Jakarta – Minister of Research and Technology/Chairman of National Agency for Research and Innovation Bambang Brodjonegoro ensure that the radioactive substances of Cesium-137 or Cs-137 which were allegedly spread in one of the vacant lands in Batan Indah housing in Serpong, South Tangerang, was not caused by the leakage of “Serba Guna” Reactor Gerrit Augustinus Siwabessy (RSG-GAS) in Serpong Nuclear Area (KNS), Research Center for Science and Technology (Puspiptek) Complex, Serpong, South Tangerang.
“The radioactive substances contamination was not caused by the nuclear reactor leakage in Puspiptek nuclear facility, Serpong. It is apparent that the nuclear reactor complex upkeep is going very well and no leakage impacted to other areas. Moreover, the Batan Indah housing area is far enough from the reactor complex,” said Minister Bambang on the press conference in 24th Floor Meeting Room of BPPT Building II, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday (18/2).
The housing area of Batan Indah where the radioactive radiation was found is located about three kilometers away from Serba Guna Reactor GA Siwabessy owned by National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia (BATAN) in KNS. Minister Bambang explained that BATAN reactor in KNS is in excellent condition based on Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency of Indonesia (BAPETEN) surveillance, but Minister Bambang understands that the community is not yet aware of the nuclear safety condition there.
“Maybe many people still don’t understand the Puspiptek and Batan Indah area, assuming that this case might be occurred from the radioactive leakage, but the answer is no, moreover, considering the distance is not close enough,” said Minister Bambang in front of dozens of media.
Currently, BAPETEN has established coordination with the police to investigate why the radioactive substances could be spread on housing area.
“BAPETEN is coordinating with the police to conduct an investigation of the source of the radioactive substances, because it is uncommon for such substances to be found in relatively far location from nuclear reactor and not in official disposal area for nuclear waste,” said Minister Bambang.
In the press conference, the Head of BAPETEN Jazi Eko Istiyanto stated that BAPETEN is monitoring the RSG-GAS reactor according to the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) provisions, including by installing and monitoring through nine radiation detectors around the reactor.
“We installed nine detectors in BATAN Complex in Puspiptek Serpong. If anything happens there, for example a leakage, our detectors will directly notify us that something is wrong. At the time, there was no record of radiation leakage. What we did was carrying our mobile detectors while walking around and found it in Batan Indah. This is not classified as nuclear accident. The classification would be radioactive waste pollution, not a nuclear emergency, so it would be way too far compared with Chernobyl or Fukushima accident,” he said.
BAPETEN has asked BATAN to clear all radioactive substances in the location.
“BATAN has already dredge the soil and move it into the Radioactive Waste Technology Center in BATAN, so the radiation is currently reduced. Insya Allah in few days we will declare that the area is clear,” said the Head of BAPETEN.
BATAN has been decontaminating the area from the radioactive substances for the past four days.
“BATAN’s job in decontaminating was done when BAPETEN said this needed to be decontaminated as soon as possible. Our team also did tue dame thing. We have been doing that since February 12th, then on February 13th, February 16th, and February 17th,” said the Head of BATAN Anhar Riza Antariksawan.
BATAN has provided hundreds of drums to collect the soil and vegetations exposed with radioactive substances to be processed in Radioactive Waste Technology Center in BATAN KNS area, Puspiptek.
“What we are doing is clearing the soul indicated with radioactive contamination and cause the exposure. We have been collecting those for four days in no less than a hundred drums containing one hundred liters of contaminated soil and seven drums containing 150 liters of vegetations,” said the Head of BATAN.
The location of Batan Indah radiated area is currently restricted to the yellow line. The radiation was recorded to be reduced as the decontamination process is still ongoing.
“From the initial report that the orde was 140 micro Sievert per hour in one meter of distance, it was decreased to 28 micro Sievert per hour by yesterday’s report. Hopefully today it is more decreased. It is still quite high so we will keep on decontaminating the area, including the vegetations. So far, the nearby area and streets has been able to operate by the locals for their activities. Only the narrow area of 33 square meters are restricted, the area we still decontaminate,” said the Head of BATAN Anhar Riza Antariksawan.
In the press conference, the Mayor of South Tangerang Airin Rachmi Diany expressed her trust to all the institutions doing the decontamination efforts of the radioactive substances and hoped that the process could be achieved in short span of time.
“There is one hamlet in the area, with 21 neighborhood divisions, consist from almost a thousand of householders and total of approximately five thousand of people. There are around five hundred of children and adults. I was visiting there and they believe in us. Lets put our trust on what BAPETEN and BATAN are doing with their competencies and skills. But we still need to encourage our work to finish the decontamination process as soon as possible. We hope it will be done within 20 days,” said Mayor Airin.
Also attending the press conference were the echelons of the Ministry of Research and Technology/National Agency for Research and Innovation, Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency of Indonesia (BAPETEN), National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia (BATAN), and South Tangerang government officials.
Partnership and Public Communication Bureau
Ministry of Research and Technology/National Agency for Research and Innovation