Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero cautioned the government against pursuing proposals to revive the mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant, saying it should first focus on exploring other sources of energy that are safe and cheap.
According to Escudero, it is high time for government officials to seriously consider tapping natural sources of energy such as geothermal, solar and wind, which are readily available in the country.
The senator made the statement in the wake of the nuclear crisis in Japan brought about by a 9.0-maginitude earthquake and tsunami that completely paralyzed the nuclear power plant in Fukushima last March 11.
Even after the powerful temblor hit the highly-industrialized Japan, which heavily relies on nuclear power, some quarters are still pushing to activate the establishment of nuclear power plants in the country as an alternative source for a reliable and cheap energy.
Escudero, however, explained that any move to resurrect the Bataan nuclear power plant should take a back seat until a comprehensive study and planning had been carried out by experts.
“While the use of this technology should not be totally set aside, it is important that we should go slow, gain expertise and learn from the best practices as well as the shortcomings and mistakes of countries which rely on nuclear energy,” Escudero explained.
“The lesson from the Japan incident should not be a reason for us to totally close our doors on nuclear power, but it should serve as a tipping point to explore better practices in the course of designing and maintaining nuclear power plants,” he added.
This means that further research on the use of this technology and its safety should be done before entertaining proposals to put up nuclear power plants in the country.
“We do acknowledge the fact that we do not possess the technical capability as of yet compared to advanced countries and economies relying on nuclear power, but there are advantages that we think we’ll be able to harness from best practices should we take the path towards nuclear energy,” Escudero said. “In fact, there are no standard operating procedures that exist yet that serve as the bible of nuclear energy operations. It is still a work in progress.”
The use of nuclear energy is common in highly-developed countries, including the United States, because it is more efficient, cheaper and more affordable to concessionaires and power plants owners.