Batan: Indonesia has 78,000 Tons of Uranium Reserves

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia (Batan) stated that Indonesia has as many as 78,000 tons of uranium potential spread across different regions by 2016.

    However, Batan Chief Djarot S. Wisnusubroto said that the agency currently has no information on the level of adequacy of uranium resources.

    "Adequate or not, we cannot answer because from just a measure of potential up to accurate measurement requires process and costs," Djarot said after opening an International Conference on radioactive resources in Denpasar, Bali on Monday, September 5, 2016 as quoted by Antaranews.

    Djarot asserted that adequacy ratio can be measured if the actual resources can be accessed by domestic or foreign investors. However, such exploitation efforts continue to be hampered by regulation issues.

    "Maybe [the actual issue] is the investors; regulations can be [amended]. Currently, Batan and Bapetan [Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency of Indonesia] is in the process of amending existing regulations so we can prove that the uranium resources can be adequate to support Indonesia's nuclear program," Djarot said.

    Djarot mentioned that Law No. 10/1997 on Nuclear Energy does not allow domestic or foreign investors to exploit radioactive resources for commercial purposes. Djarot added that all this time, Batan had only allowed to access radioactive resources for research purposes.

    Another impending issue that needs to be addressed, according to Djarot, is Batan's limited budget of only Rp 900 billion, which the agency must allocate for research purposes and employees' salary.

    "Budget for research is 0.09 persent of the Gross National Product. Even Malaysia provides one percent [budget allocation]. Batan's budget had never exceeded Rp 900 billion," Djarot said.

    Therefore, Djarot urged the government to revise Law No. 10/1997. Djarot said that academic drafts for the revision will be prepared on October 2016, and will be included in the House of Representatives’ National Legislation Program (Prolegnas).