Gatchalian urges transparency in study of nuclear energy

MANILA, July 31 (Mabuhay) — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday urged the inter-agency committee assigned to study the possible use of nuclear energy to proceed with utmost transparency to the public, saying that nuclear power is a ‘risky’ business.

On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte formed the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee to study the possibility of tapping nuclear energy in efforts to seek a steady power supply in the country.

“Transparency should be the guiding post from day one on the conduct of the study for the possible adoption of nuclear power in our energy mix,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian said that “only an open and free discussion” of nuclear power “will deepen the comprehension of the public.”

“The conduct of this study should proceed with utmost transparency to the public in every step of the way. The public should be well-informed on the inherent risk and the potential of nuclear power,” he said.

The committee was tasked to evaluate and assess the need for and viability of introducing nuclear power into the country’s energy mix, taking into consideration economic, security and environmental implications, and engagement of the public and relevant stakeholders.

It was also directed to formulate a roadmap and timeline in the preparation of the Nuclear Energy Program, measures to address infrastructure gaps, and recommend the necessary steps in the utilization of existing facilities.

The senator stressed that nuclear power is a “risky business.”

“The world is always in constant debate on the adoption of nuclear power because of its inherent risk to public welfare,” Gatchalian said.

“Moreover, it is an energy source that is very complicated and demands high-level knowledge to fully maximize it’s utilization without sacrificing public safety,” he added.  (MNS)

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