RP should not go nuclear—nuke activist

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:

MANILA, Nov. 12, 2010—An anti-nuke activist warns of the dangers brought by nuclear power and said the Philippines should not go nuclear to augment its energy mix.

Lawyer and anti-nuke activist Atty. Cora Valdez Fabros said, although other countries around the Philippines have nuclear power sourced from reactors it would be in the best interest of the Filipino people not to expose them to the possible dangers from nuclear power and its indestructible wastes.

“We may not have the people to build and run the planned nuclear power plant in the Philippines,” Fabros said.

The lawyer said it entails a lot of expense to decommission a power plant. That’s why, the claims from certain sectors they could revive the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power plant will mean more expenses, she further said.

She noted that European countries have not built any nuclear facility recently and have closed several of them.

This could be the reason why nuclear power plants are at near bargain prices, Fabros explained.

It was learned Europe and the United States have not built new nuclear power plants and a stockpile would be up for sale to countries in Southeast Asia.

“They tried to sell to Indonesia some 12 reactors but the series of natural disasters including the tsunamis and earthquakes prevented them from considering the offer,” Fabros explained.

Indonesia has generally relied on geothermal power. The recent financial crisis prevented Thailand from going nuclear. Though Vietnam initially rejected the offer, the current leadership is seriously considering a nuclear power plant.

According to Fabros reviving the mothballed nuclear plant would not be a walk in the park. She believes the Aquino administration may build a new one.

“During President Ramos’ time, he commissioned a study to check whether the government could still run the Bataan nuclear power plant and they saw they’ll face problems,” she said.

The government at that time wanted to run the facility and make it a combined cycle but abandoned the plan because it was no longer feasible and it’s far cheaper to build a new plant.

The costs that come with a new nuclear power plant may be sourced through borrowing from some international institutions and locally-based big businesses, according to Fabros.

“There will always be a very big tie-up between international lending agencies and nuclear advocates and people in the nuclear industry,” she added.

Fabros said there’s no way the Philippines could build a new power plant without borrowing money from abroad. The country will be forced to enlist the services of nuclear experts from the suppliers and buy from them the materials needed to run the reactor. (Melo M. Acuna)

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