M. V. Ramana with the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC and his collaborators from the Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics, the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability, and Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security have published a report titled “Nuclear Power and Small Modular Reactors in Indonesia: Potential and Challenges”, which surveys and synthesizes the historical and contemporary factors affecting nuclear power in Indonesia. The report specifically explores the class of designs called small modular reactors (SMRs) that some have promoted as particularly appropriate for developing countries.

Despite support for SMR construction in some parts of Indonesian government and society, the report points out that there are significant challenges that would have to be overcome before Indonesia acquires any SMRs, including the absence of tested SMR designs, the regulatory requirement that only proven technology be adopted, the higher electricity generation costs associated with SMR technology, and public opposition and lack of support at higher levels of government. The authors conclude that the construction of SMRs is unlikely, especially in large enough numbers to make a sizeable contribution to Indonesia’s electricity generation.

A summary of the findings and a link to the full report is available here and a short policy forum article based on the report is available on the Nautilus Institute website.