Accidents Waiting to Happen

Feb 18th, 2009, in News, by

Whether nuclear power is suitable for Indonesia, or are Indonesians too absent minded to manage it.

In a meeting with businessmen in Jakarta recently at the Four Seasons Hotel vice president Jusuf Kalla said his Golkar Party was opposed to the building of nuclear power plants because it was unrealistic in Indonesia. vivanews


Jusuf Kalla, possibly smiling

Firstly Kalla said people had the "not in my back yard" attitude, whenever a potential site was discussed local people rose up in protest, like at the proposed PLTN Muria site on the north coast of Central Java.

As soon as there is a plan to build people start demonstrating.

Another reason Kalla said was that Indonesians tended to be absent minded:

Our people really are known to be a bit careless.

Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson, not Indonesian

For these reasons, and for the time being at least, Golkar was in the Nuclear Free camp, he said.


32 Comments on “Accidents Waiting to Happen”

  1. avatar oigal says:

    Jeez..I never thought I would agree with the little weird man!

    Seriously Indonesia with Nuclear Power..based on safe and productive running of what industry so far? However, if they must do it, I hope they reserve all the jobs for the FPI, glow in the dark mindless thugs would be amusing to watch jumping up and down at night at whatever offends them this week.

  2. avatar orgindo says:

    put the plant in the middle of city. and build a housing for the workers on the top of the plant. I assure you, it will be operated safely.

    usually they are more careful when the matters involve their own lives.

  3. avatar TheWrathOfGrapes says:

    Build it next to the Golkar headquarters, or near the Dewan Parliament…

  4. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Could the real reason Kalla doesn’t like nuclear power because his companies won alot of contracts in the 10,000 MW coal-fired crash power program ?

    Problem with the debate over nuclear power is that most people don’t understand the technical arguments for and against.

    Then they don’t understand the economic arguments for and against.

    2 incidents tend to color the debate: 1) the Long Mile Island accident in the 1970s, demonized by Jane Fonda, the well-known scientist and nuclear engineer and 2) Chernobyl.

    The tone of debate seems to be: nuclear = dangerous. bad. bad because its nuclear.

    Wasn’t one of Indonesia’s 3 existingnuclear facilities hit by the Yogya ’06 earthquake with no ill-effect ?

    By all means, shoot down nuclear power — but let’s hear some technical cases.

    Debate boils down to clean (but expensive start-up) nuclear power with a small, small, small chance of a catastrophic accident vs dirty, carbon-producing coal-power for sure.

  5. avatar oigal says:

    Could the real reason Kalla doesn’t like nuclear power because his companies won alot of contracts in the 10,000 MW coal-fired crash power program ?

    Nicely done assmad

    Actually I am all for Nuclear power and believe it is the only viable way to meet growing energy needs.

    In Indonesia’s case, however probably need to demonstrate a level of compentence and a culture of safety not readily evident in existing industries.

  6. avatar funny says:

    Surely there are other alternatives to nuclear. (plankton, earth temp comes to mind)

    If we wanna go nuke, maybe we should demonstrate our abilities to take care of a much simpler problem first? Maybe like, oh I don’t know, a certain mud problem?

    Oh and I agree, nicely put assmad….

    Oh and oigal too 🙂

  7. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Then they don’t understand the economic arguments for and against.

    For the Indonesia case, the economic arguments is very clear with the coal fired power we have abundance resources of the coal to be burn until the dooms day but with the nuclear power Indonesia will easily to be racketed by the western worlds for charge of nuclear fuel , charge for handling waste nuclear and charge for un-necessary expert skills.

    In the mean time, we have to drop the list urgency for mastering of the nuclear power technology but we need urgently technology how to detonate remotely the nuclear bomb that currently stock piled in the western world.

  8. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    @ Ogle, Cukurungan, Funny.

    Culture of safety. Yes, well, that does leave something to be desired, doesn’t it.

  9. avatar Oigal says:

    I am the first to admit even after many years there a many things remain a cultural (?) mystery to me in Indonesia. Not the least of which is a seemingly lack of understanding of consequences.

    For our company, even when we provide safety equipment, do the films, the talks..the practices are adopted not because its could for the worker but coz thats waht the silly bule wants?

    A classic example, a government official warns the public to stay away from bill boards this week because high winds are forecast??

    Mom, Dad and the two kids on the motorbike, mom and dad with helmets on backward and kids sans any?

    Or the weirdest but best example of consequence apprecation, some time ago I was home staying in Christian Region but for some reason (Not important why, usual religious crap) they decided to burn down the Muslim enclave in the village. Following week they were complaining around the dinner table that fish was so expensive.

    Mmm…”Weren;t the Muslims the village fishermen”

    “Yes..why whats your point”

    Cuk..Good point but with all that coal why is Indonesia so “underpowered”?

  10. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ogle,

    Was snorkling in the Malukus once and asked a Muslim fisherman why he wasn’t worried about stepping on stonefish.

    “Nasib,” he said. “If I die, it’s nasib (fate).” Ojek drivers, taxi drivers, cyclists, have all also dismissed the danger from suicidal and homicidal metro-mini drivers as “nasib.”

    Why is Indonesia underpowered ? No one has wanted to invest here for a decade because 1) they cancelled a bunch of contracts in 1997 2) in 2004, the constitutional court overturned the 2002 bill on power and parliament is still mucking around making another one.

    Or so they tell me, just a humble poet and ukulele player.

  11. avatar schmerly says:

    @ Cukurungan…

    In the mean time, we have to drop the list urgency for mastering of the nuclear power technology but we need urgently technology how to detonate remotely the nuclear bomb that currently stock piled in the western world.

    Just one question WHY??

  12. avatar schmerly says:

    @ Cukurungan..

    charge for handling waste nuclear

    So you think Indonesia could handle their own nuclear waste! how Just chuck it in the nearest river or sea??

    and charge for un-necessary expert skills.

    Yea anyone can run a nuclear power plant even the local warung owner could do it! get real.

  13. avatar Oigal says:

    Actually AS, I was being a bit sarcastic with the under powered bit..could almost put the post in the disunity section of this blog. You have to wonder how long the provinces will stand by and watch the Jakarta Mafia sell their resources out from under them yet cannot and show little desire to provide the most basic of civilised infrastructure, ie power, clean water.

    You can understand why the people in the kampung believe democracy (or whatever is here) has failed and at times lean to the loons.

    And yet.. the people seem to expect and accept it..

  14. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ogle,

    They’ve been dipping into reserve capacity since 2005. Under-powered just means supply is struggling to keep up with demand. Economic downturn should help things. On the power, well, hard to blame the rakyat — not a seksi media story.

  15. avatar sputjam says:

    don’t bother building another power plant. Peninsular malaysia has an overcapacity in electrical generation, thanks to dr madhatter and privatisation. just allow Tenaga nasional access to local grid and some power purchase arrangement, and all will be well for the next decade.

  16. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Cuk..Good point but with all that coal why is Indonesia so “underpowered”?

    The issue is not only how to generate power but how to trasmit the power to the consumer. Ideally, the power generation should be built near the coal mine area to cut the transportation cost but sorry I can not futher discuss this issue on the free forum because I can earn the money by selling this shit.

    Just one question WHY??

    Because, it is only the way to eliminate the bomb nuclear from our planet. I do not like that there is word “Bomb Nuclear is bad for you but good for me” why and for what..Is it to guard our planet from the alien attack or to bully other country who do not have nuclear bomb?

  17. avatar schmerly says:

    @ Cukurungan..

    Is it to guard our planet from the alien attack or to bully other country who do not have nuclear bomb?

    If you believe nuclear bombs are designed to ward off alien attacks you’d better join Assmad on the funny farm.

    In the mean time, we have to drop the list urgency for mastering of the nuclear power technology but we need urgently technology how to detonate remotely the nuclear bomb that currently stock piled in the western world.

    I assume you know other countries have nuclear bombs, India, Pakistan, Russia, North Korea and China, so what would you intend to do to about these countries stockpiles?

  18. avatar ET says:

    Our people really are known to be a bit careless.

    Gnothei seauton (Know Yourself) some ancient Greek philosopher whose name I forgot once said. Y. Kalla was probably brought up by the Jesuits.

    put the plant in the middle of city. and build a housing for the workers on the top of the plant. I assure you, it will be operated safely.

    No, no, no. It will only stimulate transmigrasi.

  19. avatar Mike Oxblack says:

    The nuclear issue is currently on the table for the whole world in fact. Global warming dictates that we’ve simply got to move on from coal. Nuclear waste, while naturally dangerous (for up to 1000 years) can at least be stored safely until such time as scientific progress teaches us what to do with it.

    Hopefully in another 50 years or so, nuclear fusion power will be with us (an experimental reactor is being built now) however, until then, we’ve got to get the carbon footprint down and conventional reactors offer that chance. They’re also much safer than they were, although any reactor in this country should most definitely be owner operated for the reasons outlined by Mr. Kalla above (just above the pic of Homer dozing off at the controls).

    I’d really like to see more money invested in renewables though and a much less wasteful world in general. Indonesian’s are not very green, despite the efforts of a few brave local pioneers to try and change stubbornly ingrained attitudes. My fave is burning electricity on the aqua dispenser to make the water both hot and cold, which many then mix together to produce a nice glass of room temperature water…

  20. avatar schmerly says:

    @ MO…Mike I agree with you but:

    Nuclear waste, while naturally dangerous (for up to 1000 years) can at least be stored safely until such time as scientific progress teaches us what to do with it.

    That’s the scary bit! and I can’t think of anywhere to “safely” store this stuff, and for how many years?

  21. avatar Suryo Perkoso says:

    Is it just Indonesia?

    Sellafield zoo has it’s issues too, allow me to illustrate…

    Bear’s paw is a delicacy in Chinese food, as well as being a powerful aphrodisiac.

    Regular contributions from Roger help keep both the Zoo and the local Chinese community happy.

    A 30lb bream landed by a recent visitor to the new fishing facilities on the river.

    Record sized fish are common near Sellafield, though complete ones are rare.

    In the streams, rivers and estuaries around here you will find perch, dace, chubb, bream and a large brown thing with ears that we can’t identify.

    Night fishing is a popular pastime, as fish are easy to spot in the flourescent waters.

    A prevailing westerly wind provides constant surprises for our animal’s genomes as fallout and leaked materials drift by from the power plant.

    At the picnic area, we recently had a little trouble. A small explosion in nearby Reactor B at the Power Station flattened the surrounding landscape.

    This picture by Julian Brown shows the spot where his parents were sitting at the time. Their remains were later found in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and many of the Baltic states.

    At the moment, the picnic area is closed, although the people at the Power Station tell us that it should be safe to go there in about 20,000 years’ time.

    For anyone interested, our east java office can provide further information on tours to the zoo, and arrange a booking for you.

    sellafieldtours@ojolali.net

  22. avatar Suryo Perkoso says:

    That’s a shame, the images didn’t work…
    Further info here:-

  23. avatar Mr Tic Tac Toe says:

    Finally, a topic i kinda know. 🙂 So i can say something without too much ‘njeplak’.

    Pak/Bu schmer:

    That’s the scary bit! and I can’t think of anywhere to “safely” store this stuff, and for how many years?

    I have an idea, why not put them in places where they naturally occur?
    something like this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

    Another option, just spread them to air. Since we already get 100 times of that using coal anyway:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_power#Radioactive_trace_elements
    I dont see any demonstrations against coal here.

    Space is another option, space already a hostile environment where radiation is common.

    And of course, there are always more conventional and proven ways.

    Tn. Oigal:

    Jeez..I never thought I would agree with the little weird man!

    Why would you agree when its self defeatist and its from an (incompetent, perhaps) indonesian leader?

    Even if he was right, why not outsource the operations to some competent-western-company?

    Or find a solution that doesnt require local safety operators, like this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sstar
    or this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_4S

    Cuk..Good point but with all that coal why is Indonesia so “underpowered”?

    Transport problems, integration problems, too many people involved.

    Of course, it is much cheaper to transport 13 kg of uranium than tons of coal.

    Yth. Achmad:

    Wasn’t one of Indonesia’s 3 existingnuclear facilities hit by the Yogya ‘06 earthquake with no ill-effect ?

    But.. but, i know for a fact, that it was only fully operational twice a year, for tightly scheduled experiments and trainings. Big chance it wasnt operational at the time. Around june, uni students were on break.

    Tn. Cuk:

    For the Indonesia case, the economic arguments is very clear with the coal fired power we have abundance resources of the coal to be burn until the dooms day

    you DO know that we have abundant uranium reserve in west borneo right? We can also use those resources until doomsday kills superman.

    The argument against mining it, was environmental catasthropy or something, which becomes invalid now becoz the existence of ‘other alternatives’ there, such as biodiesel, already destroy the area. Open your google earth, look at west borneo.

    ….

    On local expertise:
    We already have a bunch of jobless nuclear phd since the 60’s. But they are just engineers and scientists, not politicians.

    I personally know an autistic salafist phd who went to canada to research/design CANDU reactors for tropical nations. Coincidentally he looks just like Pak Achmad, only without glasses.

    In indonesia, lifelong researches, experiences, and 40-50 years nuclear safety records were abandoned becoz some trader like jusuf kalla doubts himself.

  24. avatar schmerly says:

    Triple “T”

    I have an idea, why not put them in places where they naturally occur?

    Don’t you think this dumping would just elevate the already naturally occurring radiation levels? and how long would this dumping go on for, eventually there must come a saturation point.

    Another option, just spread them to air. Since we already get 100 times of that using coal anyway:

    Yes but would the people living on Earth be happy to have more radiation added to their
    atmosphere?

    Space is another option, space already a hostile environment where radiation is common.

    How do you get it up there by rocket? the failure of which wouldn’t be an option.

  25. avatar Mr Tic Tac Toe says:

    Don’t you think this dumping would just elevate the already naturally occurring radiation levels? and how long would this dumping go on for, eventually there must come a saturation point.

    Do you really think we can significantly exceed total level naturally occuring radiations?

    Why not think about it this way, instead of letting the uraniums spread all over the world(as they already are), we actually put them in a manageable site. So we are actually just MOVING radioactive materials from place to place after taking some energy away, not MAKING them, we’re not really that almighty.

    The “radioactive waste” concept is not the same as “plastic waste”, we are not adding new synthetic thing, its already occuring naturally, we are actually decaying the materials a bit faster.

    If it IS just like plastic, its almost the same as collecting, then decomposing it while taking some energy, then put it in a manageable place. Or are you more comfortable with spreading the plastic waste all over the world?

    Yes but would the people living on Earth be happy to have more radiation added to their
    atmosphere?

    They seemed to be happy releasing 100 times more radioactive waste by using coal.
    By using Nuclear PP, and releasing the waste to air, we ACTUALLY reducing the release to 1:100 compared to using coal poweplant of the same power.

    Unless if we can stop using coal altogether, i dont see NPP as an environmentally inferior solution.

    So when this jusuf kalla think that NPP will be polluting the earth with radioactive, he should realize that he is already releasing 100 times more.

    How do you get it up there by rocket? the failure of which wouldn’t be an option.

    Okay, perhaps you’re right.

  26. avatar schmerly says:

    Triple “T” Your right in a lot of ways but I really don’t like NP, and at one time nuclear waste was put in lead lined drums and dumped in the sea!! I don’t think this sort of thing happens anymore, however getting back to NP what’s the alternative? I can’t see wind power, wave power or solar power ever providing the worlds energy needs unfortunately.

    Btw in the UK in the area around Sellafield power station, they have the highest incidences of child birth defects in the UK, but they tell everybody that the plant is safe, or rather safe within the guide lines laid down by the government!! it makes you think yeah?

  27. avatar schmerly says:

    Triple “T”

    Do you really think we can significantly exceed total level naturally occuring radiations?

    To be sure I think you’d have to speak to a nuclear scientist on that one T!

  28. avatar Mr Tic Tac Toe says:

    Triple “T” Your right in a lot of ways but I really don’t like NP

    NIMBYism? or BANANA?

    I can’t see wind power, wave power or solar power ever providing the worlds energy needs unfortunately.

    Plenty of solutions around actually. The Nazis used syngas. South Africa used sasol technology. All those deserts like sahara, gobi, and australia are ideal for solar power.

    I, miself, am still experimenting with algae for biodiesel in my tiny personal lab.

    All good in small scale. problematic in large scale.

    The energy cost to produce solar cell to cover africa will be enormous, we need to build lots of NPs as bootstrapper.

    If we infect the sea with oil-producing algae, they might become a sustainable energy source, and helps on that global warming thing by absorbing CO2. But we will sacrifice lots of fish.

    Huge hydroelectric dams arguably caused huge earthquake in china, and it kills fish.

    Dumping radioactive waste to sea will also kill fish.

    So, i think the most ideal solution for indonesia is still building NPs, then dump the waste to the nearby desert called: australia. 🙂

  29. avatar schmerly says:

    @ Triple “T”..

    So, i think the most ideal solution for indonesia is still building NPs, then dump the waste to the nearby desert called: australia.

    Yeah I’m sure the Australians would appreciate that.

  30. avatar Cukurungan says:

    you DO know that we have abundant uranium reserve in west borneo right? We can also use those resources until doomsday kills superman.

    The argument against mining it, was environmental catasthropy or something, which becomes invalid now becoz the existence of ‘other alternatives’ there, such as biodiesel, already destroy the area. Open your google earth, look at west borneo.

    ….

    On local expertise:
    We already have a bunch of jobless nuclear phd since the 60’s. But they are just engineers and scientists, not politicians.

    I personally know an autistic salafist phd who went to canada to research/design CANDU reactors for tropical nations. Coincidentally he looks just like Pak Achmad, only without glasses.

    In indonesia, lifelong researches, experiences, and 40-50 years nuclear safety records were abandoned becoz some trader like jusuf kalla doubts himself.

    Pak TTT Yth,

    I will not say much to counter your argument just look what happened in PT IPTN or now PT Dirgantara Indonesia. After bleeding billion dollars, what we got just an ailing and rotten aircraft Industry.

    What is the reason?

    Do we lack engineer and expertise to build an aircraft? Or what?

    We have enough bunch of expertise or engineer to do the job even some of them now is working on the overseas but we do not have enough leadership and technocrat and culture technology to go there.

    I will give you clear example here:

    If price of 1 ea bolt and nut to build Airplane is about 0.0001 dollar but due to the procurement guy mark-up it the price to 0.001 dollar while it need million of nuts to build the aircraft. You will know that the end of story of this kind of industry will not survive.

    I think in the near future we do not want to give our Rakyat Indonesia another ailing and aging Nuclear Power Plant Industry.

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