The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI) renewed its call for the inclusion of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix and the opening of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) to address power issues in the country.
CCPI President Jose Luis Yulo Jr. said in a forum yesterday that the group supports the proposal to add nuclear power to the energy mix and of the operation of the BNPP to address power supply issues, high electricity rates, and in able to support economic development. (Read: Open the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant – Chamber of Commerce)
In a position paper, CCPI said the Philippines’ index poverty and unemployment remain high, and the way to address this is “by massive industrialization and agricultural development.”
“For this to become a reality in the Philippines, the cost of electricity must be brought down in the shortest possible time through nuclear energy. It is the earnest hope of the chamber that this policy recommendation be brought to the attention and political will of President Rodrigo Duterte,” it said.
“We are open to technologies as long as it will benefit the country but the final decision will be an apolitical one,” Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said in the same forum.
Department of Energy Undersecretary Jesus Posadas said nuclear is among the DOE’s options for baseload power. (Read: DOE told: look into nuclear, renewable energy to meet demands)
“We’re looking at the power mix and basically the power mix is to address the economic growth especially the industrialization aspiration of the President,” he said.
DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi previously said that nuclear is a good choice for energy resource due to its high levels of productivity and reliability, low on cost and emissions, and is more cost efficient.
The BNPP, built in 1980’s, was supposed to begin commercial operations in 1986 but was mothballed due to safety concerns and strong opposition from environmental and activist groups. Reports also surfaced that former president Ferdinand Marcos received $80 million in kickbacks from the builder Westinghouse.
However, the site is still being maintained by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) at an annual cost of P50 million.
Talks of opening the mothballed plant recently surfaced when the Philippines hosted a three-day International Nuclear Energy Conference. (Read: PH looking into nuclear energy, BNPP commercial operations)