Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Energy generated from nuclear reactions is huge (1 gram of uranium equivalent to 2,000 kg of coal), making it a very economical energy source.
However, there is a great danger if a nuclear reactor has a leak.
Radioactive materials released into the environment could damage body if it is affected by the materials and can directly kill cells, or cause mutations in DNA. If the mutations are not restored, the damaged cells turn into cancer.
But nuclear facilities are not always that scary, they can even become tourist destinations such as those that have been developed by the Center for Applied Nuclear Science and Technology of the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) in Bandung, West Java.
Nuclear technology tourism in Bandung has been open to the public since October 30, 2019.
At these tourist sites, tourists can visit the exhibition hall, a reactor area, and such laboratories as an isotope production laboratory, a marked-compound laboratory, a nuclear analysis engineering laboratory.
Referring to the international regulations, visitors who want to see the location of the reactor must be at least 18 years old. They can visit the facility on Mondays and Tuesdays by first submitting a visit permit.
The exhibition hall can be visited from Mondays to Fridays, starting at 8 am-4 pm.
BATAN Head Anhar Riza Antariksawan said Bandung has a close historical relations with the agency because the first nuclear reactor in Indonesia was built in the city.
“Bandung is a milestone for the development of nuclear science and technology. The first research reactor was inaugurated by President Soekarno in 1965, and at that time the first Indonesian president said the country had entered the atomic era,” he said.
The Bandung reactor has been widely used, among others, for the identification of air pollutants by the Bandung city government as an effort to improve air quality in the area.
In addition, the Bandung nuclear reactor also produces radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals that are used for the treatment of patients in hospitals.
“The purpose of technology tourism is to bring nuclear technology closer to the people, and educate them that nuclear has many benefits for human life, especially in the city of Bandung,” Anhar added.
Reporting by Indonesia Window