PHL gov’t commits to “introduction of nuclear power energy into the State’s energy mix for power generation”
(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte approved a proposal to review and develop nuclear energy plans and include “nuclear power energy” as among the options for power generation.
Duterte signed Executive Order no. 164 adopting a “national position for a nuclear energy program” to ensure that the country has a “reliable, secure, sustainable, quality and affordable electricity supply.”
-Guaranteeing no disruptions in power supply-
This would include having a sufficient energy reserve “to guarantee that there will be no disruptions in power supply.”
“Towards this end and taking into consideration the experience of developed and growing economies, nuclear power shall be tapped as a viable alternative baseload power source along with alternative energy resources,” the EO said.
This is to address the”projected decline of coal-fired power plants.”
“The National Government commits to the introduction of nuclear power energy into the State’s energy mix for power generation,” Duterte’s EO 164 read.
-Assessing Bataan Nuclear Power Plant-
“The State shall ensure the peaceful use of nuclear technology anchored on critical tenets of public safety, national security, energy self-sufficiency, and environmental sustainability,” it said.
The EO said that the National Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC), established under the earlier EO no. 116, shall “collate all audits and recommendations, and conduct further studies and assessments” regarding the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant that was constructed and completed during the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
Construction of the power plant began in in 1974 and was near completion by 1984. It was Equipped with a Westinghouse light water reactor and was designed to produce 621 megawatts of electricity. Due to concerns about possible threats to public health, there were protests that prevented it from being operated. It was later mothballed due to safety concerns in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine in 1986. The Marcoses were also deposed in 1986.
President Duterte tasked the NEP-IAC to make recommendations on the use and viability of the BNPP and the establishment of other facilities for the utilization of nuclear energy.
He also directed the Department of Energy (DOE) “to develop and implement the Nuclear Energy Program as part of the Philippine Energy Plan, and coordinate with and assist the NEP-IAC in the performance of its functions.”
President Duerte signed EO 164 on February 28, and was released by Malacanang on March 3, 2022.
(Eagle News Service)