House panel OKs nuclear energy bill

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2023 05:08 PM

File photo of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
File photo of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The House Committee on Nuclear Energy has voted to approve a consolidated substitute bill for a comprehensive atomic regulatory framework, creating for the purpose the Philippine Atomic Regulatory Commission.

"There is no longer any legal impediment to build a nuclear power plant once this bill becomes a law. The passage of the bill through the committee is a critical step towards realizing cheap, clean, and affordable nuclear energy in the Philippines," Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Mark Cojuangco told the media.

"The bill, as it is presently designed, establishes an independent regulatory body to oversee the various uses of nuclear technologies, provides a rigorous physical safety regulatory framework for the safe use of nuclear energy, and additional safeguards for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in our country and the world," Cojuangco explained.

The lawmaker also said that the bill is designed to conform closely to the existing regulatory landscape of the Philippine energy sector.

Cojuango said nuclear energy is cheaper than power from coal plants.

“Ang per KWh cost of nuclear fuel is around P0.35. Meanwhile, ang per KWh cost ng coal na gatong for kuryente was around P3.00 before the Russian invasion, and is now at P10.00 and rising,” Cojuangco said in his text message.

The bill will be submitted to the plenary session for the action of the whole House of Representatives.