DOE reiterates need for nuclear power development

nuclear energy philippines

The Department of Energy (DOE) has repeated its call for the development of nuclear power in the country as it will pave the way for the Philippines’ long-term energy security.

“The time is ripe for intensified and informed public discussions on nuclear energy and its potential role in our energy security agenda,” DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report.

The nuclear power development in the country remains to be a controversial topic to some, but Cusi said his reply to critics will be “why not?”

Earlier, the department has commissioned Social Weather Stations (SWS) for a survey, which opened debates and discussions on nuclear power development.

The survey showed around 79 percent of respondents had given affirmative vote regarding the repowering of the shelved 600 MW Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), while 65 percent voted for building new nuclear energy facilities.

Cusi noted that the survey results “are positive indicators on the acceptability of nuclear energy,” for him. 

“Respondents are aware that nuclear energy possesses both benefits and risks,” Cusi added.

Around 70 percent also agreed to allocate government funds for the construction of a nuclear power plant.

However, Cusi explained that the development framework as well as policies are still work-in-progress. 

“Considering the potential of safely utilizing nuclear energy for our power needs doesn’t mean that nuclear power plants will immediately come out of the woodwork,” Cusi said.

“The entire process will take time, especially since we are still at the stage of addressing the 19 infrastructure issues needed in developing a national nuclear power program,” the DOE Secretary added.