Nuclear industry news


Developing nuclear education in Indonesia


The only nuclear engineering curriculum in Indonesia is taught at Universitas Gadjah Mada’s Department of Engineering Physics, which has a mission to develop science and technology competence to build the nation’s competitiveness, even though plans to build the nation’s first nuclear power plant have been delayed. By Susetyo Hario Putero, Widya Rosita, Fnu Sihana, Haryono Budi Santosa and Anung Muharini


Indonesia plans to build its first nuclear power plant (NPP) to solve the country's energy problems. It needs fully-skilled human resources in the field of nuclear technology. The Department of Engineering Physics at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, is the only university department in Indonesia offering a nuclear engineering curriculum. Since its establishment in 1977, about 890 people have graduated; more than 200 are currently studying.


The main obstacle of nuclear engineering education development is unclear government policy. Since the first nuclear research reactor was established in Bandung (1972), the government has postponed its plan several times due to the presence of anti-nuclear groups, especially after Fukushima accident.


As an education institution, Universitas Gadjah Mada has a mission to develop science and technology for leveraging the nation's competitiveness. Nuclear engineering development has to be independent of the presence of nuclear power plants in Indonesia, since many NPPs are now being built around the world. In addition, according to the national Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN), there are 2825 institutions, including medical institutions, that are currently using radioactive materials in Indonesia. In addition, Indonesia is now playing an important role in radiopharmacy production, particularly in Asia. So there are several opportunities that could be the basis for developing the new nuclear engineering curriculum.


In the new nuclear engineering curriculum, students are offered a choice of two concentrations, nuclear energy systems and medical physics technology. The first one is oriented to support nuclear reactor system development including Gen IV NPPs, research reactors and radioisotope production reactors. Students study how to plan, operate and develop a nuclear reactor system from front-end to back-end. The second concentration is developed to be applied in the medical field, as for example to become a partner of radiooncologists in hospitals. Besides the hard skills, the student's character has to be educated to develop excellence in safety culture, global and national vision. We believe that the hard and soft skills mentioned above will help students survive in today's global competition, especially in nuclear technology utilization.