Duterte thumbs down nuclear power plant under his term

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has rejected proposals to operate a nuclear power plant to address the possible power shortage by 2030.

"We have really not reached to the danger zone wherein we will die if there's no energy because it runs the machines," Duterte said in a chance interview with Davao reporters on Tuesday night.

"Maybe [not] during my presidency. Not now because we have to come up with safeguards," he added.

Duterte said using a nuclear energy has to be carefully examined to avoid dangers that may cause harm to the public.

"[We] really, really [need] tight safeguards to assure that there will be no disasters if there is a nuclear leak or explosion somewhere in the nuclear reactors that we will build in," the President said.

"It has to be studied carefully by Congress and by the Filipino people. For after all, if there is a leak there, we will all be put in danger and it's our country, remember that."

In September, lawmakers and Energy officials visited the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant as they planned to open it.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier said that the country needs to add about 1,100 megawatts (MW) per year since the country's electricity demand is expected to reach around 30,000 MW by 2030.

The projected demand has prompted the calls to look for alternative sources of electricity in the country.

Duterte said he may still consider operating a nuclear power plant, should there be a serious power shortage. (Sunnex)
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