NO SA NUCLEAR: Lawmakers oppose call for nuclear power plants

DOE Nuclear Energy will help in the country’s development

There are safer and cheaper energy sources the country could use to meet its power requirements.

This was what two Luzon solons said as they turned down the idea of utilizing nuclear energy to address the current power situation of the country.

“Nuclear power is a non-issue now. Nobody is talking about nuclear energy,” Isabela 1st district Rep. Rodito Albano told Manila Bulletin.

There were suggestions that the unused and stagnant Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) could be used to avoid the shortage of power reserves in the Luzon grid.

Isabela 1st district representative noted that the decrease in reserves “only happen during summer,” and so, there’s no need to install a new nuclear power plant.

Quezon City 2nd district Representative Winston Castelo seconds Albano’s opinion and said that the Philippines shouldn’t consider nuclear energy.

“Not anymore, no need to build a new nuclear plant. There are a lot of alternative [energy] that are safer and less expensive. We should explore that,”Castelo was quoted in  a Manila Bulletin report.

The government could further develop solar and wind energy renewable sources, he mentioned.

National Grid Corporation of the Philippines issued a red alert status last week in the Luzon grid, which resulted to rotating brownouts.

The power alerts were due to forced outages of several power plants during summer when power demand is at its highest.

BNPP was completed in 1984 and was never used due to events, particularly the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution and Chernobyl nuclear disaster that same year. The construction of the plant was around $2.3 billion.

To revive the BNPP, the government would have to spend as much as $1 billion, said Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi two years ago.

Cusi added that the public’s approval through national referendum must be gained before it could be activated due to its sensitivity.