The building of new nuclear power plants in Indonesia is inevitable, according to a government minister.

Dahlan Iskan, minister for state enterprises, told an energy policy seminar at the House of Representatives that “whether we like it or not, nuclear power has to be added to the energy mix because it’s cheap and reliable”.

This view was supported by Tatang Soerwidjaja from the Bandung Institute of Technology, who predicted that Indonesia’s power consumption would quadruple by 2025.

“Such an extraordinary increase in a relatively small amount of time would be impossible to tackle without taking recourse to building nuclear power plants,” he added.

The government wants to build a nuclear plant on Bangka Island and is currently carrying out site feasibility tests. If built, the plant would be operational in 2030 and supply 40 per cent of electricity to Sumatra, Java and Bali.