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Gatchalian maintains reservation over nuke plant use

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 04:20 PM November 11, 2016
Sherwin Gatchalian

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. MARC JAYSON CAYABYAB/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

The chair of the Senate energy committee on Friday called for careful preparation before the country dives into the use of nuclear energy after President Rodrigo Duterte authorized the revival of the long-mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian reiterated his reservations about using the aged plant, saying the country should first come up with comprehensive research and craft a national nuclear policy before considering the use of the facility.

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READ: Gatchalian with Duterte on stand vs nuclear power

“As I mentioned before, we should explore all sources of energy, including nuclear energy to support our growing economy. It is the most prudent strategy to initiate a very comprehensive research on the possible use of nuclear energy for our country. Then a national nuclear policy should ensue,” Gatchalian told the Inquirer when reached for comment.

“I would rather conduct in-depth research on the potential use of nuclear energy for the Philippines before operating the BNPP,” he said.

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Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said earlier Friday that Duterte had changed his mind about the plant, giving him the go-signal to revive the plant at an estimated price tag of $1B or half of its construction price in 1984.

READ: Energy chief gets Duterte’s green light for $1-B nuke plant rehab

The plant, which sits on a 357-ha government reservation at Napot Point in Morong, Bataan, has never been used since its completion due to concerns over safety defects.

On a visit to the plant in September, Gatchalian expressed concerns about using the aged 620-MW power plant. RAM/rga

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TAGS: Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, BNPP, nuclear energy, President Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
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