Group raises alarm over Duterte’s interest on nuclear energy in PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, or collectively known as Agham, raised alarm over President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to conduct a government study on introducing nuclear energy to the Philippines’ power generation mix.
“We in Agham – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People — express our concern over President Duterte’s push to include nuclear energy in the country’s energy mix, as this move will only worsen our reliance on imported fuel and possibly revive the mothballed USD 2.3 billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP),” read the statement.
Agham said the BNPP might pose danger to its nearby communities as well as violates regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
If the plant starts operations, it would fall short of meeting the Philippines’ energy demand, Agham said.
“Its 620-megawatt capacity pales in comparison to the capacity of other energy sources in our country which can be developed if given proper investment,” the group said.
The group Agham is an organization composed of scientists, engineers, researchers and science workers. The organization also noted that nuclear energy will have to depend on uranium resources in other countries to fuel nuclear power plants.
“Moreover, since the country doesn’t have uranium resources that can fuel nuclear power plants, it will be the same scenario as what we have with oil and coal energy where we remain dependent on imported fuel,” the group said.
Also, Agham said “nuclear energy also has direct costs that can be passed on to the people such as nuclear tax, decommissioning costs, and waste disposal costs, which can result in higher rates for electricity consumers.”
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