Nuclear Power Plant as Alternative Resource to Fulfill Electrical Needs to Minimize Digital Divide in Indonesia
Finalist of Gemastik 2008
Nowadays technology is rapidly developed. The latest one emerged evenly as human needs demanding a better life. It happens throughout the area, both of rural and urban one. Recent paradigm leads technology turns into primary needs as well as its development. For instance, television, which was a luxury goods owned by elite-urban only but now, almost all of villagers have one in their home.
Unfortunately, the development wasn’t well-supported by supply of energy, particularly electrical power for such technology usage. Increasing needs of electrical power for technology wasn’t either. This phenomenon is widely influencing daily life; regarding electrical power needs are used for almost human activities: they won’t be well-operated without any electrical support.
Even, some areas haven’t installed by electricity. Felt like only daydream of watching television when their houses are still using kerosene for light-fuel, due to less-supplied power. Power station needs to be created in order to gain a massive power with minimum cost thus might be well-supplying electrical power for the needy. As what mentioned above, without sufficient electrical power, the technology won’t be well-operated. And without enough electrical supply can make differences between urban and sub urban in using technology called digital divide.
Nuclear power plant as one of the alternative resources available is producing electrical power massively instead of another power stations recently operated by PLN as the national electrical institution. Until now, PLN operates their power stations by means of water and diesel as the turbine installation. However, water power plant mainly depends on the quantity debit provided by the reservoir. As the dry season comes, their debit are decreasing then automatically reducing the power. While, diesel power plant empowers fuel to run diesel up the turbine won’t be any longer effective as the price is just increasing leads the cost increasing, too.
Nuclear power plant for electrical power is power station produces heat from nuclear reactor unit, with 40 MWe til 1000 MWe heat produced each. A recent unit built in year 2005 have 600 – 1200 MWe ( Zuhal, Dasar Teknik Tenaga Listrik dan Elektronika Daya ).
Likewise, this nuclear power plant was operated as what the other works. Using steam-turbine, it creates steams from heating plant to run the turbine up. What makes so different with the other is the heat source for water heating, which comes from nucleus reaction of uranium or thorium.
In this nuclear power plant, continuous fission reaction are maintained its continuity in leads the fuel heating. This heat then transferred into cooler reactor which then directly or indirectly used for generates the steam. Direct steam production is done by creating cooler reactor (usually mineral water, H2O) till boiled then producing steam. On indirect production, cooler reactor (so called as primary cooler) is transferred through the pipes into steaming ware. Then this primary cooler creates heat (passing through the pipes) into the secondary cooler (the water) located outside the plant ware pipes for boiling and creating steam.
The next question would be why nuclear plant is implemented in Indonesia? Increasing needs of electricity is the common fact, and then another three rector has been built in Indonesia recently located on Serpong, Yogyakarta and Bandung, which has the same operation system like electrical plant. In other words, Indonesia has already capable in running nuclear reactor. Another fact is, BATAN as the national atomic power organization had managed human resources in operating nuclear reactor.
While, it cost fewer as the national natural resources mainly uranium for nuclear plant fuel, thus no need to imported supply from another country. This is the way out in eliminating high cost of fuel price.
The next problems of its effect on environment will be well-minimized by a good procedure of safety and effectively operation system for nuclear waste management. The safety zones will keep the waste safe inside and from external disturb. When the quake erupted Yogyakarta couple years ago, there was no prove of waste cracking, reflecting its reliability.
As the uranium creates pollution, its carbon dioxide emission relies small number on enrichment process, while another electrical plant producing huge number. In other words, nuclear plant is managing well on its carbon emission instead of the other. So if we change other power plant to nuclear power plant, we can decrease number emission of carbon dioxide on the world.
Nuclear power plant is expected to be reliable in supplying national electrical needs both for industrial and regular housing throughout urban and rural area. In the end, low-class society will be familiar with electrical installation for technology usage. Without enough electric supply technology can’t run well, because most of technology needs electricity. If we have enough electrical supply it can minimize the differences between big city and village, automatically it is can minimize digital divide in Indonesia. Because the fundamental problem to minimize digital divide in Indonesia is lack of electrical supply. So this problem can be solving by nuclear power plant that can produce more electrical power compare with other power plant.
Zuhal. 1988. Dasar Teknik Tenaga Listrik dan Elektronika Daya.Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Energy Conversion, edited by D. Yoga Goswani and Frank Kreith