Nuclear-themed comic envisions Nuclear-Free future for Indonesia’s youth

Press release - June 22, 2009
Greenpeace today launched the comic 'Nuclear Meltdown - A message from the Darkness', at the Komunitas Salihara cultural centre in South Jakarta to raise awareness of the human, environmental and financial costs of this dirty and dangerous technology. The comic was soft-launched at the end of April in Jepara, with Muria Institute and local groups opposed to Indonesian Government plans to build a nuclear power plant in Central Java.

Greenpeace launched the comic 'Nuclear Meltdown - A message from the Darkness', at the Komunitas Salihara cultural centre in South Jakarta to raise awareness of the human, environmental and financial costs of this dirty and dangerous technology.

Today's event was attended by around 60 senior high school students from Solar Generation, a Greenpeace youth group taking action against climate change by promoting the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The comic launch, aimed at Indonesia's high school students, kicked off with a 'Nuclear Power for Beginners' session and a 'Nuclear Quiz', followed by a creative play staged by Solar Generation. The event closed with a 'photo wall' of event participants sending a message to promote renewable energy and stop nuclear power via Greenpeace's website.

"Nuclear power has been misleadingly touted as the solution to climate change. The nuclear industry is now desperately trying to re-brand itself as the energy choice of the next generation as it targets youth in a global PR drive. However, Indonesia's youth are smarter than the nuclear industry think and see nuclear power for what it is - a dangerous, expensive, outdated technology which offers no solution to climate change," said Tessa de Ryck, Greenpeace Southeast Asia regional nuclear campaigner.

Greenpeace welcomes President Yudhoyono's recent announcement in Magelang that he is against building a nuclear reactor as long as there are better alternatives, as well as PLN, the state electricity utility, announcing earlier this week that they don't see nuclear power being part of Indonesia's future energy mix.

Indonesia has one of the world's largest stores of untapped geothermal energy and there are plans to supply 5 gigawatts of energy from this source by 2014. Greenpeace urges the Government to increase targets for renewable energy, notably geothermal, wind, solar PV and micro-hydro as well as improving the laws and regulations, which have been the biggest impediments to investment in renewable energy.

"The large uptake of renewable energy, phase-out of coal, and scrapping of nuclear plans, should be combined with the implementation of large-scale energy efficiency programmes. This is the only solution that will steer us away from climate catastrophe and give us a future we can look forward to," said Galih Aji Prasongko, Solar Generation Indonesia Coordinator.

Indonesia currently harnesses less than 5% of its renewable energy potential. Greenpeace stresses the need for strong government leadership to quickly enact legislation, which would enable the massive uptake of the nation's abundant renewable energy resources. The Philippines Government enacted the Renewable Energy (RE) Law at the end of 2008 to move the country towards a clean energy future, which will bring economic benefits whilst cutting the country's carbon emissions.

"Funding diverted away from fossil fuels and nuclear into geothermal, wind and solar would not only be a much smarter choice in order to achieve the emission cuts needed to avoid even more dangerous climate change, it is also the only smart economic choice," concluded de Ryck.

Greenpeace is an independent, global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.

Other contacts: Tessa de Ryck, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Regional Nuclear campaigner, +62 813 8323 1803 Galih Aji Prasongko, Solar Generation Indonesia Coordinator,+62 856 9240 0192 Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Media campaigner, +62 818 930 271

Notes: (1) “Nuclear Meltdown - a Message from the Darkness” can be viewed online at: www.greenpeace.or.id/komiknuklir.

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