The accidents because natural disasters can also damage

The quest for
higher economic growth has brought Indonesia to a new level of energy
consumption. A growing number of energy sources have been developed to fulfil
its energy demand. However the extensive use of energy has caused new problems
such as greenhouse gas emissions and natural resources depletion. Thus,
Indonesian government needs to think the best alternative which can meet its
energy demand but also preserve the environment. Nuclear power is often believed
as the only alternative. However, this essay will argue that nuclear power
should not be developed in Indonesia by considering three aspects which are
safety, cost and environment.

Julie Bishop, former
Australian Minister for Education, Science and Training contends that nuclear
power is the safest energy production system (2006). She argues that nuclear
power is up to 1000 times safer than other systems, such as hydro-electricity
and fossil-fuelled power stations. The latest reactor design, she says, is equipped
with high safety features to avoid accidents. However, nuclear power is not
totally safe. Fifty seven accidents have occurred since the Chernobyl accident (Sovacool,
2012). These accidents show that the claim, that
nuclear power is safe, is just political rhetoric behind nuclear supporters (Sovacool,
2012). It is clear that safety features which have
been installed to nuclear power stations may not guarantee the power stations
free from accidents because natural disasters can also damage the reactors (Robock,
2014). For this reason, building nuclear reactor in Indonesia is very risky
since Indonesia is prone to natural disasters (Yap, 2016). Another point that
makes the nuclear power is not the safest choice is the radioactive exposure
during the mining may lead to lung cancer (Robock, 2014).

According to
Nuclear Energy Institute (2017), nuclear power is a low cost electricity
generation. This organization asserts that uranium, which is used as fuel in
nuclear power stations, has a cheap and stable price. It can produce large
amount of energy from a very small size of the material (Nuclear Energy Institute, 2017). However, as World Nuclear Association
(2017) explains, setting up a nuclear power station is very expensive. In fact,
the construction cost of a nuclear power plant is significantly higher than coal
or gas-fired plant (World Nuclear Association, 2017). In addition, the price
for building new nuclear facilities is fluctuated and has surged dramatically
in recent years (Schlissel,
2008). Furthermore, renewable energy is cheaper
than nuclear power (Sauven, 2017). For
example, the cost of electricity generation from the latest offshore wind is
about £70/MWh which is lower compared to Hinkley
C nuclear plant which is around £92.50/MWh (“The Guardian View”, 2017).

 It has been argued that nuclear power makes
minor contribution to greenhouse gas emissions (Bishop, 2016). Nuclear power
plants, so this argument goes, produce a small amount of carbon dioxide during their
operation. Unlike coal-fired electricity this power plant does not emit others
harmful gases such us sulphur dioxide, methane, or nitrogen oxide (Bishop,
2016). However, nuclear power is not completely free from greenhouse gas
emissions. In fact, nuclear power produces a large amount of greenhouse gases
through some of its nuclear processes, such as mining and enrichment (World Information Service on Energy, 2005). In addition, a number of study show that a
nuclear power plant emits the same quantity of greenhouse gases as some renewable
energy sources do (World
Information Service on Energy, 2005).

In conclusion, considering much evidence refuting
the benefits of nuclear
power such as, safety issue, high cost and harmful impact on environment,
Indonesia should not use it as the solution for its energy demand and reducing
greenhouse gas emission. It would be better to use renewable energy because of
its low cost and environmentally-friendly. In addition, Indonesia is blessed
with abundant of renewable energy sources (Erinofiardi et al., 2017, p.317).


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