Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday expressed agreement with President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand against the use of nuclear power, saying further studies must first be undertaken to ensure that it would be a viable and safe energy source for the Philippines.
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate energy committee, said the Department of Energy should first “formulate a comprehensive nuclear energy policy” before forging ahead with the use of nuclear power.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier proposed the use of the long-mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, but Gatchalian expressed reservations, citing safety concerns over the aged facility.
He said he was willing to hear out advocates of nuclear power but proposed to shift focus first on more viable energy sources while the government has yet to craft a clear nuclear energy policy.
“I am willing to listen to advocates trying to make their case for nuclear energy in the future. For the time being, however, we should focus on more feasible generation projects to bring greater stability to our energy supply,” he said.
President Duterte had on Wednesday cast aside the possibility of using nuclear power in the country during his presidency, citing concerns over nuclear leaks and explosions.