Utilization of nuclear energy in general is an action or step that is very advanced if it can manage and develop optimally and well. Indonesia through the government has also planned to use nuclear energy as a power plant. However, on the other hand this plan has varied impacts as well. Because, when viewed from the actual quality of Indonesia can realize the use of Nuclear as a source of energy for power generation.
Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is a thermal power plant in which the heat generated is obtained from one or more nuclear reactors of power plants.
The Indonesian Nuclear Program is a program of the Government of Indonesia to develop and utilize nuclear science and technology both in the non-energy and energy fields for the purpose of prosperity. Utilization of non-energy in Indonesia has developed quite advanced. Meanwhile, in the field of energy (power generation), Indonesia is still trying to get public support.
Even though it is considered by the international community that Indonesia is capable enough and it is time to use it.
The construction of nuclear power plants in Indonesia raises many pros and cons. The large number of Indonesian people who are against nuclear does not reduce the government’s intention to build nuclear power plants. If in 2018-2020 the process of building a nuclear power plant will begin. This is related to the many conditions that must be met in the construction of the reactor. These include reactor research, studies on earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and other natural disasters.
The research also pays attention to traffic conditions, train cars and socialization to local residents. Then the problem of human resources (HR) who must have expertise and work experience in nuclear reactors.
Keywords: Nuclear Energy, Indonesia, Nuclear Power Plants, Pros and Cons.
Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is a thermal power station where the heat generated is obtained from one or more nuclear power plant reactors (BATAN, 2014). However, in the use of nuclear power plants, first explain why nuclear energy must be used in the power plant itself. Energy issues are one of the important issues that are currently being discussed. The depletion of petroleum energy sources forces us to seek and develop new energy sources. One alternative source of potential new energy comes from nuclear energy. Even though the impacts and dangers are enormous, it is undeniable that nuclear energy is one of the alternative energy sources that should be taken into account.
Global warming which is believed to be happening and will enter an alarming stage is also said to be the impact of using petroleum energy which is the main energy source today (Sahala M Lumbanraja, 2011). However, on the one hand, the development of nuclear power plants itself is an ongoing discussion, both within the government and the community itself. The facts about disasters caused by nuclear radiation ranging from the worst that occurred in Chernobyl, Ukraine and what happened in Fukushima, Japan recently show that the use of nuclear energy needs a review (Sahala M Lumbanraja, 2011). And requires a disaster mitigation in handling the disaster. In fact, the wise, responsible and controlled use of nuclear energy can improve the standard of living as well as provide a solution to the problem of energy scarcity.
The advantage of using a nuclear power plant itself is that it does not produce CO2 gas emissions at all. In addition, nuclear power plants are also able to produce stable power which is much greater than other power plants (Suparman, 2012). It should also be noted that uranium fuel that has been used up can be recycled again to produce new fuels for future technologies (Suparman, 2012). Indonesia is actually very suitable to develop this power plant, as an effort to diversify the use of primary power plants with fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. With careful and layered radiation control, nuclear power plants can be a solution to Indonesia’s large electrical energy needs. However, this raises concerns by the public, especially in Indonesia, which has become a doubt about the development of nuclear power in power plants. Because, reflecting on the things that happened because of radiation like what happened in Chernobyl and Japan.
This is considered a public thought that, if developed countries such as Japan also occur like that, then what about Indonesia, which has no experience and human resources (HR) that are not yet qualified in nuclear science. Therefore, this article will discuss more about the views of the public people, especially in Indonesia, in the plan to use nuclear power plants, which is supported by one of the theories from the study of International Relations, namely Constructivism.
In this problem, the author will try to use constructivism theory to discuss and examine the case that the author will discuss. The reason for using constructivism theory is to find out how the pros and cons of nuclear power plant development in Indonesia, which are considered by many people to be a safety hazard, and this can happen due to the influence of events or unfavorable impacts that have occurred in countries, such as in Japan, Fukushima in in 2011, which was caused by a failure of the cooling system or engine in the reactor.
This also resulted in a leak that caused a nuclear reaction, causing the safety of life in the nearby area to be threatened. In a constructivist perspective, Wendt developed the concept of “identity and interest structures”, where the basic principle of social constructivist theory is that states act towards objects, including other actors, on the basis of the meaning that objects are intended for them (Blumer, 1969 in Wendt, 2007). 1992).
Constructivist analysis of thought concentrates on how expectations, generated by behavior, affect the identity and interests of the state. The process of creating institutions is one of internalizing a new understanding of oneself and others. At the same time, the process is also a process of reconstructing their interests in a shared commitment to social norms. Over time, this tends to transform into positive interdependence or collective interests that are managed based on norms. These norms will survive because they are tied to the commitment of the interests and identities of the actors (Wendt, 1992, pp. 416-417). Wendt also explains that identity and interests are formed from environmental construction and social interaction.
Development of nuclear power plants in Indonesia Until now, Indonesia does not yet have or operate a nuclear power plant (nuclear power plant), but it is based on the consideration that the national electrical energy needs continue to increase in line with economic growth while the reserves of fossil energy sources, especially petroleum, are running low, so the choice of to start building and operating a nuclear reactor as a power plant is inevitable (Dewi Safitri, 2016). It is natural that questions or doubts arise in the community that Indonesian human resources have not been able to operate nuclear power plants, because they do not have the experience to do so.
The development of nuclear power plants in Indonesia has turned not only into an energy problem but also a social problem (State Intelligence Agency, 2012). This is due to the distrust of the public to the government regarding the safety of nuclear power plants. Real efforts to develop nuclear energy for power plants are certainly inseparable from the increasingly limited supply of energy sourced from fuel oil. On the other hand, Indonesia is facing a decline in the supply of fuel oil (BBM) as seen from the decreasing oil production, the higher import of fuel which of course is followed by the decreasing export of fuel (M. Joko Birmano & Imam Bastori, 2017)
This of course will threaten the security position of the national energy supply. Judging from the source of nuclear energy raw materials, Indonesia has a fairly large resource. According to an estimate provided by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on the official BATAN website in 2014 that around 25% of Indonesia’s land area contains radioactive mineral deposits, mainly in the form of uranium.
The results of other calculations also show that the use of nuclear energy as a power plant can provide a lower production cost of around 275% compared to current PLN plants (BATAN, 2014). Nuclear energy is also the least expensive in terms of the cost of producing one unit of electrical energy compared to other new and renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. However, further development of nuclear energy must not only meet the economic feasibility, but also the technical feasibility and safety. In fact, the last two things still cause pros and cons among the public.
Many people think that nuclear is something that is dangerous, and it is true as it is. Nuclear fuel can emit radiation that can ionize the human body, of course the ionization effect can cause a problem for human existence itself (Suparman, 2012). Examples such as cancer, organ dysfunction, DNA changes, and so on. Plans for making nuclear power plants in Indonesia was full of controversy.
There are those who are pro or contra against nuclear. Or maybe neutral, some even don’t care. The existence of fears from the public about nuclear should be a reason for the government to improve policies regarding nuclear power plants. The presence of pro-nuclear supporters should be a motivation to remain optimistic about moving forward, and if there are still those who are neutral or don’t care, this indicates the need for a socialization approach. Generally, the arguments used by the group against nuclear power plants are as follows. First, the construction of nuclear power plants is too risky considering that the archipelago is synonymous with the ring of fire. Second, the construction of nuclear power plants has no urgency because there are still many other alternative energy sources. Third, Indonesia has weak human resources (HR) so that concerns arise about discipline in the operation and maintenance of nuclear power plants if they are built here (BATAN, 2015).
Although it is considered urgent in the eyes of the government, in reality the construction of nuclear power plants can still be ruled out for now. This, according to Deputy Chairman of the National Energy Council (DEN) Sonny Kera in the online website Mongabay, because the energy potential in Indonesia can still be supplied from new and renewable energy (EBT) (M. Ambari, 2015). Although it is considered urgent by the Government, there is no guarantee of safety if the construction of a nuclear power plant is carried out, then the cost is also quite expensive for all facilities and infrastructure. Then, according to IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa, the safety of nuclear power plants is still questionable. Although, in developed countries that have implemented nuclear technology such as Russia, China, Japan, nuclear power plant security is carried out in layers from technology to security (M. Ambari, 2015).
Due to the many negative impacts, various parties reject the development of nuclear power plants in Indonesia. The author sees that PLTN is a technology that has a high level of risk and high cost consequences. By building a nuclear power plant, the various risks and consequences are not only borne by the current generation, but also future generations.
Therefore, the construction of nuclear power plants in Indonesia itself causes concern for the community. This is because there is a social construction that makes people view various kinds of nuclear power plants. However, when viewed from the bad and good impacts, all of them are true, but what must be clarified in this case is Indonesia’s full and good readiness, and always pays attention to aspects that can happen one day. However, according to the author, actually this nuclear power plant if implemented is indeed good, but it is true if you look at the readiness and reflect on the incident in other countries due to nuclear radiation itself, which has caused concern for the people in Indonesia. Because, basically people in Indonesia don’t always believe that something government policy is always good, that’s why the role of the community is needed in explaining more about the good or bad of the policy.
The development of nuclear power plants in Indonesia seems to still require a long preparation. Therefore, for now it is necessary to conduct more in-depth research and learning without rushing to build a nuclear power plant. What needs to be done now is to form skilled and qualified workers in the nuclear field in particular. Then, using native workers from Indonesia, of course, is better than using foreign workers. So in principle it is necessary to establish a special school for nuclear learning.
Then, research is needed to find a solution in the event of a nuclear emergency during a disaster such as an earthquake. Also, the enormous corruption problem that can occur during the construction of nuclear plants needs to be resolved first. Because the awareness of the Indonesian people is the most important thing in things like this. For example, Japan is a country whose people have a great work ethic, honesty, discipline and dedication to the country. The government should also conduct better socialization through the media, because after all the wider community will be able to easily access both print and electronic media to build healthy public opinion and there will be no bad thoughts about nuclear power plants.