PH not ready for nuclear energy, says industry expert

PH not ready for nuclear energy, says industry expert

With the Department of Energy (DOE) showing interest in using the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to improve the country’s energy mix, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines senior advocacy adviser believes that the Philippines is “not ready” for nuclear energy.

Henry V. Schumacher said that countries like Japan and Germany are already getting out of the nuclear sector because of high risks.

“The other part (of the equation) would be, what will you do with the used nuclear rods? They will be active for a hundred years and so where are you going to put them? That’s a big argument all over the world. I believe the Philippines is not ready,” Schumacher said.

The ECCP advocacy adviser said that the Philippines should ‘go nuclear’ if ‘we had no other option.’ He added that nuclear energy requires high investments.

“So why go nuclear? If we had no other option, I would think you may have to consider nuclear. But the Philippines definitely has other options,” Schumacher said, adding that prices for renewable energy are going down and the country would soon have affordable energy.

“Why focus on nuclear when you have wind sources and solar as well as natural gas. If you put natural gas and renewable energy together, you’ll have a good combination to feed the (electricity requirements) of the country,” said Schumacher.

The ECCP adviser said that the government should look why Germany and Japan are getting out of nuclear energy. “I think that’s a good indication.

“The Philippines is being hit by heavy typhoons continuously and then earthquakes on top of that. I’m not sure whether you want to expose the country and its population to those risks. There are other energy options and I don’t see the need for (nuclear),” he added.