Indonesia may relocate site of nuke power plant

Updated: 2010-12-02 14:03


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JAKARTA - Indonesian government was likely to relocate the planned site of the country's first nuclear power plant to Bangka Island in Bangka Belitung province from Muria in Central Java province due to strong opposition from the local people, the Jakarta Post reported on Thursday.

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The National Atomic Energy Agency head Hudi Hastowo was quoted as saying that the government would soon conduct a feasibility study to explore the possibility of developing a nuclear power plant in Bangka.

"Bangka Belitung is different from other planned nuclear power plant locations. The public welcome the plan and say they are proud to be the host of Indonesia's first nuclear power plant," he said.

Public resistance has long been the main constraint for the government to build nuclear power plants. The previous plan to build a nuclear power plant in Muria faced strong opposition from the local people and non-governmental organizations.

Most people, particularly those living near planned nuclear power plant sites, have deep suspicion and distrust concerning the issues of the plant's operational safety.

The agency's spokesman, Ferhat Aziz, said that people's rejection most likely came from negative opinions disseminated by anti-nuclear groups that prompted people to remember the nuclear reactor accidents on Three Mile Island, the United States, in 1979 and in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1985.

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