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.

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“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.

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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.

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  1. When PBBM showed interest about the reviving of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and said that Korean Engineers experts in Nuclear Power Plant would inspect the mothballed Power Plant, oppositionist uploaded to Face Book a noted Filipino geologist Kevin Rodolfo and that dead Mt. Natib, my question is why is it that in Japan has several Nuclear Power Plant and are functioning up to now while Japan is a land of earthquakes,
    only one Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima was damaged during the strong earthquake and subsequently a tsunami ensued and we could see how water current is so strong and that even a big ship was swift to the island and scores of buildings were all destroyed, but Japan was
    not deterred in using Nuclear Power. During the administration of Cory, revenged to apo lakay Marcos is more important than science. Are we Filipinos are a bunch of Idiots in this world?

    1. dahil hindi sila pabata at korap.. ang budget para sa maintenance ng stricture ay mapupunta talaga, 100% sa maintenance ng structure.. di tulad dito, pagdating ng budget ppara sa maintenance, malaki na ang tapyas ng mga korakot..

    2. kahit sino pang presidente ang ilagay mo jan.. the problem is corruption.. walang disiplina ang mga pinoy.. thats the harsh reality and the truth..

    3. Every time there is a new administration, someone always revives the idea of reviving the BNPP. WHY IS THAT? What you need to look at are the 15 out of the 30+ COUNTRIES with nuclear accidents. There have been about 100 nuclear accidents globally since the 1950s. Two-thirds of the accidents are in the USA. Each accident costs millions to address, not to mention casualties if any. Japan will take at least 30 years and $70 BILLION to clean up its Fukushima mess, which is just one out of 20 nuclear accidents in the country since 1975. The BNPP was completed in 1985 at the cost of 10% of the country’s GDP, and not even FM could power the nuclear plant while he was in power, NO PRESIDENT since 1985 could, because simply put, FM built a defective nuclear plant (4000 defects logged), and he built it at the WRONG LOCATION (Lubao fault that can be traced going through BNPP’s vicinity out to the WPS, Mt Natib just 5.5km away – classified by PHILVOCS as potentially active). Someone wants 110M Filipinos to play Russian Roulette with nuclear, a volcano, and a fault line. The Philippines can’t even maintain its tollways, roads, and railways, and handle the simplest public services such as IDs, licenses, car plates, and stickers. This has been going on for at least 30 years. Even the coal-fired power plants suffer unplanned breakdowns for the last 40 years. So given all the above what makes anyone think the Philippines is even ready to handle nuclear energy and be prepared for a worst-case scenario in the next 100 years?

  2. Arcilla mentions the USA uses 94 nuclear plants but failed to mention it had at least 50 accidents at nuclear reactors as of 2010. Let’s not even mention the $millions each accident costs. Arcilla mentions nuclear is the cleanest, but failed to mention nuclear contamination polluting an area for thousands of years in the event of an accident. Japan will be cleaning up its nuclear mess for at least 30 years costing them over $70 BILLION. Chernobyl nuclear plant area is a wasteland, let’s not even mention how the fallout spread across Europe and Asia. Arcilla failed to mention the BNPP’s proximity to the Lubao faultline and the potentially active Mt. Natib which is just 5.5km away and the presence of pyroclastic materials beneath the BNPP. Not only did FM build a costly defective plant by 1985 that even he could not activate, but it was also built at the wrong location! Finally, the 79% of Filipinos who are in favor of nuclear energy are most likely completely unqualified in matters pertaining to the merits of nuclear power, unless they have a background in nuclear energy or similar.

  3. Ang lumang admin tumakot sa tao na Hindi maganda Ang nuclear power plant.
    Sadami kung bansang napuntahan lalo na sa European countries mostly malapit pa sa kabayanan Ang nakatayong nuclear pero Hindi sila natatakot.
    Ewan ko ba sa pilipino madaling maniwala

  4. Can you elaborate on how you plan to use the sea for a solar farm? How practical would it be?

  5. land use for solar panels would not be a problem. Go to the nxt best thing. Water. You have abundant sea area you can use for solar farms.