Director Carlo A. Arcilla of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) expressed how nuclear energy can be a much cleaner and cheaper source of power in the country.
The statement was given during the DOSTv ExperTalk Online while talking about the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
During the talk, several experts also agreed that the nuclear power plant can significantly help the country address the increasing prices of fuel and electricity.
As per Arcilla, the country’s current energy source consists of 60% coal imported mostly from Indonesia and 20% from the Malampaya gas field. Arcilla said that nuclear power can help takeover the 20% of supply coming from Malampaya, which is apparently depleting fast.
- How to view and download MERALCO bills online
- SM Malls with EV charging stations
- How to pay Meralco bill using GCash
“Actually, renewables at nuclear can complement each other. Kaso ang problema kasi sa wind and solar, variable siya, nakadepende siya kung maaraw o hindi, 30 percent lang ang capacity factor niya unless, kailangan mo ng backup, unless mayroon kang battery na mahal,” the official said.
Arcilla added that one big issue about harvesting solar energy is the land area it requires. Apparently, to produce 1 megawatt of power, it would require one hectare of land, which can be challenging in an archipelagic country such as the Philippines.
To address nuclear waste, the DOST official recommended Deep Borehole Disposal as it’s quite delicate to handle and should be isolated from the human environment.
Talking about safety, the official emphasized how nuclear energy has been with the country for 60 years and noted that accidents had minimal casualties or are usually isolated.
Arcilla also noted how the United States uses 94 nuclear power plants, which supply 20% of its energy.
The Department of Energy, together with the Social Weather Station, conducted a survey in 2019 that reveals that 79% of Filipinos are in favor of using nuclear power due to high electricity costs.
“May nagsasabi kasi na mahal ang nuclear power, totoo mahal lalo na kung magsisimula kang gawa ng malaking planta kasi capital cost ay malaki. Pero i-amortized mo iyan over 60 to 80 years, mura pa rin. At isa sa napaka-importanteng reason ay walang binubugang carbon dioxide, it is the cleanest source of baseload power on earth right now (There have been comments that nuclear power is expensive. Definitely, it is expensive due to its huge capital cost. However, if you amortize it for over 60 to 80 years; it is still cheaper. And most importantly, it does not release carbon dioxide; it is the cleanest source of baseload power on earth right now.),” said Arcilla.
“Let’s believe the science, especially sa mga ganitong isyu. Kasi kung life and death ang pag-uusapan, you have to rely on science. Dapat evidence-based, kung transparent naman ang naging proseso ng pag-aaral, let’s move forward, huwag tayo magpapigil sa takot, truth drives out fear (Let’s work on the science, especially in this kind of issue. When we talk about life and death; we have to rely on science. It should be evidence-based and if the process of several studies have been transparent, let’s move forward, truth drives out fear.),” the DOST exec added.