Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Jakarta Nuke Plant "Sinful"

Sinful? Stupid perhaps, considering the location and the lack of safety standards in the country. However I'm not sure why Iran, which is also prone to earth quakes, can have nuclear power plants and Indonesia isn't... but Allah seems to have many such double standards.

Indonesia nuclear plans ‘sinful’: Muslim clerics

An influential group of Muslim clerics from Indonesia’s largest Islamic movement has declared the government’s nuclear plans for earthquake-prone Java as sinful under Islam, a cleric said on Monday.

Some 150 clerics from Central Java, where the government plans to build its first nuclear power plant, met over the weekend, said Nuruddin Amin.

“The meeting concluded that a nuclear power plant would create danger for the local population outweighing the benefits it would bring, and therefore the meeting agreed to declare it as ‘haram’,” Amin told AFP.

The Islamic term refers to something unacceptable, forbidden or sinful.

He said that the district level decision would now be recommended to the regional chapter and then national headquarters of their clerical group.

“We hope that eventually a recommendation could be passed on to the government,” Amin added.

The government, pressed to boost energy supplies to the world’s fourth most populous nation, plans to build its first plant on the foothills of Mount Muria, a dormant volcano.

Jakarta shelved plans to develop atomic energy in 1997 in the face of mounting public opposition, the discovery of a large gas field and a shortage of funds.

But the idea resurfaced in 2005 amid increasing power shortages and a government drive to develop and diversify energy resources.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has backed Indonesia’s plans to build nuclear plants despite strident opposition from environmentalists. Thousands of residents have also already held several protests.

The government is expecting to put the 4,000 megawatt project out to tender next year with construction slated to begin in 2010 and the plant to open by 2016, the Jakarta Post reported Monday.