More crap about nuclear power
A couple of days ago I proposed
that all multi-national companies and foreign governments wanting a slice of Indonesia's nuclear pie should first show their commitment to this country by building a network of public toilets throughout Jakarta, preferably low-tech, and demonstrate that they can deal with the waste generated.
The next day in the Jakarta Post, for which you have to register if you want to read articles online, I read the following:
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told an international energy workshop, "Developing alternative energy turns out to be a necessity rather than a choice. I am optimistic that other sources of new and renewable energy sources, including nuclear power, will play a more important role in our energy mix
"Energy conversion in all sectors must be implemented soon, not only to reduce dependence upon oil fuels but also to alleviate poverty and to increase economic growth
," said Purnomo.
Increase economic growth? Why? For the great god Consumption? And, not that he cares because mega-projects go with mega-egos, but has the minister got his sums right?
Outside the Sultan Hotel was a demonstration where Nur Hidayati of Greenpeace stated, "A single reactor would cost US$5 billion, making a major claim on scarce financial resources, thereby hindering clean, safe and far more economical renewable technologies. The result will be more problems and less energy.
"Hidayati claimed that hardly any of the current 435 commercial nuclear reactors in operation worldwide were built within the planned timeframes or budgets. She also said that competitive electricity prices for nuclear power could only be achieved by regulation and subsidies.
By now you know that Jakartass is an implacable opponent of the nuclear power industry. You also know that I regularly highlight the lack of toilets in Jakarta. It was a surprise, therefore, to read the following in the same issue of the Post:Non-governmental organization Mercy Corps, the United States Agency for International Development's Environmental Services Program (USAID) and NGOs Aman Tirta and the Health Services Program are building the first eco-friendly public toilet block in the urban kampong of Petojo (
in Central Jakarta) in a bid to improve the community's access to sanitation.
The system ... has a bio-digester that can convert feces into biogas. The biogas will be piped to the stove at the community's integrated health post which will be used for cooking nutritious meals for the neighborhood children.
It will probably be used to cook non-nutritious meals as well, but that's not the point. Aimed at serving 200 households, ... the cost of building the toilet block was Rp 345 million (c.$40,000) .. which came from USAID. The community itself would manage the operational and maintenance costs.
Taking the cost of one nuclear power station - $5 billion, and dividing it by the cost of toilets for 200 households (= 1,000 people?), I figure that 125,000 such "eco-friendly" toilets could be built. Just a tenth of that number would serve the entire population of Jakarta.
Unlike the end product of a nuclear power station, the waste would be recycled productively, both solving the long-term storage problems and reducing the dependency on rapidly depleting fossil fuels.
You may say that I am talking crap but, hey, you know it makes sense.