The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Philippines bishop, climate movement, oppose revival of mothballed nuclear plant

Philippines: Alarm sounded over revival of mothballed nuclear plant,  A diocese in the northern Philippines has voiced opposition to a government plan to revive a nuclear power plant constructed in the 1970s.

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Morong in Bataan province was constructed during the term of former president Ferdinand Marcos. Costing US$.2.3 billion by the time of its completion in 1984, it remains intact though never fueled. Successive governments have not tried to operate the plant after studies revealed it was built near a major geological fault line and lies close to the then dormant Mount Pinatubo volcano.

“We don’t want to put the lives of people in danger … we don’t want our sources of livelihood destroyed,” read a pastoral letter issued by Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga. “The diocese has already spoken on this, and we are again making our position known,” said Bishop Santos “For us, life is more precious than profit or money that will come from cheap electricity” he added and “we want to take care of God’s creation in response to His call to take care, not destroy and abuse creation”. Bishop Santos said the government should tap other sources of energy instead of reviving the nuclear plant.

The proposal to revive the plant came during a three-day international conference this week to discuss the prospects of nuclear power in the Asia-Pacific region. Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told journalists on the sidelines of the conference that the country should consider nuclear power to address power shortages and the high cost of electricity. Cusi said the government is already working on a road map and consulting experts on nuclear power.

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice said that while nuclear energy is not a major contributor to climate change it poses “more danger to humanity than any kind of calamity or disaster known.” The faith-based group warned that the Philippines, with its high poverty incidence, “cannot withstand the disaster that may be brought about by a nuclear accident.”

A safety inquiry in the 1980s, revealed that the Bataan nuclear plant had over 4,000 defects.

September 2, 2016 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Philippines | Leave a comment

Disunity in Philippines Senate over revival of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

Senators divided on revival of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant August 31, 2016  By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News  Senators have opposing positions on the possibility of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) being revived to ensure the long-term supply of energy in the country.

At the hearing of the Senate committee on energy Wednesday, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi said he was in favor of reviving the 620-megawatt nuclear plant, declaring that it was “safe for use.”

“I have a bias. If I will make a decision, I will open it but it’s not for me to decide, it’s for the country to decide,” Cusi told the committee.

While Cusi assured that we have sufficient supply, reviving the Bataan plant would beef up power reserves, lowering the risk of parts of the country being placed under yellow and red alerts as what happened in recent months………

But Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the energy committee, opposed the plan, saying the needed $1-billion investment to refurbish the power plant would be better spent on “more feasible generation projects.”

Gatchalian added that the BNPP’s location atop a geological fault makes it a safety hazard for the entire Luzon island group.

He said the plant, built four decades ago, was simply outdated……..

September 2, 2016 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

Anti-nuclear protests outside nuclear conference in Philippines

Protest-No!Protests outside nuke conference venue in Manila  IANS  |  Manila August 30, 2016 Around a dozen protesters gathered outside the venue of an international conference on nuclear power in this capital city on Tuesday, denouncing the development of atomic power in the Philippines.

The conference on the prospects of nuclear power in the Asia Pacific region hosted by thePhilippinesDepartment of Energy (DOE) brought together representatives from 18 countries who are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss the issues and challenges of nuclear power, reports Efe news .

 The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) organised the protest where the group members held up red placards that read “No To Nukes” and seven white umbrellas which together spelt out “No to another Fukushima” and “No to nukes”.

They also shouted slogans warning of the dangers of nuclear power and the threat of meltdowns, like the one at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. he protest was motivated by fears that the government is using the conference to revive the dormant Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, about 100 km west of Manila, which was built during the time of late Philippinesdictator Ferdinand Marcos but has never launched.

The conference will run until Thursday

August 31, 2016 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Philippines | Leave a comment

Manila nuclear power conference: Philippines consider restarting nuclear power project

Philippines may open mothballed Marcos-era nuclear power plant 

MANILA – The Philippines is looking into operating the country’s only nuclear power plant, built four decades ago at more than $2 billion but never used, to ensure the long-term supply of clean and cheap electricity, its energy minister said.

The Southeast Asian country is joining more than two dozen other countries looking to add nuclear power to their energy mix, including neighbors Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Tuesday reviving the mothballed 620-megawatt nuclear plant in Bataan province, northwest of Manila, will require a $1 billion investment.

Nuclear generation is one of the options for the Philippines to meet its growing power needs, with annual electricity demand expected to rise by an average 5 percent until 2030, he said. “We have to weigh all our options, with emphasis not just on meeting capacity requirements, but sustainability and environmental obligations as well,” Cusi said, speaking at the opening of a three-day international conference on nuclear power in Manila.

Cusi will revive a government task force created in 2007 to study nuclear power as an alternative to imported fuel oil and coal, which currently provide more than half of the country’s energy mix.

He said technical experts, including those from the International Atomic Energy Agency, have been invited to help the country identify the next steps and come up with a “well-informed” decision.

Cusi is not committing any timetable for the study, but he expects the move to reignite protests against the project, especially by environmentalists and the Catholic Church arguing restarting the plant is unsafe and expensive.

“We need to move away from fossil fuels like coal but nuclear energy is not safe and will also harm the people and environment,” said Zaira Patricia Baniaga of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice in a statement issued before the conference.

The late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos order the plant built in 1976 in response to rising energy prices and it was finished in 1984.

The facility never started generating electricity after it was declared unsafe because it sits on a major earthquake fault line and lies near the Pinatubo volcano, which was dormant at that time.

Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption had no effect on the Bataan plant, 70 km (45 miles) away, but the project was mothballed in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

A decade ago Manila looked into reopening the plant but the 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident renewed concerns about safety.

August 31, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

Parts of Philippines May Submerge Due to Global Warming

climate-changeMore than 167,000 hectares of coastland – about 0.6% of the country’s total area – are projected to go underwater in the Philippines, especially in low-lying island communities. …

The Philippines government has been forced to take this into consideration. The Department of Environment and National Resources has its own climate change office, which has set up various programs to educate communities in high-risk areas. …

But soon, adaptation on a local level won’t be enough. Policy makers need to convince governments to curb their emissions on a global level.

June 15, 2016 Posted by | climate change, oceans, Philippines | 1 Comment

Japan to buy more Philippine farm products if Manila resumes imports from Fukushima

MANILA – Remember that story we ran about a group of Filipino banana growers who were complaining about their shrinking share of the Japanese market despite a free-trade agreement between the two countries?

Well, here’s an interesting twist to the contentious implementation of the Philippine-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA), which both countries are reviewing.

According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), Tokyo is willing to relax import restrictions on Philippine bananas and other farm products if we agree to import products from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture.

To recall, Fukushima is home to the nuclear power plant that sustained damage after a powerful earthquake in 2011, raising fears of harmful radiation. Thereafter, the Philippines ceased importing farm products from Fukushima.

Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said Japanese negotiators have asked for the resumption of Philippine imports of Fukushima-grown dairy, rice and fresh vegetables.

“They want us to lower our food safety requirements based on the fact that Canada and other countries have already accepted their farm products. But I don’t see any reason why,” Serrano said.

Besides Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom lifted import restrictions on Fukushima products as early as January last year.

Serrano said the DA will insist that product samples from Fukushima undergo tests at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) to ensure they are radiation-free before the country resumes imports. Agricultural imports require the DA’s clearance.

“Even if Mars already accepted their produce, it still has to undergo study by our own experts. We have to be careful since it’s their own technical report, which may differ from our own study,” Serrano said.

“It’s not a matter of volume. Even if [the shipment] is just one gram, if it has a radioactive content, it will not pass the requirements under the Food Safety Act,” he said.

“It’s very political for them to show that they have already addressed the problem. It’s what they want to project. There’s pressure. But I don’t see any reason to give in to their demand,” Serrano added.

During the review of the PJEPA, the Philippines has been prodding Japan to bring down duties on farm products. The Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) recently complained that its members have been losing market share, as Tokyo forges free-trade agreements with other banana-supplying countries, the latest of which was Indonesia.

In turn, Japan has asked the Philippines to reduce the number of tariff lines to a “manageable” level.

“Our main interest is our traditional exports like sugar, coconut oil, tropical fruits, fishery and processed food,” Serrano said.

“We want them [Japan] to bring down to zero all their agricultural tariffs to reciprocate our own reduction of tariff,” he said, adding that the Philippines had unilaterally reduced import duties.

“If they want to make true in their commitment to help Philippine agriculture and rural development, put their money where their mouth is,” Serrano said.

Source: Interaksyon

July 17, 2015 Posted by | Japan, Philippines | | Leave a comment

Tokyo urges Manila to accept Fukushima farm produce

Tokyo is pressing Manila to relax its import restrictions on farm products from the Fukushima prefecture in exchange for more trade concessions under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), the Department of Agriculture (DA) revealed on Wednesday.

Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said that Japanese negotiators want to resume exports of Fukushima-grown produce —including dairy, rice and fresh vegetables—to the Philippines after these were suspended amid concerns about radiation contamination following the nuclear crisis in March 2011.

“They want us to lower our food safety requirements based on the fact that Canada and other countries have already accepted their farm products. But I don’t see any reason why [we should],” Serrano told reporters.

The DA official said that if exports from Fukushima were to resume, all products coming from the prefecture should first undergo tests at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) to ensure that they are radiation-free.

“Even if Mars already accepted their produce, it still has to undergo study by our own experts. We have to be careful since it’s their own technical report, which may differ from our own study,” Serrano said.

It can be recalled that by January 24, New Zealand, Australia and Canada had lifted import restrictions on products from Fukushima Prefecture based on measurements of radioactive material. Britain allows imports as long as a government-issued radioactive material inspection certificate is submitted.

However, agricultural products from Fukushima prefecture are still widely shunned in other overseas markets, putting more pressure on the Japanese government revive its export market.

“It’s not a matter of volume. Even if [the shipment] is just one gram, if it has radioactive content, it will not pass the requirements under the Food Safety Act,” Serrano added.

“It’s very political for them to show that they have already addressed the problem. It’s what they want to project. There’s pressure. But I don’t see any reason to give in to their demand,” Serrano stressed.

For its part, Manila wants Tokyo to lower import duties on all possible agricultural products—mainly agricultural and marine products for which the Philippines has competitive advantage—that are viable for export to Japan.

“Our main interest is in our traditional exports—like sugar, coconut oil, tropical fruits, fishery and processed food,” Serrano said.

“We want them [Japan] to bring down to zero all their agricultural tariffs to reciprocate our own reduction of tariffs,” Serrano said, stressing that the Philippines has been ahead in reducing its tariff wall compared to Japan.

The DA official, however, said that Japan has appealed to Philippine negotiators, led by the Department of Trade and Industry, to further cut the number of tariff lines to a more “manageable” level.

“If they want to be true to their commitment to help Philippine agriculture and rural development, [they should] put their money where their mouth is,” he said, stressing that the DA wants to keep the number of tariff lines close to their earlier proposal to give the Philippines more elbowroom in the negotiations.

The JPEPA is a bilateral agreement that is intended to liberalize trade, investments and labor relations between the two countries. The Philippine government is seeking for a review of the JPEPA due to Japan’s failure to fulfill its own commitments under the agreement.

Source: The Manila Times

July 16, 2015 Posted by | Japan, Philippines | | Leave a comment

Filipino people against startup of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP)

Petilla: PHL still not ready for nuclear power June 1, 2015 LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—The operation of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and the putting up of a similar one in any part of the country is next to impossible considering the mind-set of the Filipino people.

This in essence, is the opinion of Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla in reaction to the report that former Pangasinan Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco, who is eyeing to run for governor of the province, has not abandoned his earlier call for the operation of the BNPP.

There was also a report that in order to prove that a nuclear plant is safe, he is willing to let one nuclear plant built next to his house in Sison, Pangasinan.

June 8, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Philippines | Leave a comment

Solar panels installed in a big way in Philippines business centres

Businessmen tap the power of the sun, Manila Standard, By Alena Mae S. Flores | Dec. 20, 2014 Solar technology is now shining in the Philippines, as some businessmen began to install solar panels on rooftops of schools, office buildings and even shopping malls, seven years after the passage of Republic Act No. 9513, or the Renewable Energy Law. This year alone, the industry saw a significant number of solar rooftop projects installed, a feat that has not been immediately felt after the passage of the law, which promotes the use of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and mini-hydro projects.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla expects renewable energy projects including solar rooftop installations to pick up next year, heralding the golden age of renewable energy in the country. Petilla says solar rooftop capacity will continue to increase in 2015, amid the strong interest from schools, commercial and industrial projects and even government offices.


“You can never tell how many institutions are going to be included because it depends on the size of each project. Because of so many interests for solar technology at the moment, some of them are already moving on their own even without our initiative,” Petilla says.

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines estimates the potential market for solar rooftop projects at $450 million yearly, based on 50,000 households or a tenth of the half a million constructions yearly, with average solar panel installations of 2 kilowatts each.

Solar rooftop installations are expected to  reach 2.5 megawatts by end-2014, as more homeowners and enterprises realize the opportunities to save money and mitigate climate change by harnessing sunlight to power homes and offices.

ECCP says with the continued drop in system prices, solar energy is approaching grid parity, opening the way for more solar rooftop installations.

“Vast installation of solar panels on rooftops of households, commercial buildings and industrial facilities could help safeguard the country’s energy security over the long term. Rooftop solar panels could be a viable solution for the Philippines given its high solar irradiation level,” ECCP says.

The Philippine Solar Power Alliance earlier estimated that the country has an untapped solar rooftop potential of about 300 MW.

One company, Propmech Corp., recently installed a solar-rooftop project at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila that will enable the school to save as much as 20 percent in electricity cost.

“We are prioritizing schools for solar projects because of the reason they more open to the public than private companies, other institutions can freely go to them to learn about solar panels,” Petilla says.

St. Scholastica’s joins the rank of other schools such as Manuel L. Quezon University, Mapua Institute of Technology and La Consolaction College-Manila, in utilizing renewable energy.

St. Scholastica’s St. Cecilla’s Hall has been turned into a 96-kilowatt solar power plant that can generate 38.88 percent of the hall’s daily energy needs.  The amount will greatly reduce St. Scholastica’s monthly electricity expenses…………….

Solar applications have also long been used as off-grid solutions in rural and remote areas in the country.

Solar systems can also power basic necessities such as lighting, water pumping, communications and a variety of livelihood activities that immediately improve the lives of Filipinos in areas where electricity from the grid is not readily available.

December 22, 2014 Posted by | decentralised, Philippines | Leave a comment

Philippines delegate at UN climate talks pleads for action


(Also, as pointed out previously – it’s lucky that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never fully activated. )

“It’s time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks  RTCC 11 November 2013,   Yeb Sano tells UN summit in Warsaw “colossal devastation” from Typhoon Haiyan should serve as warning to planet Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw – calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country at the weekend. A full transcript of his speech is below………

The science has given us a picture that has become much more in focus. The IPCC report on climate change and extreme events underscored the risks associated with changes in the patterns as well as frequency of extreme weather events. Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms. As the Earth warms up, that would include the oceans. The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm.

This will have profound implications on many of our communities, especially who struggle against the twin challenges of the development crisis and the climate change crisis. Typhoons such as Yolanda (Haiyan) and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action. Warsaw must deliver on enhancing ambition and should muster the political will to address climate change…..

What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. ……….  :

November 13, 2013 Posted by | climate change, Philippines | Leave a comment

Costly expense of maintaining Philippines non-operational nuclear power plant

Nuclear plant gets funds By Amy R. Remo Philippine Daily Inquirer, January
6th, 2013 MANILA, Philippines—State-run National Power Corp. has
secured lawmakers’ nod to allocate P50 million this year for the
upkeep of the mothballed 630-megawatt Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
In an interview with the Inquirer, Napocor president Froilan A.
Tampinco said that both houses of Congress as well as the Department
of Budget and Management (DBM) had agreed to reinstate the proposed
budget for the maintenance of the country’s first and only nuclear
Tampinco said that with sufficient explanation, Napocor was able to
convince Congress of the necessity of such an allocation for a
government asset that has remained idle for decades, yet one that the
Department of Energy said cannot be neglected.
The BNPP was built during the Marcos era by Westinghouse Electric at a
cost of $2.2 billion. It was mothballed in 1986 due to safety
concerns, even before it could begin operations.

January 7, 2013 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

Call to Philippines government to reject nuclear power, and implement the Renewable Energy Law

The group is also calling on the Philippine government to commit to
fully implement the Renewable Energy Law to achieve 50 percent
renewable energy in the country’s energy mix by 2020.

antinuke-badgeGreenpeace slams DOE chief’s plan to revive nuclear power program
By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 28th, 2012 MANILA, Philippines — The
environmentalist organization Greenpeace has asked Energy Secretary
Carlos Jericho Petilla to abandon his department’s plans to revive the
use of nuclear energy in the Philippines.

The group said it was shocked at the Department of Energy’s recent
proposal to revive the use of nuclear energy to power the country as
“this plan goes against global trends as far as safety is concerned.”
“Worldwide, the nuclear industry is declining having failed to
establish itself as a clean, cheap, safe or reliable energy source. Continue reading

December 29, 2012 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

Distributed solar energy plan launched in the Philippines

Such facilities in the Philippines should be installed mostly on rooftops because there is a lot of arable and productive land which should be used for food production rather than for solar power generation,

Rooftop solar power project launched to prove viability, Business World, 5 June 12, THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday it expects solar power capacity in the Philippines to reach up to 115 megawatts (MW) by next year, as it launched yesterday its solar rooftop facility to prove the viability of this renewable energy thrust.

The multilateral lender said it estimates most of solar projects in the country will consist of small clusters that generate lower capacities of electricity rather than large facilities. ADB installed 2,040 solar panels on its rooftop which can generate around 500 kilowatts of energy or around 613 MW a year. Continue reading

June 6, 2012 Posted by | decentralised, Philippines | Leave a comment

Danger of uranium and plutonium use by terrorists

Resolution on the use of uranium, plutonium to be tackled at summit, Business World, Philippines, 5 Mar 12, THE GOVERNMENT will be pushing for an international resolution that would tighten security measures and prevent nuclear resources such as uranium and plutonium from being used for terrorist activities, a high-ranking Executive official said late last week.

  “In the case of the Philippines, we have decided to push for a resolution at the [2012 Nuclear Security] Summit calling for a much stricter monitoring and supervision in the transport, safekeeping and using of these resources,” Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay told BusinessWorld in an e-mail last Friday.
“That resolution should call for [International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)] Member States to give as much attention to these small high-grade uranium and plutonium resources as those being kept and safeguarded by Member States which are in large quantities,” added Mr. Binay who was appointed by President Benigno S. C. Aquino III to lead the Philippine delegation to the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Seoul, South Korea on March 26-27.
Mr. Binay remarked that with the pressing threat of nuclear terrorism, member states of the IAEA — a specialized United Nations body comprising 153 countries and aims to promote safe and peaceful nuclear technologies — “should not only focus on the possibility of terrorists being able to use nuclear bombs in the future, but should urgently improve their respective security and safety measures in the storing and keeping of their uranium and plutonium resources.”….,-plutonium-to-be-tackled-at-summit&id=47788

March 6, 2012 Posted by | - plutonium, 2 WORLD, Philippines, safety, Uranium | Leave a comment

Asia and Pacific powering ahead with decentralised renewable eneergy

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released the report “Green Growth, Resources, and Resilience” this week.

On the road to green economies, Malaya Business Insights, 24 Feb12, Net metering is empowering electric consumers in the Philippines. The scheme is embodied in the Philippines’ Renewable Energy Act of 2008 – considered to be the most comprehensive renewable energy law in Southeast Asia.

It allows electric consumers to sell power to the grid at an approved feed-in tariff and buy power as necessary at the normal retail tariff. The feed-in tariff will provide a guaranteed fixed price for at least 12 years for electricity produced from emerging renewable resources: wind, solar power, ocean, run-of-river hydropower, and biomass.

With net metering, the consumer generates electricity at the point of use, and is able to supply excess electricity generated into the grid, either earning revenue or reducing net payable consumption.

Net metering provides a regulatory basis for distributed and decentralized energy systems and at the same time provides a powerful incentive for end-use efficiency improvements. Net metering can be combined with feed-in-tariffs to promote renewable energy generation in decentralized applications. Continue reading

February 24, 2012 Posted by | ASIA, decentralised, Philippines | 1 Comment