Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said today the country needs external, independent advice on whether the Philippines should revive the mothballed Bataan Nuclear power Plant (BNPP).
‘’This is a highly technical proposition.’’ he added.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate energy committee, issued the statement upon learning that President Duterte would soon make a decision on whether or not the Philippines should have a nuclear power plant would be based internal studies by the Department of Energy (DOE).
The internal feasibility study on the nuclear power issue may be completed by the end of the year, the DOE said.
Gatchalian said a nuclear power plant has inherent risks and its adoption requires transparency.
The nuclear power issue was raised by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon during a public hearing of the budgets of energy-related government agencies led by the DOE.
Gatchalian agreed with Drilon’s suggestion that his committee conducts a separate hearing on whether nuclear power should be included in the government’s energy mix.
The DOE said it would give an update on the nuclear issue to President Duterte and to the Senate as sought by Gatchalian and Drilon.
Senator Nancy Binay told her colleagues during the hearing that the Bataan provincial government is against the revival of the BNPP which is located in Bataan.
Earlier, Senator Imee R. Marcos, daughter of the late President Marcos, said the BNPP has become a shell since it was mothballed in early 1986.
Cost of the BNPP at the time was $2.3 billion, It had a power rating of 621 megawatts (MWs).
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had said that he does not see any security threat to the Philippines should plans to revive the BNPP push through.
The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) had urged the President to revive the BNPP declaring it a safe and a good source of cheaper electricity.