuclear power plant – the same people who support Iranian’s nuclear program?

  5. avatar Augusto says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    What’s with all fatwa this and fatwa that, haram this and hallal that! As if these Muslims cant think for themselves without relying on religion and MUI for their livelihood. This Islamic mindset is really taking its toll among the Muslim nowadays. They disagree with the nuclear power plant and that’s fine considering the reputation of this govt in handling problems. But why do they have to bring up this haram and hallal thing accd to islam to justify everything as if non-Muslims don’t have any rights?

  6. avatar Sylvester says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Are these people – who reject the nuclear power plant – the same people who support Iranian’s nuclear program?

    I bet yes!
    That is because so many hypocrite imams in islam.
    These imams should let the experts to decide, in this case BATAN, not mixing islam with science & technology.

  7. avatar WP says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    I’m all for nuclear enegry; there isn’t really much option here. Fossils will run out in 50 years, and by then there will be 400 millions people living in Indonesia, all screaming for their bits of energy.

    And since energy consumption is also strongly infleunced by the size of population, population control is now, more than ever, an important issue to address.

  8. avatar Jayabaya says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    PLTN will never solve our problem in energy, the bigger energy Indonesia have then the bigger will be our problems. Indonesia people need to stay away from bad energy such as corruption mentality and this is our top priority to achieve. So long as corruption are rampant in Indonesia, it will not solve this country problems. It is better to have no energy at all and let the darkness cover the entire Indonesia so people will not commit corrupted acts any more.

  9. avatar Jokoboyo says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    I am not too worry about the plan itself, I don’t think there is serious investor that technologically capable to built Nuclear Plant will invest on Muria PLTN. Did u remember that Tuban Petrochemical complex had lack of investors interested to continue the development since 1996 until 2007 ? It was only $2B investment but no one interested to sunk their money to the jungle of Indonesia who somewhat nearly lawless in doing business conduct practice.
    Secondly what is the guarantee return ? based on our existing PLN charges ?

    ha ha ha “¦ it won’t work unless Indonesian gov’t will trade-off with oil & gas PSC concession to the Nuclear plant ‘s investors.

  10. avatar pj_bali says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    What surprises me is why the government is being so dogmatic in its pursuit of nuclear power. Consider that Indo exports heaps of coal and natural gas. Either can be used for power generation and you don’t have to worry about security of supply. Any uramium for this power station plan in muria would have to be imported, presumably from Austrailia. Have they even given thought to where the waste fuel will go?

    One things for sure – its taking longer and longer to get a power hookup in bali these days!

    Cheers

  11. avatar Dimp says:
    September 6th, 2007 at 5:27 am

    I’m all for nuclear enegry; there isn’t really much option here. Fossils will run out in 50 years, and by then there will be 400 millions people living in Indonesia, all screaming for their bits of energy.

    You know that there are other choices than nuclear energy… True that it is a good source of energy, but do you really trust the Indonesian officials in handling such a harmful material?

  12. avatar WP says:
    September 6th, 2007 at 6:16 am

    You know that there are other choices than nuclear energy”¦ True that it is a good source of energy, but do you really trust the Indonesian officials in handling such a harmful material?

    No, I don’t trust them :) But presently, the only source of energy which is afordable and capable to feed our massive need is nuclear. The equation here is quite simple: no energy ==> no economy. So we must have nuclear.

  13. avatar Falcon says:
    September 6th, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Stop and forget building more electric power plants. We want green power plants, lets gather all those clercs and let them crank an electric generator by hand, and by the way its good for more employments. They got nothing productive todo all day and night anyway.

  14. avatar Dimp says:
    September 6th, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Hi WP,

    It is far more disastrous when we have problems with the nuclear reactors, recently the Japanese (CMIIW) have problem (of course they have the capability to manage the situation), but what happened in Chernobyl should be warning enough to avoid nuclear power plant.

    True no energy = no economy, but what about no people?

    We have natural disasters left right and centre and clearly that we cannot handle disasters well (we always need help from outsiders), can we really afford to have a nuclear power plant in the hand of Indonesian officials?

  15. avatar Bas says:
    September 6th, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    All that is haram in Indonesia is usually good but in this case I agree:

    Nuclear energy under Indonesian staff maintenance is very likely to cause more harm than good.

  16. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    September 7th, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    The nuclear energy project is probably a sham to promote transmigrasi to the outer islands:-)

  17. avatar Hassan says:
    September 9th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    When the Lapindo project went wrong, the citizens of Porong were forced to evacuate. If something were to happen to this nuclear project in Muria, perhaps all of Java would need to be evacuated. I am dreading the possibility.

  18. avatar NuG says:
    September 11th, 2007 at 3:11 am

    I think we need to think about future and not only trapped in the past. History teach us how to anticipate such a failure on nuclear power plant. Many researches is made so the accident can be avoided. Our non renewable energy source (fossil fuels) can not fulfill the demand of energy which increased dramatically from year to years. So please re-consider it wisely. (I’m sorry, my english is bad :D)

  19. avatar Raden says:
    September 13th, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Hasan, it is depending on who will be the private investor for Nuclear Jepara reactor. If Medco/LP group involve again as private investors then ‘alahualam’ , if fully gov’t led investment then we will surrender rakyat to UN help.
    Learning from Porong disaster case, there is no different between ORBA and jaman reformasi. Rakyat always no:2, while inflation rate is even worse than ORBA

  20. avatar Raden says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Sst … silently PT Energy Mega Persada (EMP) or Medco group or aviliated with the culprit Lapindo Brantas who made mega project of the most successful MUD VOLCANO disaster in Porong who hv made some 30,000 homeless porong families are signing deal with Japan / South Korea for proceeding with the Nuclear Plant in Jepara ?
    If this is true without Parliament & regional support then what is the different of $oeharto era and ‘Kabinet Bersatu’ reformation era in Indonesia ???

    Why the same group of companies who hv made disaster never ending receiving second bigger concession in nuclear project by gov’t, Why ? … where are the students who keep silent ? are u tired students ? …. sudah males demo ya ? I pity poor students ….

  21. avatar Agnes says:
    May 1st, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I dont really care about the haram power plants , because most people who care about these , are wolves in a sheep’s clothing.
    I’d better think how to be a better human who appreciate what God has given to me and make it real.
    I also dont care how much students who do demonstrations.
    They just show off their anger. In the other hand , they ruin our world , our environment , by burning a lot of tires in front of DPR buliding.
    They , who are educated , sholud have known that burn tires a lot will give impacts as HARM as build nuclear power plants.
    See??

    Sometimes , i think we need to be genocided by Allah.
    Then the number of hypocrites will decrease in a very short time.

  22. avatar axlrose says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    :) Indonesia had a NPP. Just install GENERATOR. Capacity about 10 Mega Watt. Non LAPINDO, because of article 28, UU 10/1997. Indonesian NPP is in PUSPIPTEK Serpong… We can do it…

  23. avatar Ardi says:
    March 21st, 2009 at 11:56 am

    If nuclear energy is built to positive aim. I think no problem, but I don’t know about the opinion of other parties.

  24. avatar radyan prasetyo says:
    April 21st, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    waw… what a great discussion…

    I wonder what shall we do if the gas, oil even coal and others fossil fuels has run out meanwhile we have no substitutes energy sources????

    I also wonder in which part of Al Qur’an Al Karim says that nuclear power plant is haram??? please let me know it soon…

    Then if we talk bout environmental impact, do we realize that fossil fuel has more and more harm to environment then nuclear?? we produce million ton of CO2 and another green house gases from aour activity especially transportation and industrial sector,

    We have learn a lot from Chernobyl disster and hoping its not gonna happen once more. so we should protect our regulation and another instrument to ensure that standar operation procedure of nuclear power plant (waste material) management are obey.

    If there any country think to refuse nuclear power plant, it should be Japan because they were the real victim of evil nuclear side, but they now recognize nuclear power plant even 40% of their energy supply derived from.

  25. avatar Stupid Bule says:
    May 30th, 2009 at 2:04 am

    @ Andrew,

    Given Indonesia’s “very excellent” track record of maintaining equipment and facilities, I would object to the idea as well if I lived in the area. Planes fall out of the sky, ships sink, trains jump off the track… what now, they want to build a nuclear powerplant? Haram or not, it’s not a good idea…

    I whole heartedly agree with you on this…There seems to be an attitude amoung many indonesians that, if it’s not broken, or filthy dirty, or in some way not fully functional, it’s of no use…

    I think firstly Indonesia should be made to prove they can properly maintain let’s say….a public toilet before being given a Nuclear power station.

  26. avatar Astrajingga says:
    May 31st, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    My friend proposed to Jakarta government to use his company’s wind-power plant for inhabited Seribu islands. He proposed it to replace the old-broken-obsolete-pollution maker diesel power plant one by one in each island, and cutting the whole weekly/monthly oil purchasing and transportation budget. Jakarta government rejected the project proposal for no clear reasons. And then he found out–from a gossipy low rank Pemda officer–that the proposal was rejected because there’s no regular/annual maintenance/fuel budget–where they can get a regular cut. No wonder these decision makers love ‘mati lampu’ (black out). It’s all their creation.

    Anyway, whether we, Indonesian, will have nuclear plant or not, it’s a matter of whether it would provide profits for investors or not, and whether it would provide much for apparatchik to corrupt or not. It wouldn’t be decided based on urgency, necessity, nor safety reasons.

    And about whether I support Iran nuclear energy program, surely I do, even if they turn it into nuclear weapon program. Russia has thousands of it, US also has thousands of that WMD; 30 or a hundred additional Iranian nuclear missiles can’t hurt more. If we can trust Obama & Medvedev, why can’t we trust Ahmadinejad?

    But I won’t support Indonesian government to develop a nuclear plant. I got a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome.

    Since I’m not an insane warmonger, I surely do prefer if no country on earth has nuclear weapon. But then again, what if Master Zorg and his Zorgian warriors of Planet Tripton has even more destructive weapons, we should be ready for them, ay?

  27. avatar Igo says:
    November 8th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    one day if there is no power to light up up your lamp because of the lack of coal or oil, you can ask your imams or whatever you call it to light your lamp up by making fatwa.

  28. avatar hardianwahyudi says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:14 am

    First I’m sorry if my english so bad,when we do demonstrasion against nuclear power plan, we walk 37 km to ask nu said haram and refuse pltn muria, when the batsul matsail day in jepara (the day fatwa was created), we argue with minister of technology and Research kusmayanto kadiman, kadiman said we in energy crisis, so we must build it, we answer to him if we in energy crisis why we ekspor our energy more than 70 persen to foreign country, and why we don’t use alTernative energy like wind, water, wave, gass, earth heat that more cheap and save, the ministry can’t answer that, and you must know when we debate it with batan in office of suara merdeka when we ask why must nuclear why not the other power plan like wind, wave, and etc that more saver and cheap. batan (I forget the person from batan name) just can said because the investor want it, what the hell is going on the government want built it not because we need nuclear, but because they forced by the investor this is neoliberalism do this is still our country if the government always say yes to investor and don’t care with people, they export energy but want to import nuclear that’s so expensive and dangerous

  29. avatar ALI WAHYUNO says:
    August 14th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Nuclear is important.
    Nuclear for peace okay.
    Nuclear for war no
    Indonesian the big people country to need nuclear tehnology for energy.
    To wipe out nuclear boom in the world !!!

  30. avatar samuelgideon says:
    February 18th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Well, I agree with the statement that the procurement of nuclear project in Indonesia is just a political course of neoliberalism. Everyone already knows about it from time immemorial. However, that should be emphasized is the use of energy. You said that Indonesia could take advantage of energy sources such as wind, gas, earth, and so forth. Now, I challenge you to give a simple idea how to gather energy from ocean waves (such as the tsunami in Aceh), or perhaps a very large lightning energy, or it could be a tornado that can tear down the house. Of course, if it can be collected and used as electrical energy, other forms of energy can generate hundreds of gigawatts of electrical power, which can make the entire island of Java electric literacy. However, in reality, there is no technology that can convert those forms of energy into electrical energy that can be consumed by the public. It’s easy to talk this and that about the demands of technology. But basically, it requires a long process and not cheap. Therefore, while doing business diversified energy diversification, we can perform a promising energy exploration and is already in plain sight. Nuclear project is very promising for the welfare of the nation. Uranium is the main fuel used in nuclear power plants. Indonesia has natural resources of uranium in a very large number. And natural resources has not been used (or ‘exported’) to the fullest. Thus, no doubt, NPP will provide a promising source of energy for the welfare and progress of the nation.

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