THE anti-Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) coalition, Nuclear-Free Bataan Movement Network or (NFBM-Net) said the energy office and power firm should resolve power problems through renewable and sustainable sources.

"The (Department of Energy) DOE and National Power Corporation (Napocor) should be looking at resolving our power problems through renewable and sustainable sources rather than going nuclear which remains a problematic alternative," NFBM-Net said.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

This developed following news that the Napocor trains a "small group of Filipinos for the possible use of nuclear energy."

The group also criticized Energy Secretary Rene Almendras's statement that the "current administration is serious in opening the BNPP" to remedy the worsening power crisis.

According to NFBM-Net, the government should not even consider reopening the BNPP, as it sits on Mt. Natib, a dormant volcano and built near a fault line, which violates the International Atomic Energy Agency protocols.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the international agency that monitors and approves the operation of nuclear plants worldwide and is attached to the United Nations.

The group chided the DOE for even considering nuclear energy as an alternative to the power crisis knowing that we will only be exchanging fossil-fuel dependency to importing uranium, the cost of which would be expected to skyrocket given the increased demand for nuclear energy.

According to Monsignor Tony Dumaual, chairperson of NFBM-Net, nuclear energy has many disadvantages such as how to dispose the waste from the nuclear reactors of a minimum of 30 tons of radioactive waste; the limited life span of plants as well as the huge cost of building, maintaining and decommissioning the plant once it has exceeded its life span.

"Once the plant operates, citizens will be bombarded by radiation, which has proven to cause cancer, brain damage, developmental defects and even death," added Dumaual.

According to lawyer Dante Ilaya, even the DOE data cites that there are still many untapped sources for alternative energy such as solar, 1,200 MW of geothermal potential 7,400 MW of wind potential and hydropower.

"We urge P-NOY not to be pressured by businesses eyeing the opening of the BNPP or the revival of the country's nuclear program as a means to earn more profit, it would our people who will end up paying dearly for it," ended Dumaual. (PR)