Thousands protest against plan to build Muria nuclear plant

Source – June 12, 2007
Local people protest against nuclear power plant in Muria (Liputan 6)
Local people protest against nuclear power plant in Muria (Liputan 6)

Nurvita Indarini, Kudus – Indonesia is looking at using nuclear technology and the government is even planning to construct a nuclear power plant (PLTN) at Muria in Central Java. The plan has its supporters and opponents. The opponents of course are continuing to reject the construction that is planned to go into operation in 2015.

An action opposing the planed construct was held by around 3,000 people from various organisations including the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi), the non-government organisation Earth Watch Society (LSM-Marem), the All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI), student organisations and various mass organisations in East Java town of Kudus.

“We have been demonstrating at the Kudus Simpang Tujuh town square since 9am. Now we are going to march to the Kudus Regional House of Representatives to continue the action”, said LSM-Marem deputy chairperson Hassan during a discussion with on Tuesday June 12.

The action was held in response to the government reviewing a plan to construct a nuclear power plant at Muria because there are concerns that the power plant will created dangers for humanity. “In theory, there is only a one in a million chance of a nuclear accident. But the reality is that out of the existing 32 PLTNs there have been six [incidents of] leaks”, said Hassan.

According to Hassan, the economic functionality of a PLTN is only 40 years. However the effects of the waste will be experienced for 24,000 years. “An example of this can be seen at Hiroshima, Japan”, he said emotionally.

Moreover he continued, up until now the socialisation that has been carried out among the public has been inadequate. “Socialisation by giving out rice and asking if they want the PLTN construction. This is unclear. The public doesn’t know what the benefits and risks are”, he explained.

The protesters also intend to collect signatures against the construction of the power plant that will be sent to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the House of Representatives. “Soon after they have been gathered, we will take them to Jakarta”, he asserted. (nvt/nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]