Gov’t mulls setting up nuclear power plant in Sulu
With the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNNP) on the back burner, the Philippine government is looking into the possibility of establishing a nuclear energy facility in Sulu.
Department of Energy spokesperson and undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella noted that Sulu has expressed interest in hosting a modular nuclear power plant as an alternative energy source.
“Yes, Sulu. It’s actually small. They are looking at a modular facility,” said Fuentebella in a press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday.
If a province is open to tapping nuclear energy, the next step would be to find out the requirements from the international organization overseeing nuclear energy.
Fuentebella admitted that the prospect of setting up a nuclear energy facility in Sulu may be remote since the draft national policy on nuclear energy has not been approved.
In April, the Department of Energy submitted its draft recommendation to the Office of the President on whether nuclear energy will be a viable option for the country.
The draft also seeks to put closure on whether to rehabilitate the BNPP or close it for good.
“We have submitted the same to Malacanang already, but there will be steps and it will probably need amendments in the law,” Fuentebella said.
As to the revival of the BNPP, the DOE spokesperson said the options remain open although they will not push for it if the community is vehemently opposed to the idea.
“The options are open, but nonetheless if the community will not support any project within their backyard, it will not push through,” Fuentebella said.
“We have to put closure to that issue, and that is what Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is pushing for,” he added. /ee
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