Home The Nation It’s time to tap nuclear energy, lawmaker tells government

It’s time to tap nuclear energy, lawmaker tells government

THE GOVERNMENT should immediately construct and deploy nuclear power plants to meet the country’s increasing electricity needs, a congressman said on Tuesday amid supply concerns in the summer season.

“The DoE (Department of Energy) must fulfill their mandate without delay,” Pangasinan Rep. Marcos Juan Bruno O. Cojuangco said in a statement. “We cannot keep having rotational brownouts nationwide when Red Alerts are issued during the summer season.”

The government expects nuclear power to start feeding into the grid by 2032 at the earliest, the Department of Energy (DoE) told a House committee last month.

The Philippines plans to create eight small modular reactor units, each capable of producing 150 megawatts (MW), with a total nuclear energy output of at least 1,200 MW providing supply to the grid in the next decade, according to the Philippine Energy Plan.

Commenting on the DoE’s plan, Mr. Cojuangco said it should reevaluate its nuclear energy plans by setting a nuclear output target of 16,000 MW come 2045.

However, he called on the DoE to “exhibit the requisite flexibility to scale up to 32,000 MW” by the same year should the country’s “economic growth necessitate such expansion.”

Mr. Cojuangco, who chairs the House Special Committee on Nuclear Energy, said nuclear energy is important in attaining economic development as it provides stable electricity output capable of meeting the country’s increasing demand.

“If our supply does not increase, all our plans for economic development will remain unattainable,” he said.

“Every time the lights go out, business operations are derailed and precipitate a domino effect on our manufacturing and service industries resulting to diminished economic output,” he added, referring to the economic repercussions of an unstable energy supply. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio

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