“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Activists Rally Against Nuclear Power in Blackout-Prone Indonesia

Plans to construct a nuclear power plant in Indonesia have received global attention as anti-nuke activists from Japan meet with local campaigners

Jakarta Globe,  Cory Rogers, Mar 11, 2014

The installation of a nuclear research reactor at an operation hall of the
 National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) complex in Serpong on April 23,
2013. (AFP Photo)

Yogyakarta/Jakarta. A government-backed plan to construct nuclear power plants in Indonesia has been met with backlash by several local groups in the archipelago, highlighting the tensions nuclear power projects face in a post-Fukushima world.

Recently announced plans to make the West Java district of Subang the site of Indonesia’s fourth nuclear reactor has pushed a decades-long conflict back into the spotlight, pitting those who view the establishment of nuclear power plants as a valuable addition to Indonesia’s energy portfolio against others who say the social and environmental risks of radioactive contamination outweigh the potential benefit.

Critics point out that Indonesia’s geologic position atop the “Ring of Fire” makes it particularly vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions — events that drastically increase the odds of a nuclear tragedy. These concerns are augmented by fears that rampant corruption and graft will undermine the government’s ability to implement and then manage costly safety protocols.

In January, Japanese representatives from No Nukes Asia Actions (NNAA), a Tokyo-based anti-nuclear coalition, gathered with Indonesian activists in Balong, Central Java, to discuss resistance strategies and the prospects of an international partnership to thwart the prospect of nuclear power in Indonesia.

“With Fukushima, the whole world witnessed the terrible effects of nuclear disaster,” NNAA rep Seung Choo told some 200 residents in Balong over two days of talks. “Now, we must say no more nuclear plants — not here in Indonesia or anywhere else.”

Balong provided a fitting backdrop to the event: in 2007, growing fears over a proposed nuclear power plant cohered into an alliance of local residents, business owners, religious groups and students that eventually thwarted government plans to break ground in 2014.

In 2007, the Jepara branch of Nahdatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, even issued a fatwa against the proposed plant, drawing the ire of state officials who had been courting the group for support.

But nuclear plans in Indonesia have been on the table for a large chunk of the nation’s modern history.

Nuclear power plays

The National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan), created by former President Sukarno in 1964, has been Indonesia’s most strident nuclear energy advocate. The organization has aired hopes to establish three fully operational nuclear power plants in the country by 2025, a plan that has been embraced as part of Indonesia’s Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI).

Batan spokesman Eko Madi Parmanto says claims of public resistance to nuclear power have been greatly exaggerated in Indonesia.

“We’ve periodically conducted surveys to measure people’s acceptance of the nuclear plant plan,” Eko told the Jakarta Globe last week. “The latest national survey in 2013 indicates that 67.6 percent of respondents support the plan.”

The agency views nuclear energy as an alternative to Indonesia’s addiction to unsustainable fossil fuels that pollute the environment and contribute to climate change. Indonesia has a wealth of potential in safe, renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro and geothermal, but oil, coal and natural gas still provide more than over 80 percent of the nation’s power. Only 12 percent of the country’s energy is provided by renewable sources.

In geothermal power alone, Indonesia is operating at a mere 4.2 percent of its potential output, despite sitting astride 40 percent of the world’s geothermal resources.

Oil, which accounts for about 30 percent of the country’s current energy supply, is now mostly imported, leaving the country vulnerable to unhedged price volatility together with currency fluctuations. In addition, oil — along with coal and natural gas — powers an electrical grid still suffering from chronic energy shortages throughout the country. Millions of poor, rural Indonesians, especially in eastern Indonesia, remain without electricity, and struggles to meet existing electricity needs are made worse by an 8 percent annual rise in demand.

The situation requires huge government subsidies in fuel and electricity just to keep up, consuming 41 percent of all government expenditures; more than what is budgeted for education, environmental protection, health, and housing combined. In 2013, some 13 percent of the nation’s subsidized fuel was used at power plants, according to government agency data.

According to Batan, nuclear power plants would play only a minor role in addressing these multi-pronged energy woes, adding just 5 percent to Indonesia’s total energy production if the government’s 2025 energy diversification goals were met.

Gus Nung presents in front of the Japanese representatives of No Nukes
Asia Actions (NNAA) on January 12, 2014. (JG Photo/Cory Rogers)

Resistance to Batan-led advocacy

At the local level, Batan has drawn criticism for its attempts to win support among populations living near proposed plants, which over the years have included sites in Balong, Bangka-Belitung, Kalimantan and Madura.

The promotional efforts carried out by Batan were key in galvanizing opposition to the proposed plant back in the mid 2000s, said Daviq, the secretary of the Balong Community Union (PMB), a local anti-nuclear energy group.

That advocacy campaign, which called for annual outlays of $2.5 million to fund scholarship programs, social events and a host of other activities, highlighted the benefits of nuclear power while, according to Daviq, making scant mention of its risks. When public queries about the program failed to produce useful information, many grew skeptical of the plan.

“We finally made the decision that OK, if the government is not willing to give the information to us, then we must seek it for ourselves,” he said.

Iwan Kurniawan, a lecturer at the Jakarta-based Institute of Archipelago Business, recalled similar transparency concerns at play in Madura, East Java, where in 2003 Batan was busy promoting another nuclear plant. Formerly a nuclear physicist with Batan who left the agency over an undisclosed dispute, Iwan said that in order to assuage safety concerns voiced by locals, Batan made spurious claims regarding its capacity to install the latest and safest model plant in Madura.

“The kind of plant being discussed was still in its research phase in South Korea,” Iwan said, explaining that such a plant could not be promised. He added that localities targeted by Batan-led nuclear advocacy were frequently vulnerable to this kind of misinformation.

“When Batan comes and discusses the benefits, I come and discuss the risks to create a more balanced perspective,” he said.

As in Balong, once the risks of nuclear contamination became apparent, public opposition stymied construction of the proposed plant in Madura. Activists argued that given the amount of untapped alternative energy sources that existed, the risks of nuclear disaster were avoidable and unjustifiable.

The nation’s nuclear power agency denied the allegations, explaining that Batan attempts to inform the public about leakage, natural disaster, and operators’ negligence risks as well as detailed information on how plant operators would ensure safety.

“We’ve also developed an information system on our website, and people can ask us via email about this safety technology,” Eko said.

Socialization campaigns remain crucial to successful implementation at proposed sites “only if the government has seriously designed the nuclear power plant program,” Eko explained.

“There are currently no plans for research at other locations,” he said.

The global business of nuclear power

If domestic resistance to nuclear power has hinged on countering Batan’s campaigns, the international strategy advocated by the NNAA seeks to shed a critical light on the corporate interests driving nuclear energy.

According to NNAA representative Seung Choo, business-friendly regulations in Japan that reallocate risk to nuclear operators encourage investment by companies like Toshiba, GE and Hitachi — the companies that build the plants. Japan’s 1961 Act of Compensation for Nuclear Damages mandates that the nuclear power operators, as opposed to the suppliers, assume exclusive accountability for any nuclear damage caused by an accident, making taxpayers ultimately responsible for damages.

This creates what Seung Choo calls a “crisis of liability,” where corporations that stand to profit from construction have less incentive to prioritize safety.

These laws work to promote “the sound development of the nuclear industry,” the NNAA said in a statement, and the group fears such business-friendly regulations will be replicated elsewhere as nuclear suppliers seek to access markets like Indonesia.

According to Indonesia’s 1997 Nuclear Power Act, if the country were to successfully establish a nuclear power plant, the suppliers would be responsible for up to Rp 900 billion ($76 million) in damages to be doled out over a maximum period of 30 years, regardless of the actual cost of damages.

Recent studies have shown that radiation-induced cancer can take as long as 40 years to develop, and the financial recovery of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster will approach $250 billion dollars.

Attempts to contact the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises for clarification on current regulations were unsuccessful.

In response to the situation in Japan, where the corporate builders of nuclear power plants are shielded from restitution, the NNAA is challenging whether the 1961 act in court was constitutional.

Armed with 22 lawyers, their recently filed suit seeks redress for Japanese victims, and to inspire citizens in other nations to “abolish special legal provisions that protect nuke businesses all around the world,” the group said in a statement.

The suit seeks 10,000 plaintiffs worldwide to sign over power of attorney so that the NNAA can represent them in court. “Anyone can be a plaintiff,” Choo said. “Even someone traumatized by the media coverage qualifies as a victim.” If the NNAA wins, these foreign plaintiffs will receive a symbolic, one-dollar payout.

In Balong, the NNAA made hundreds of documents available for signing. Many, including Nuruddin Amin, the head of the Hasyim Asy’ari Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Bangsri, Central Java, and a longtime supporter of the anti-nuclear cause, expressed enthusiasm for the strategy.

“The Fukushima accident is not only a tragedy for the Japanese,” Nuruddin said. “It is a tragedy for the whole world, and I hope we all will join to sign this power of attorney so that we can work on this issue together.”

Many Indonesian activists, however, remained mindful that the first battle remains on the home front, helping provide balanced information to communities earmarked for nuclear power plant development.

For Iwan, the resistance coalitions that fought a successful battle in Balong ought to provide guidance and direction as the drive for domestic nuclear power progresses.

“Here we have a model of resistance that can be delivered elsewhere,” he said.

— Erwida Maulia contributed to this report in Jakarta

Women shout slogans in front of the National Diet in Tokyo
on March 9, 2014 as they take part in a rally denouncing nuclear
power plants (AFP, Toru Yamanaka)

Related Articles:

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - New (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution  > 20 Min)