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Don’t revive nuke energy program, Greenpeace asks PH agency

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MANILA, Philippines–The environmentalist organization Greenpeace has asked Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla to abandon his department’s plans to revive the use of nuclear energy in the Philippines.

The group said it was shocked at the Department of Energy’s recent proposal to revive the use of nuclear energy to power the country as “this plan goes against global trends as far as safety is concerned.”

“Worldwide, the nuclear industry is declining having failed to establish itself as a clean, cheap, safe or reliable energy source. The DOE’s new proposal to implement a national nuclear power program in the energy reform agenda is utter madness,” said Anna Abad, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“Nuclear energy cannot be good for the country as Secretary Petilla claims, because nuclear power is neither safe nor clean. No amount of technological sophistication or safety culture can prepare any country or its people to the inherent dangers of nuclear energy,” she said in a statement.

President Aquino has publicly declared that he is against the revival of the controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Petilla, however, said his department was already looking into nuclear projects to attract local and foreign investors.

No nuclear proposals are currently tabled in Congress, although the Philippine Energy Plan still contains provisions for nuclear energy. The Energy Reform Agenda directs the DOE to conduct research and studies in aid of legislative and executive action for the operation of a 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant by 2025.

“It may seem a cheaper alternative, but nuclear energy pays a human price. Just look at what happened in Ukraine, and very recently in Japan. Has Secretary Petilla completely forgotten about the Fukushima tragedy, the world’s worst human-made disaster to date?” Abad said.

“His shortsighted plan to put profit above people’s safety could put millions at risk. If a nuclear disaster cannot be prevented from happening in rich, technologically advanced nations like Japan, then
what might happen in our county?” she added.

The Aquino government, according to Greenpeace, has wasted several years pushing for dirty sources of energy such as coal and nuclear.

“The government must ensure sustainable development with a future powered by clean and safe renewable energy, rather than dangerous nuclear, or dirty coal power,” it said.

Greenpeace is advocating an “energy revolution,” which it describes as a “sustainable pathway for renewable energy, coupled with energy efficiency technologies, to become country’s energy backbone.”

The group is also calling on the Philippine government to commit to fully implement the Renewable Energy Law to achieve 50 percent renewable energy in the country’s energy mix by 2020.

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Tags: Bataan Nuclear Power Plant , environment , Greenpeace , News , nuclear energy

  • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

    We should ban cars and planes too. They do cause a lot of deaths and injuries.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIWYLFLU4LPKS7B2ZLLRVFKS3Y vir_a

    Greenpeace should give us an alternative solution which provide cheap energy. Otherwise, it should not interfere with our government’s plans.

    • Islaslolo

      A good advice is worth heeding. The future is really renewable energy.

    • buttones

      There is no such thing as ‘cheap’ energy….and Greenpeace are not interfering, they are just pointing out some simple facts, And why should Greenpeace provide solutions? That is not their role. We have none of our own?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D3LDMMAKC6UDQLDVFP2DGSJBXY Jezzrel

    Greenpeace Abad, can you provide our country with your so called alternative energy? BNPP is there, waiting to be operated 25 years ago. Accidents happens anyway, and besides does Japan’s tsunami a man made disaster?

    • buttones

      Man made? Well only in the sense that the pumping of coolant water for the device was located at the bottom of the buildings. Not at the top, had they been located out of harms way it may have been a different story. At this point, Japan having been subjected to enough nuclear fall out to last anybody a life time, I think they have had enough….

  • igo_rot

    I want nuclear energy in Philippines but for now it seems LNG is cheap and abundant everywhere. Producing energy by LNG is almost as cheap as nuclear. LNG energy for short term but nuclear energy for long term.

  • buttones

    Well, whether anybody likes it or not, the fact of the matter is the global energy demand will be supplied, up to at least 2030, by coal- 30%, oil- 30%, gas 20%, Hydro, nuclear and other renewable don’t even figure, that remaining % is made up of these, Germany and Japan is winding down nuclear, wind power with a 30% efficiency rate is a complete waste of time, solar is good but needs space and only has a life of maximum twenty years, so we are stuck with coal, oil and gas. Convert the museum piece Bataan to coal fired. The thought of PH dabbling in nuclear power when we can’t even give continuity of supply from diesel powered , or coal fired plants is terrifying….it’s madness.

  • buttones

    I was not here in PH when Bataan was due to be commissioned- please somebody, can you tell me why it never was?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

      the “official” story is that the bnpp is sitting near a fault line and around the same time chernobyll blew up.  but quite a number of people think its because of booollsheet politics why it never was

      • buttones

        Thank you for that. One wonders why, given the expense gone to, the advisability of building this thing near a fault line was never questioned, I mean let’s face it we all live near a fault line, this is PH for God’s sake! The last comment regarding political ‘goings on’ the endless squabbling between dynastical families jockeying for position, does of course make perfect, crystal clear sense…
        That was a waste of money, time and effort wasn’t it- who paid for this? Is this like incoming Presidents canceling projects instigated by the out going President ‘cos they were ill conceived, pointless, wrong, corrupt anyway- that sort of thing? That can’t be right either, because there is a member of government who is advocating a return to nuclear power…..

    • 2loving

      It’s of course politics and interference of US against the
      Marcos administration during those times. How silly it was to say that the job site was sitting on top of a fault line?, of course, prior to Construction, series of studies and
      geological surveys are conducted before the Plant is situated and constructed
      in that area. Those who says that are not even Geologist / Engineers themselves
      but mere militants who were paid by leftist politicians.

      Now, 25years later, it has proven to be intact despite the
      series of earthquakes we have experienced in past 2 decades. And when the plant
      was designed and about to be Commissioned, Westinghouse even offered their own
      Engineers to operate and maintain it just to make sure not even a single
      Filipino will die whenever accident occur. . .

      We have wasted a very good investment, especially that it
      should have had supplied the power shortages we have experience up until now. But
      proposing of operating it now, is just insane . . . the plant is already old.

      With the plans of building a new Nuclear Power Plant, I support
      it as it is a solution for us. . . In terms of disposing nuclear waste, USA
      accepts it as long as we pay. And in terms of safety, of course, with the
      technology and experience the world have today in designing such kind of Plant,
      that can be solve.

  • Islaslolo

    Is our government really serious in reviving the use of nuclear energy? Have they done a thorough study and analysis of the nuclear option versus the other alternatives?

    Here are the reasons why I think it’s not viable for us to even consider it:
    1. We do not have the safety culture and experience to operate one.
    2. New nuclear power plants are very expensive. Even the US cannot justify building one right now even though it issued permits for two plants recently.
    3. Nuclear fuel is a restricted commodity. Unless we will produce our own nuclear fuel, which is not possible since we do not have the technology, we are at the mercy of other countries.
    4. Where will we store the spent fuel that will remain radioactive for more than 10,000 years? It’s not only expensive but do we have the space or land?
    5. Have we really done a comprehensive cost analysis of building, operating, maintaining and decommissioning a nuclear power plant? Don’t forget the cost of spent fuel storage and disposition.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

    The group is also calling on the Philippine government to commit to fully implement the Renewable Energy Law to achieve 50 percent renewable energy in the country’s energy mix by 2020.

    first religious group.  now another organization is meddling with how we should manage our country.  sino susunod?

    can they force mid eastern countries to stop producing fossil fuel?  if not, they better shut the f_ck up

  • blainz

    The Philipines should prioritize wind and geothermal, both are renewable sources of energy that play to our geographical strengths. The technology for both is mature, and we don’t need to bother with importing fuel – whether coal, oil, gas, or uranium.

    Geothermal can provide reliable base capacity, and there are enough volcanically active sites in the country for its expansion. Wind energy generation has to be dispersed to pick up slack from any area in doldrum; the construction of turbines can promote development in several provinces simultaneously and there would be no catastrophic loss of power in the wake of the inevitable earthquake ala Fukushima.

    Solar, another strength since ours is a tropical country, can supplement for the low power needs of villages still out of the grid.

    There’s more than enough renewable energy available for us not to rely on imported fuel or hazardous/pollutive power plants.

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