Indonesia 3,500 MW ThorCon electric power project
Indonesia needs more energy to improve the prosperity of its 263 million people. GDP per capita is $4,000. Electricity supply averages 110 watts per person, compared to 400 watts in China or 1500 watts in North America.
Nationwide generation capacity totals 58 GW, operated at a capacity factor of 49%. To improve economic growth the 2017-2026 Electricity Supply Business Plan indicated that at least 78 GW of new generation must be constructed by 2026. The government endorses additions of new and renewable energy sources, including nuclear power. Its utility company, PLN, anticipates 4 GW of nuclear power plants.
ThorCon is working with Indonesia to add over 3 GW of cheap, reliable electric power to the grid, to help raise prosperity and limit burning coal for power.
Nuclear fission technology in Indonesia
Indonesia has the most experience with nuclear technology among southeast Asia nations. The country’s first research reactor is a Triga 2000 operating at 2 MW at the Bandung Reactor Center. Indonesia operates a 30 MW RSG-GAS multi-purpose reactor at Serpong in Banten Provence. The state-owned PT Batan Teknologi produces medical and industrial isotopes including Mo-99 for domestic needs using the Sepong facilities. The Yogyakarta College of Nuclear Technology uses a 100 kW Kartini Triga research reactor there. In 2016 Indonesia completed the down-blending to below 20% of all its highly enriched uranium, left over from medical isotope production through 2011, eliminating terrorist-attractive nuclear materials from SE Asia.
Indonesia nuclear engineers exchange information with ThorCon CEO Lars Jorgensen at TRIGA reactor site. Both ThorCon and TRIGA use passive physics to stop chain reactions if overheating occurs.
Indonesia is developing a roadmap for nuclear power
In 2014 Indonesia’s ministry of energy published a poll showing nationwide public acceptance of nuclear fission power at 72%. By 2016 national acceptance had increased to 77.5%.
Nuclear fission power is urgently needed, according to a 2018 consensus of Indonesia ministries and agencies meeting in Bali. Director of New and Renewable Energy, Mr. Harris, presented the Nuclear Power Plant Development Roadmap created by the Department of Energy, indicating that the first 1000 MWe nuclear power plant has to operate before 2027. Indonesia is requiring such new power plants to deliver electricity costing less than 7 cents/kWh, and also meet a mandatory grace period of 7 days, the time a reactor must sustain cooling without power.
Ministry of Energy study
The Indonesia Ministry of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with ThorCon International, Pte. Ltd. on October 10, 2018. As the first step of the agreement, the Ministry of Energy is carrying out a study in conjunction with PLN on the safety and economics of the ThorCon demonstration plant. It will also locate a site for the plant. The study began in January of 2019 and is expected to be completed in June of 2019 when its recommendations will be presented to the President of Indonesia.