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Sen. Gatchalian backs Duterte’s cautious nuclear stance

Senator Win Gatchalian visits the MakBan geothermal fields in Laguna, Nov. 4 to know more about the prospects of renewable energy in the country. The Philippines pioneered in tapping geothermal energy in Asia and has become the second biggest geothermal energy producer in the world. (Photo by Mark Cayabyab)

Senate Energy Committee Chairman Win Gatchalian has backed the cautious stance of President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the potential addition of nuclear power to the Philippine energy mix.

“The President and I see eye to eye on this matter. More research should be done to prove that nuclear power is a safe and viable energy option for the Philippines. At this point, I am not convinced,” said Gatchalian.

To further weigh the merits of a potential shift to nuclear energy, Gatchalian reiterated his call for the Department of Energy to formulate a comprehensive nuclear energy policy.

Gatchalian, who has expressed reservations concerning DOE’s plan to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, added that it would be more prudent for DOE to finish crafting this policy first before continuing to lobby for nuclear power.

However, Gatchalian clarified that he has not closed the door completely to the possibility of tapping nuclear power.

“I am willing to listen to advocates trying to make their case for nuclear energy in the future. For the time being, however, we should focus on more feasible generation projects to bring greater stability to our energy supply,” said Gatchalian.