PH can’t handle nuke waste, Duterte told
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Philippines has no capacity to manage and dispose of nuclear waste, a major reason the Duterte administration should drop a plan to activate the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong town, the EcoWaste Coalition said on Wednesday.
“We urge our policymakers not to wake up the sleeping ‘monster of Morong from its -year slumber. It’s better to keep the plant idle rather than to create a highly toxic problem that our country cannot handle,” Rene Pineda, EcoWaste’s clean air and renewable energy advocate, said in a statement.
“How do BNPP pushers intend to manage, store and dispose of the tons of highly toxic waste that will be generated when we cannot even effectively deal with our ordinary household discards?” he said.
He challenged BNPP advocates to inform the public where the radioactive waste would be stored to make it safe from earthquakes and volcanic hazards given Mt. Natib’s status as an active volcano.
“Nuclear waste disposal is a huge problem even in highly industrialized countries like the United States,” he said, referring to a warning by the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists that “the resulting waste-disposal problem has become a major challenge for policymakers…[as] nuclear fuel remains dangerously radioactive for thousands of years after it is no longer useful in a commercial reactor.”
Pineda quoted Greenpeace USA as saying that “there is still no safe, reliable solution for dealing with the radioactive waste produced by nuclear plants.”
“Every waste dump in the US leaks radiation into the environment and nuclear plants themselves are running out of ways to store highly radioactive waste on site,” Pineda said.
EcoWaste pushed instead for clean energy sources. “Instead of going nuclear, the Philippines should go all-out for clean, safe and renewable energy sources that are plentiful in our country,” Pineda said.
Geologist Kelvin Rodolfo, in an updated scientific review, said BNPP proponents should study a June 2005 report of the US think tank Council on Foreign Relations on “Are Nuclear Spent Fuel Pools Secure?”
“Nuclear fuel becomes spent, or used, after it has been in a reactor for between about 4.5 and six years. The fuel is not actually exhausted at this point, but is no longer an economically viable heat source,” the report said.
It said: “Every 18 to 24 months, about a third of the fuel of an operating commercial nuclear reactor is removed. The fuel is highly radioactive and continues to produce a large amount of heat through radioactive decay, called decay heat, after its removal.”/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.