TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Industry Minister Saleh Husin said that Indonesia would need to develop thorium-based nuclear power plants to supply power to industries.
“Thorium is abundant in Bangka Belitung. This is urgent since industries’ demands on energy with competitive prices will rise in the future,” Saleh said in a press release on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
Saleh added that thorium supplies in Bangka Belitung were predicted to reach 170,000 tons. Assuming that 1 ton of thorium can produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity per year, the thorium supplies will be enough to run 170,000 units of power plants for the next 1,000 years.
With US$3 cents of production cost to generate 1 kilowatt hour of electricity, the thorium-based nuclear power plant is the most efficient power plant in generating power.
National Energy Council (DEN) member Tumiran said that energy supplies for industries were important to sustain the economy, employment and independence.
“Power generation technology continue to develop, and we can utilize it based on the national energy potential, including today’s reactor technology that is far more advanced than the previous ones,” Tumiran said.
Tumiran agreed with Saleh that thorium-based nuclear power plant could be the answer to the challenges of meeting the rising energy demands. Tumiran, who is a former dean of the engineering faculty at the Gadjah Mada University, added that utilizing thorium was a form of energy diversification that would guarantee the security of energy supplies.