Indonesia has taken up the flame of Fire 2.0 (nuclear energy) and put their money where their mouth is. The first operating thorium reactor in the world will be in Indonesia with Canada and China hot on its tail.
For the huge advantages of thorium reactors and other 4th generation nuclear technology, please see my previous article about Terrestrial Energy, a Canadian company who plans to have a commercially available thorium reactor by the early 2020s.
Indonesia has signed a memorandum of understanding with Martingale to develop thorium molten salt nuclear reactors to generate electricity. These will reduce the growth of coal-fired plants, slated to add 20 GW of generation capacity in the country’s most recent energy plan. Indonesia is serious about developing the non-intermittent, clean, and inexpensive power that ThorCon molten salt reactors offer.
Martingale and three Indonesian companies signed the MOU in Washington DC on the occasion of Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s visit to the US President Barak Obama. PT Industry Nuklir Indonesia (INUKI) is the state-owned nuclear fuel processing company. PT PLN is the state-owned power generation company. PT Pertamina is the state oil and gas giant which is now looking at nuclear and other forms of energy. Together these companies have formed the Indonesia Thorium Consortium whose purpose is the development and implementation of thorium molten salt reactors based on the ThorCon design.
The consortium will provide Indonesia with a clean solution to its pressing energy needs, at a price that is competitive with coal. The first plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021. INUKI with its license to import nuclear fuel will provide the thorium and uranium as required. Pertamina will provide its expertise in moving large scale power projects from cradle to maturity and help navigate the governmental bureaucracy. PLN will provide its expertise regarding siting the plant and connecting with the grid. Importantly, PLN will buy the power generated.
The ThorCon thorium molten salt reactor design promises clean energy competitive with the cost of coal. The low-pressure liquid-fuel technology provides intrinsic passive safety. ThorCon expertise in shipbuilding design enables low-cost, high-precision, scalable manufacturing by ship yards. Mass production of nuclear power plants is possible with ThorCon technology. The ThorCon liquid-fuel nuclear reactor design is detailed at thorconpower.com.
Indonesia has undertaken a direct action plan to significantly impact climate change and suppress global poverty.