JV Ejercito: We need to consider nuclear power

Senator Joseph Victor ‘’JV’’ Ejercito said today that the Philippines needs to reconsider the establishment of nuclear power in the country.

‘’We need to bring down cost of energy for our economy to be able to fully develop and at same time address the issue of climate change and global warming which will be both addressed by shift (to) nuclear power,’ he stressed.

Asked about safety issues, Ejercito replied: ‘’Of course the safety protocols will strictly be followed. So many countries have successful nuclear energy programs.’’

But to Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros, the insistence by the Philippines on the use of nuclear energy ‘’will be taking a step backwards into the past, and not into a sustainable and peaceful future. ‘’

‘’Nuclear energy entails the generation of radioactive waste, which will pose a long-term and difficult problem for Filipinos. Even now, advocates of nuclear energy cannot fully answer the question of how and where we will safely store radioactive waste whose half-lives will outlive us, our children and our grandchildren,’’ she said.

There is no assurance that the Philippines will avoid any nuclear accidents if it does pursue nuclear energy, given that such accidents have happened even in countries like Japan and the United States,’’ she pointed out.

‘’Worse, radioactive waste and raw material for nuclear energy in the Philippines could be a target for local and foreign terror groups seeking to get their hands on radiological materials,’’ she said.

‘’Government should instead focus its efforts on better harnessing alternative and renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and small and medium-scale hydro power, among others which are endemic to the country,’’ she added.

Hontiveros emphasized that these sources of renewable energy have clear potential to take up a bigger share of our energy mix without the health, economic and environment.