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Ms. Wahyu Retno Prihatiningsih and Mr. Sahat Panggabean

"We want to learn the knowhow of South Korea to improve environmental monitoring in Indonesia."

Q. Could you introduce yourself?

Ms. Prihatiningsih: I am working at the Radioactive Waste Management Center at BATAN, which is the implementing body of nuclear energy in Indonesia. I majored in chemistry and have a master's degree in marine science.

Mr. Panggabean: I am working at the Ministry for Research and Technology in Indonesia. I have been working there for about ten years, and I am concerned with research institution competency.

Q. Could you tell me your purpose of visit?

Ms. Prihatiningsih: We are here for a fellowship program at the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) for a month. We would like to learn environmental monitoring of South Korea to support our work in Indonesia. We have attended lectures and practical laboratory activities throughout the fellowship program.

Q. What do you think about this program?

Mr. Panggabean: I think it is very helpful and important. We could learn environmental monitoring system and laboratory activities of Korea. The system and the procedures in laboratory activities are much advanced. I think we can adopt some of the procedures in our country. And we will be able to take a new approach next time when we develop environmental monitoring in Indonesia.

Ms. Prihatiningsih: This program will absolutely help my work. I am also working in environmental monitoring in Indonesia. So I came here to accept new knowledge and to know how far South Korea has come in the development of environmental monitoring.

Q. How can environmental monitoring be linked to nuclear energy development?

Ms. Prihatiningsih: We need environmental monitoring to assure the public that nuclear power is being managed safely. Indonesia currently has three experimental nuclear reactors. And in the near future, Indonesia will set up the first nuclear power plant. So we need to make the baseline data of radioactivity in our environment. If we have enough knowledge in environmental monitoring, especially in radiation monitoring, the government will be easily able to make regulations to support our plan for the first nuclear power plant.

Q. What are the most important issues in environmental monitoring?

Ms. Prihatiningsih: Safety is the most important thing especially after the Fukushima nuclear accident. We'd like to know the status of radioactivity around the world. There are two institutions in Indonesia concerning with nuclear energy: BATAN, the implementing body, and BAPETEN, the regulatory body. These two institutions are trying to let Indonesians understand that nuclear energy gives them a huge benefit and to make them feel safe about it. That is why environmental monitoring is important.

Q. How do you like your life in korea?

Ms. Prihatiningsih: Indonesia only has summer and winter with the lowest temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. It is the first time we visited korea, so it is extremely cold for us. But we could easily get used to the weather. Also, I like Daejeon because it is very quiet and clean and has nice people.

Mr. Panggabean: The food is impressive. But kimchi is not really for me because I have problems with spicy food. The other day, people at KINS brought us to a Korean traditional restaurant. The waitresses in Korean traditional dresses served great traditional food.

Q. What do you expect from the remaining stay?

Ms. Prihatiningsih: We only have a week until we leave Korea, and our last week going to be busier than before. This week we have had activities about plutonium analysis in a laboratory. Few days later we are going to visit one of the nuclear power plants in South Korea. We want to fulfill the purpose of this fellowship and do our best to get what we need to develop our work in future.

Q. Do you have any last comments?

Ms. Prihatiningsih: We would like to thank Dr. Daeji Kim and his colleagues who gave us lectures on their expertise. We also feel grateful to Korean people for their kindness.

<30-03-2012 >

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