No place for nuclear waste: Top Filipino scientist nixes nuke plant revival

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2020 08:51 AM | Updated as of Oct 08 2020 09:15 AM

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

MANILA - A leading Filipino scientist on Thursday opposed plans to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), citing concerns of its hazardous by-product that will last thousands of years.

Dr. Fabian Dayrit, academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), stressed that disposing nuclear waste remained a challenge in other countries.

"It may be a good source of energy but then how do you solve the nuclear waste problem?" he told ANC's "Matters of Fact".

Dayrit, also the president of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, said the country could tap other sources of energy that are considered more sustainable.

"In the Philippines, in addition to solar and wind, we also have tidal energy. Of course, geothermal energy is still there," he said.

Dayrit also cautioned the public about the cost of decommissioning a plant after they had been mothballed.

He cited Germany as an example where the costs of shutting down the plants were astronomical.

"We have better options and options which will not commit future generations to managing nuclear waste for which up to now there's no solution," he told ANC's "Matters of Fact".

This week, President Rodrigo Duterte instructed authorities to consult the residents of Bataan on the possible revival of the country's mothballed nuclear power plant.

Built in the 1970s, the facility has remained shut since 1986, when it was supposed to have started operating, over concerns about its proximity to Mt. Natib, a dormant volcano.

The Philippines shelled out $2.3 billion on the 621-megawatt BNPP but decided not to operate it after the Chernobyl disaster and the collapse of dictator Ferdinand Marcos' rule.

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv