Bogor, W Java (Indonesia Window) – A survey by Indonesia’s National Atomic Energy Agency (BATAN) shows uranium resources in the country reach 82,638 tons.
“Of that amount, 13,116 tons of uranium are categorized as discovered resources, meaning they have 80 percent of certainty level,” BATAN’s uranium exploration expert I Gde Sukadana told an online seminar held by the Indonesian Nuclear Society Association on Thursday (Nov 19).
He pointed out that the survey also shows there are 37,137 tons of uranium with a 50 percent certainty level, and 32,385 tons are included in the unconventional category, which is a by-product of other mining materials, making that amount could change at any time.
Radioactive uranium elements with discovered status are mostly found in Kalan, West Kalimantan, totalling 11,233 tons, followed by Mamuju (West Sulawesi) 769 tons, Mentawai and Darab (Central Kalimantan) 623 tons, and Sibolga (North Sumatra) of 490 tons.
Other areas in Indonesia where uranium resources are found are Kawat Area (East Kalimantan), the Bangka Belitung Islands, Singkep (Riau Islands), Ketapang (West Kalimantan), and Katingan (Central Kalimantan).
In addition to uranium, Indonesia also has 143,234 tons of thorium resources.
Of that figure, 3,424 tons are discovered and 5,961 tons are categorized as undiscovered. Both are found in Mamuju, West Sulawesi.
Meanwhile, 133,849 tons of thorium are included in the unconventional category.
Gde Sukadana said despite having documents on the resources of radioactive elements, Indonesia has yet to report this discovery to the relevant international agencies.
“We have to do a mining feasibility study first to get data on radioactive element reserve. Data on reserve are what we report to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) or other world institutions,” explained Gde Sukadana, who is a doctoral candidate in Geological Engineering from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Yogyakarta.
So far Indonesia has yet to mine radioactive elements, yet according to Gde Sukadana, the discovery of these materials would uplift Indonesia sovereignty while rising the nation’s confidence in developing nuclear energy in the near future.
Reporting by Indonesia Window