June 14, 2023
JAKARTA – Chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Megawati Soekarnoputri said on Monday that the country should emulate North Korea in building its nuclear capacity and called on the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) to start designing a nuclear reactor.
In a statement made during the signing of an agreement between BRIN and the state-owned broadcaster TVRI, Megawati said that it was not too late for Indonesia to catch up with nuclear-weapons state like North Korea.
“If we can develop the technology, it’s never too late. We can catch up with countries that have nuclear programs,” Megawati said, as quoted by Antara.
The matriarch of the PDI-P said budgetary constraints should not hinder the development of nuclear programs.
“How can a country like North Korea develop its nuclear program? It’s a problem of human resources I believe,” Megawati said.
Indonesia has been steering away from nuclear plants since then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a government regulation in 2014 that declared such plants “a last resort option” to power the country.
The regulation instead prioritizes coal, natural gas and renewables, namely geothermal, solar, wind, hydropower, bio and tidal energy, for electricity production.
In the past few years private firms have expressed an interest in building smaller-capacity nuclear power plants.
The Washington-based power producer ThorCon International Pte Ltd has been engaging with Indonesian regulators and state-owned enterprises to launch a 500-megawatt floating nuclear power plant in the country by 2027.