DOE says call for nuclear energy in PH not dependent on possible revival of Bataan nuclear plant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) - Whether the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant will be revived or not, the Department of Energy said that it will not affect the call for introducing nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

“The inclusion of nuclear in our energy mix is not limited to BNPP or not dependent on BNPP. BNPP might be revived, rehabilitated, or not, but it will not stop us from adapting nuclear,” said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi in a meeting with media on Thursday.

“That's why we are looking for host communities willing to adapt nuclear as a source of power,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently issued Executive Order 116, creating the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee, which will study the adoption of a national nuclear energy policy.

Located in the town of Morong, the BNPP was the country’s first and only nuclear power facility and was supposed to generate 623 megawatts of clean energy. In 1986, then president Corazon Aquino shut down the facility over corruption and safety concerns after the Chernobyl incident in Russia in the same year.

READ: A look inside a sleeping giant: the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

The DOE chief pointed out on Thursday that there have been talks of introducing nuclear energy in Cagayan, Palawan, and Sulu.

He said Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez was open to having nuclear power source in the province, but there is still a process to be followed before it happens.

“It is still a process, of course we have to go to the usual process of public consultation,” said Cusi.

He added that small modular nuclear reactors are planned for Palawan and Sulu.