Senator Win Gatchalian opposed the revival of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) due to the absence of a clear and intensively-researched national nuclear policy.
The Senate Chair on the Committee on Energy urged the Department of Energy (D0E) to have a comprehensive feasibility study on the prospects of using nuclear power in the country before conducting constructions or refurbishment of any nuclear projects – including the BNPP.
“We cannot jump into nuclear energy on a piecemeal basis. This feasibility study on nuclear power will be critical to objectively assessing the merits of adding nuclear power to our energy mix. We need to do our homework first before pulling the trigger on BNPP or any other nuclear project,” Gatchalian said.
He added that the feasibility study will include independent experts on geology, nuclear physics, engineering and other key fields to assess the prospects of nuclear power in the country, including its environmental and community safety as the primordial concern.
Should there be no positive findings from the BNPP study, Gatchalian said that the $1 billion project for rehabilitation should be used to refurbish the plant in the exploration and development of untapped indigenous energy sources, especially within the energy – rich waters of the West Philippine Sea.
One billion dollars is a lot of money. We have to make sure that we are investing this substantial sum in cost-efficient energy ventures which are guaranteed to make significant contributions to the long-term stability of our energy supply,” he said.
On Saturday, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced that President Rodrigo Duterte gave them the go-signal to rehabilitate the mothballed BNPP.