In Focus Rick Daligdig

IN FOCUS: Harnessing Nuclear Power? Timely or Overdue.

[by Rick Daligdig]

At the height of this very volatile situation where the price of oil is at its record-breaking high. Countries around the world are affected by this, given the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and Russia plus the impact of the pandemic which still lingering to us. Especially to the countries that do not have oil like the Philippines. We are heavily dependent on oil importing so we do not have a say as pricing of the oil is a concern. Series of Oil Price Hike (OPH) since the start of the year makes a challenge to sustain the continuing rebound of our economy. Inflation is also at risk as to if the high cost of fuel has effects on the supply chain of our market.

Since then different options, recommendation whether in private or public sprouts. One of these is the issue as to whether or not our country is ready to use the nuclear power.

The Quest for Nuclear Power.

The idea of harnessing nuclear power as an alternative power source begun during the regime of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. As we all know he build the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in attempt to solve to looming energy crisis. Built in 1976 and finish in 1984 but when the late strongman was expelled to power in 1986, late former President Cory Aquino has decided not to begin its operation due to some reasons such as corruption issues, safety issues (the plant location was along the fault line) and technical issues involved. Since then the BNPP became a white elephant project of the government.

The Revival of the Nuclear Power.

On February 28 ,2022, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order to include nuclear power in the country’s energy mix as authorities prepare for the phasing out of coal-fired power plants. This is a major milestone development because our Malampaya gas will deplete by the year 2027 so to speak and the need to cut the high cost of our electricity, one of the highest in ASEAN region.

What does this mean? If we successfully tapped the Nuclear Power this will make our electricity bills much cheaper. Investments will flow to our country because we can have a competitive electricity rates among our peer nations. Investment that can translates to new jobs, new opportunity to us.

Even some groups will oppose the idea especially our pro-environment groups, we cannot discount that this power source is considered the cheapest and cleanest energy source. BNPP will have to undergo rehabilitation and upgrading so that it will fit for today’s standards. After all, there is always a pro’s and con’s in every matter. But if harnessing nuclear power in the future…could bring more progress and sustainability to our economy and to our lives as well. Maybe even it’s long Overdue but it’s not too late to us to give it a shot. ###

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