Bataan bishop seeks ‘transparent’ study of nuclear energy

Bataan bishop seeks ‘transparent’ study of nuclear energy

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong, Bataan. FILE PHOTO

By CBCP News

July 30, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop expressed hope that the planned government study on nuclear energy as an option for power generation will be done with transparency.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga has no problem with the idea as long as it will be conducted properly.

“We hope that the feasibility study will be transparent, non-partisan and not exclusive,” Bishop Santos said.

In a July 24 executive order and made public on Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte created a committee to conduct a study and formulate a strategy.

The Energy department has been pushing to add nuclear energy to the Philippines’ energy sources to feed the country’s growing electricity demand.

The Bataan province, some 130 kilometers from the capital Manila, is host to a mothballed nuclear plant.

Costing more than $2 billion, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was completed in 1984 but it was never used following the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos, who ordered its construction.

Allegations of corruption were also hurled at the 621-megawatt nuclear facility, including safety issues in a country that is prone to natural disasters.

Bishop Santos is hoping the study would shed light on the safety of nuclear energy in the Philippines.

“This could settle with finality whether our country is ready, able and safe for nuclear energy,” he said.