The Philippines won’t be powered by nuclear energy – not while Rodrigo Duterte is president.
President Duterte has officially rejected the idea of tapping nuclear power to address the country’s power demand under his administration.
“Maybe someday [but] not during my presidency,” Duterte said in an interview in a Davao City cemetery.
He said that the public safety must be assured in tapping such power source.
“We have to come up with safeguards. Really, really tight safeguards to assure that there will be no disasters if there is a nuclear leak or explosion somewhere in the nuclear reactors that we will build in,” the president said.
Duterte added that the Congress and other sectors must thoroughly study this nuclear energy.
“It has to be studied carefully by Congress and by the Filipino people. For after all, pag may leak ‘yan, pag mag-ano, lahat tayo tatamaan diyan and it’s our country, remember that,” he said.
The president said that there is no need for nuclear energy in the country.
“It is not yet an extremist. Wala pa talaga tayo sa danger zone that we will die if there’s no energy.”
Earlier, the Department of Energy said that they are looking to utilize nuclear power to address the country’s growing energy demand, including reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant that remains mothballed since its construction in the 1980s.
The BNPP has a capacity of 620 megawatts constructed under the regime of former president Ferdinand Marcos. DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi said that around $1 billion is needed for its revival.