Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Protest Erupts Over Plans for Indonesia’s First Nuclear Plant. Is ASEAN’s Nuclear Energy Policy Endangered?

Posted by K.E. White on September 5, 2007

Plans for a nuclear-powered ASEAN just hit a snag in Indonesia. Muslim scholars are protesting plans for Indonesia’s first nuclear plant.

From The Jakarta Post:

Dozens of ulema from Jepara and the surrounding area gathered in the town over the weekend and came out with a strong verdict against the nuclear plant, declaring it haram, or forbidden by Islamic law, arguing the potential hazards far outweighed the benefits.

The ulema, from the country’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), understood that the plant, to be built in 2010 and up and running by 2016, would help meet the rising demand for electricity, but were especially concerned about safety issues and the handling of radioactive waste.

And the article does give this protest weight:

The edict gives a boost to public opposition to the nuclear plant. The strongest resistance move, nevertheless, has been initiated by local people, who have taken to the streets to protest the nuclear plant over the past few months.

The argument from those who oppose the nuclear plant has been well presented in various outlets. The most well presented argument is the fact that Java island sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin, and therefore it is prone to seismic upheaval.

This earlier blog delves into the nuclear plans of Indonesia, revealing how this protest might disrupt plans for the region’s energy plans.


The Herald Sun reports on the proposed site for the nuclear power plant. The location is riddled by earthquakes and neighbors a dormant volcano:

The plant, which would have a capacity of 4000 MW by 2025, would be built at the foot of the dormant Mt Muria volcano in earthquake-prone Central Java.

Environmentalists have long criticised the proposal, saying there are cheaper, safer ways to generate power, such as geothermal power and natural gas.


One Response to “Protest Erupts Over Plans for Indonesia’s First Nuclear Plant. Is ASEAN’s Nuclear Energy Policy Endangered?”

  1. Plotinus said

    Building a nuclear power plant in an earthquake zone is sheer madness. Keith, how come the U.S. government/media is relatively silent about this–especiall in comparison to all the attention Iran’s nuclear development is getting?

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