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Atomic Energy

Nuclear Facilities Profiles

While a few gaps and questions remain, on balance, it appears that Indonesia has largely succeeded in developing an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle. Unfortunately, it is difficult to ascertain via open sources how viable the cycle is without international assistance. Evidence indicates that Indonesia’s work in the fields of uranium milling, processing and conversion has (thus far) only been conducted on a laboratory scale. However, several notable nuclear facilities have been established. Three research reactors are currently in operation and a fourth is planned. Indonesia has announced ambitious plans to construct multiple nuclear power reactors (with international assistance) in the future.

It appears that Indonesia has two established mines, both in the West Kalimantan uranium district. The first, Remaja-Hitam Ore Body is a uranium vein in fine grained metamorphous rock and is thought to contain between 5000 and 10000 tons of uranium with a grade range of between 0.10 and 0.30. Also, known as the Edo-Remaja prospect, this reserve is reportedly capable of providing Indonesia with a supply of yellowcake sufficient to meet domestic needs for planned reactors. The second mine, Rirang-Tanah Merah Ore Body is also a uranium vein in fine grained metamorphous rock, though it is thought to contain less than 500 tons U and have a grade range of between 0.30 and 1.00. While it is estimated that Indonesia can produce about 770 tons of uranium per year, the aforementioned mines are currently thought to be dormant. Should it prove economically viable or politically necessary, Indonesia can probably mine enough uranium from its domestic reserves to provide yellowcake for its planned nuclear power reactors.

(1) IAEA UDEPO – World Distribution of Uranium Deposits, and Universal News [Online]

(2) ‘Uranium Exploration,’ Project Number INS/3/008, IAEA-TC Project Datasheet, Completed 1990-12-22. [Online]

Ore Processing
In 1985, Indonesia established a laboratory for uranium ore processing in Jakarta. Presumably under the control of the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN); Centre for Exploration and Processing of Nuclear Materials, open sources indicate that in 1985 this facility received about 175 of domestically mined uranium ore for processing. At present, reports indicate that the National Nuclear Energy Agency is able to process enough yellowcake for conversion into UO2 pellets to provide target fuel elements for Indonesia’s research reactors. However, whether or not this facility is capable of meeting the processing needs for Indonesia’s planned nuclear power reactors cannot be discerned from open sources.

(3) ‘Uranium Ore Processing,’ Project Number INS/3/007, IAEA-TC Project Datasheet, Completed 1985-10-21. [Online]

(4) “Uranium Ore Processing,” Project Number INS/3/007, IAEA-TC Project Datasheet, Completed 1985-10-21. [Online] and, “Nangapinoh,” Geological Research and Development Centre, Indonesia, 2003. [Online]