Time for PH to tap nuclear power source

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MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Tuesday that he will completely support President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s desire to investigate the country’s nuclear energy potential as a cheap and reliable source.

Marcos stated in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday that increasing energy production is necessary if the country wants to attract both domestic and foreign investment.

“So why not? We are one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that has not considered nuclear power. Smaller nuclear power stations are being considered by the Asian countries exploring nuclear power, including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and even Singapore. We’ve already fallen behind “In an interview with a news program, Zubiri stated.

Despite being a renewable energy champion, as indicated by the Renewable Energy Act, Zubiri recognized that there are not enough efforts being made to meet the country’s energy needs during the next six years.

“If we want to have an 8% GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate, we need a vibrant energy sector that can produce the power that other companies require to fuel other initiatives and projects,” he stated.

According to Zubiri, a nuclear power plant may deliver thousands of megawatts from a single unit after six years of development.

He stated that the facility must be properly constructed, sturdy enough to survive disasters, and located away from earthquake faults.

Senator Loren Legarda, a well-known environmentalist, has stated that she is open to the concept of nuclear energy, but it must be considered “clean energy.”

“I am not a nuclear energy specialist. I am open to hearing conversations and consultations on nuclear energy with diverse stakeholders and scientific experts. According to what I’ve read, nuclear energy is environmentally friendly. But what about the nuclear waste? I’m curious about how it will be handled. Simultaneously, the safety measures, “She stated.

Senator Francis Tolentino is also a supporter of nuclear energy, which he discovered has zero emissions.

“President Marcos’ thought is that nuclear energy will provide better means of support in raising our countrymen’s life,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has requested that the Department of Energy (DOE) update legislators on whether nuclear energy should be included in the country’s energy mix, particularly in light of climate change.

“We should request a briefing from the Department of Energy because it is a substantial number of money to analyze the possibility, risk, and opportunities, as well as the advantages to consumers, and we have not received the report of that research.” “That report should be scientific and should be in the hands of legislators because that would be a guiding document for us,” Gatchalian added, referring to the million-peso amount spent on studies.

In his SONA, Marcos stated that he believes it is time to reconsider the country’s nuclear power plant strategy.

He stated that it should comply with the International Atomic Agency Regulations for Nuclear Power Plants, which were reinforced following the Fukushima Daiichi tragedy in Japan in 2011.

Following a large earthquake, a 15-meter wave cut off power and cooling to three nuclear reactors.

The World Nuclear Association reports that there have been no deaths or cases of radiation sickness as a result of the nuclear accident, but over 100,000 people have been evacuated as a precaution.

Official data showed that 2,313 evacuees died as a result of the tragedy, in addition to the approximately 19,500 killed by the earthquake or tsunami.

Source: PNA

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