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Philippines not prepared for the dangers of nuclear energy

Philippines unprepared for nuclear energy: Senate energy panel chair,  https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/11/06/19/philippines-unprepared-for-nuclear-energy-senate-energy-panel-chair, Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News, Nov 06 2019  MANILA – The Philippines is “not ready” to use nuclear power as an energy source, a senator said Wednesday, adding more should be done to prepare for potential risks.

The Department of Energy announced recently its plan to draft a national nuclear program, which the Senate Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, will investigate.

“Saan natin itatapon ang nuclear waste? Pag may leakage ano ang gagawin natin? Meron ba tayong capability? Handa ba tayo in case of a nuclear leak?” he told reporters.

(Where will we dump nuclear waste? What will we do in case of a leak? Do we have the capability? Are we ready in case of a nuclear leak?)

The DOE should be more transparent about the benefits of harnessing nuclear power before it drafts a nationwide plan. Coal and solar are cheaper alternatives, he said.

“Nuclear energy is a very controversial source of energy dahil ang risk ay napakataas (because the risk is very high),” he said.

The government is eyeing the deployment of modular nuclear plants to some islands where electricity supply is low, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi earlier said.

The Philippines also signed a memorandum with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom for a pre-feasibility study for nuclear power plants.   President Rodrigo Duterte “wants to learn more” about nuclear power, which could lower electricity prices and stabilize supply, Cusi said.

“We are hungry for power and we will tap any sources that would satisfy our own needs now,” he said.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

Cutting through the nuclear advocacy’s nonsense – for the Philippines, nuclear benefits only Russia

The supposed cost benefits of nuclear power are completely misrepresented by the nuclear advocacy.

Only Russia will benefit if PH goes nuclear,  https://www.oilandgas360.com/only-russia-will-benefit-if-ph-goes-nuclear/ in Press   by— 360 Feed Wire By BEN KRITZ, TMT, October 29, 2019 FOR the second time during the term of the current administration, fast-talking salesmen from Russia’s nuclear energy agency Rosatom have managed to convince a few impressionable officials here that the mighty atom is the answer to all the Philippines’ energy needs, especially if it is packaged in the product Rosatom has to offer.

The only people who will benefit from the Philippines’ adopting nuclear power will be the shareholders of Rosatom. Nuclear power is an economically and environmentally disastrous proposition for the Philippines, and no amount of persistence from the misguided nuclear advocacy can change that.

On October 17, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced the Department of Energy had signed a memorandum of intent with Rosatom for the latter to conduct feasibility studies on the possible deployment of so-called small modular reactors (SMRs) in the Philippines.

These reactors, which generate between 20 to 200 megawatts (MW) of power, can be mounted on floating platforms to provide electricity to island provinces, or slaved together like giant batteries to create larger land-based power plants.

Russia currently has one such floating plant in operation, a 21,000- metric ton barge carrying two 35-MW reactors and dubbed the Akademik Lomonosov. The craft, which will replace a coal plant and an old nuclear plant in Russia’s far east, can provide power to about 100,000 homes and has a crew of about 70.

The (weak) case for nuclear power

Hard on the heels of the announcement of the DoE’s agreement with Rosatom, local nuclear advocates took part in a “Stand Up for Nuclear” event held in Manila and other cities around the world on October 20. The event achieved what its organizers presumably hoped it would — the publication of a rash of news articles and opinion columns in the days following it, all touting the supposed benefits of nuclear power to the energy-challenged Philippines.

The arguments put forth in favor of nuclear power in general — which haven’t changed in years — and of SMRs in particular are rather shallow, but at first glance seem to be valid.

The benefits of nuclear power, according to its advocates, are that it does not produce harmful emissions, unlike conventional fossil-fueled power plants; it is an extremely efficient energy source, which results in lower power costs to consumers; it has a very good overall safety record, in spite of attention-grabbing disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima; and it provides reliable baseload power to augment energy from intermittent sources like solar and wind power.

SMRs are touted as a good option for countries like the Philippines without well-developed nuclear capabilities or budgets to sustain them because they are small, versatile, relatively inexpensive, and less complicated than normal-scale nuclear plants. For example, unlike a conventional pressurized water or boiling water reactor, the cooling and steam generation water flows in most SMR designs are gravity-fed. This presumably makes them immune from the sort of loss-of-coolant accidents that led to the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.

All of these arguments are very positive-sounding, enough to convince many impressionable government officials and media commentators, whom the nuclear advocacy hopes have neither the time, inclination nor capacity to look critically at the facts, which tend to be a more than a little inconvenient.

Cutting through the nonsense

The first argument that “nuclear plants do not produce harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,” is true in a very literal sense, but it is not true that nuclear plants do not contribute to harmful emissions at all, as some advocates claim. All nuclear plants emit heat and water vapor to the atmosphere at the rate of 4.4 grams CO2-equivalent per kilowatt-hour (g CO2-e/kWh) of energy produced. While this is certainly very much less than a conventional power plant, it is not zero, and compares unfavorably with solar and wind power, which actually remove water vapor and heat flux to the atmosphere at the rate of -2.2 g CO2-e/kWh.

An even bigger environmental problem with nuclear power is that any nuclear reactor uses an enormous amount of fresh water and discharges a large amount of heated wastewater.

Because of the complicated chemistry within a nuclear reactor, seawater cannot be used, and even fresh water must be “scrubbed” to remove any impurities. In a country such as the Philippines, where fresh water supplies are increasingly constrained, any nuclear power facility is a problematic option.

The second argument, that nuclear energy is extremely efficient and therefore less expensive than other forms of power, is again only literally true in a narrow context.

Uranium as a fuel is incredibly efficient; one ton of uranium has the energy content of about 80,000 tons of coal. However, to obtain useable fuel a great deal of processing is necessary, which of course comes at an energy cost, and the amount of useful uranium to be used as nuclear fuel is quickly being depleted; US reserves of uranium have virtually disappeared, and reserves elsewhere in the world are estimated to last no more than 100 years.

The supposed cost benefits of nuclear power are completely misrepresented by the nuclear advocacy. A comparison between an existing nuclear plant and an existing coal plant, for example, would show that electricity derived from nuclear power is less costly on a per-MW basis, but power costs, as Filipino consumers have long been painfully aware, include all the costs associated with building and maintaining a power plant. The proper way to calculate comparative costs is through a formula called levelized cost of energy (LCOE), which takes into account construction costs, regulatory costs, fuel costs, available subsidies, and operating costs.

This is where nuclear power completely falls apart compared to other energy alternatives.

According to the 2018 report of Lazard (the go-to source for energy cost analysis), nuclear has a high-end LCOE of $189 per megawatt hour (MWh). Coal has an LCOE of $143/MWh; utility-scale solar of between $44/MWh and $48/MWh; and wind, $56/MWh. Of the various energy sources analyzed, only gas peaking plants and rooftop solar installations had a higher LCOE than nuclear power, at $208/MWh and $287/MWh, respectively.

And Lazard’s results may be a serious underestimate of the true cost of nuclear power. In the next installment, I’ll explain further why, despite supplying about 20 percent of the world’s electricity, nuclear power is one of the worst solutions for the Philippines, or any other country for that matter

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Philippines, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Senate to probe Philippine’s nuclear energy program

Senate to probe Philippine’s nuclear energy program, Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) – October 14, 2019 – MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on energy will look into the status of the country’s nuclear energy program as the Duterte administration is set to decide on a recommendation to tap nuclear fuels for stable power supply, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said yesterday.

Gatchalian, chairman of the committee, filed a resolution for an inquiry on the status of the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO) in pursuit of his call for transparency in the government’s nuclear initiatives.

“A comprehensive, transparent and public discussion must be made on the merits of a national nuclear program taking into consideration the social, economic, environmental and technical effects and requirements of such a program,” he said.

He added that the development of a nuclear power program in any country requires three phases marked by a specific milestone and the completion of 19 infrastructure requirements, which necessitate specific actions during each of these three phases as indicated in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s milestones in the development of a national infrastructure for nuclear power.

The Philippines, according to the senator, is currently completing phase one, which commenced when the DOE issued Department Order 2016-10-0013 in 2016, creating the NEPIO, which is tasked to explore the development and inclusion of nuclear energy in the country’s electric power supply.

Phase two requires preparation for the contracting and construction of a nuclear power plant after a policy decision has been made, and its milestone is an invitation to bid or negotiate a contract for the power plant.

Meanwhile, phase three details the activities necessary to implement the first nuclear power plant, and its milestone is the commissioning and operation of such activities……..

The senator made the call during the hearing on the DOE’s proposed 2020 budget.

He pushed for the scrutiny of the nuclear energy program after a memorandum of intent was signed by Philippine and Russian officials during President Duterte’s visit to Moscow last week “to jointly explore the prospects of cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants in the Philippines.”

A proposal to build a floating nuclear power plant in the country was also forwarded by Russia.

One of world’s worst nuclear disasters occurred in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which was blamed on a flawed Soviet reactor in Ukraine, at the time part of the Soviet Union.https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/14/1960013/senate-probe-philippines-nuclear-energy-program#Yu0jW87Rhm5T2TgI.99

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

The possibility of nuclear weapons in South China Sea worries Philippines

Philippines concerned over possible nuclear weapons in South China Sea, PhilStar, Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) – August 23, 2018 , MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang expressed concern over the warning of the United States that China might bring nuclear elements to its outposts in the South China Sea.

The US Department of Defense, in its annual report to the US Congress, warned that Beijing may soon install floating nuclear power stations on its military bases in the disputed waterway. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippine government is concerned over any entry of nuclear weapons on Philippine territory.

“We are concerned about the possibility that any foreign power be it American, Russian, Chinese may bring nuclear warheads into our territory and into Asean, which is declared as a nuclear-free zone,” Roque said in a press briefing Thursday.

Citing the Constitution, Roque stressed that the Philippines is a nuclear-free zone. Section 8, Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution states that “The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.”

The Malacañang spokesman also noted that the whole Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a nuclear-free zone under the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, which was signed.

Roque, however, said that the warning was only “US observation” and that the Philippines is in no position to verify such report.

“The important point to underscore is we have a nuclear-free policy and that should be applied to all countries, including the Americans, because the Americans have been using nuclear-powered [weapons] and have been stationing warships with nuclear capability as well,” he said………. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/08/23/1845175/philippines-concerned-over-possible-nuclear-weapons-south-china-sea#hyf82odPHqmY8vO2.99

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Philippines, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Philippines consider nuclear revival, but active earthquake fault poses danger

Philippines mulls nuclear revival, SBS News, 23 May 18  Phillipines holds the only nuclear power plant in Southeast Asia, and some in the power hungry country are looking at reviving the mothballed facility.

…….Opposition to reviving Manila’s nuclear ambitions remains strong, with advocates citing a reliance on imported uranium, high waste and decommissioning costs, as well as safety concerns.Geologist Kelvin Rodolfo has repeatedly warned against the activation of the Bataan plant, saying it sits on an active earthquake fault that runs through a volcano, currently dormant.

He would like to see the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) make that judgment. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/philippines-mulls-nuclear-revival

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Philippines, safety | Leave a comment

For the Philippines the low cost, high-value option is renewable energy

Renewable energy – the low cost, high-value option for the Philippines, Manila BulletinBy Eddie O’Connor, Chairman, Global Wind Energy Council and Mainstream Renewable Power “…..One of the perceptions about renewable energy and the transition to a low-carbon economy is that this technology will impose costs on the Philippines that it cannot afford, particularly in the generation of electricity where coal will have to be replaced by wind and solar power.In fact, renewable energy will save the Philippines money, make its economy more competitive, and boost living standards and consumer purchasing power. At the conference the chairman of the National Renewable Energy Board presented a study by the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation that showed that far from being a burden on the country, the existing renewable energy programme has reduced the overall cost of electricity.

This is because unlike coal or gas power, the variable cost of production for wind or solar energy is zero. This happens because the fuel – the wind and the sun – is free. This electricity is used first to satisfy customer demand, before the system operator brings on more expensive coal power. The overall effect is to depress the wholesale cost of electricity on the spot market.

By using this wind and solar power, the grid operator avoids the cost of operating the more expensive coal and oil plant. Over the three years of the PEMC study from 2014-2017 this avoided cost was 18.7billion pesos; a very significant sum………

n the Philippines all the customer sees on their bill is the cost of the tariff supporting new wind and solar power. What they don’t see is the overall savings accrued through this reduction in the price of electricity.

Knowing that, despite the cost of the tariff, the introduction of wind and solar power onto the system actually saves the customer money, the government in Ireland continues to support renewable energy, and we now have 22% of our electricity capacity from these two sources of generation.

The Philippines can follow this trajectory and aim to have 25% of its electricity capacity supplied by wind and solar energy in the coming decade. The savings that will accrue to the customer will be considerable. Funds that would otherwise be spent on coal or oil can be invested in other infrastructure. Consumers will have additional spending power. The economy will get an extra boost.

Electricity made from wind and solar does not require any fuel to be bought from abroad. The wind and sun belongs to the country. It will be there forever. It doesn’t matter what external price shocks impact on oil or coal, the wind will blow and the sun will shine and their unit cost will remain at zero.

By moving ahead of its regional ASEAN partners and setting ambitious targets for wind and solar power, the Philippines can also attract investment in the supply chain. Early movers into renewable energy like Brazil, Germany, China and Morocco have created new industries and thousands of new jobs. Why should the Philippines subsidise mining jobs in Australia and Indonesia when it could be building the plant that will supply its own clean energy sectors and those across the region?…..https://news.mb.com.ph/2017/12/21/renewable-energy-the-low-cost-high-value-option-for-the-philippines/

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Philippines, renewable | Leave a comment

Philippines signed up to the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

International Day against nuclear testing https://businessmirror.com.ph/international-day-against-nuclear-testing/,By Teddy Locsin Jr., Philippine statement delivered by Ambassador Teddy Locsin Jr. at the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York, on August 30.

OVER a month ago 122 nations took the decisive step to bring the world closer to the shared aspiration of a nuclear weapons-free world. The Philippines, along with the other Asean members, was proud to be part of the historic moment that saw the adoption of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear-Weapons—a landmark agreement that strengthens the nuclear disarmament architecture, fulfills the goal set out in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and delegitimizes once and for all the use of nuclear weapons.

The treaty represents the universalization of the Philippines’s fervent hope to put nuclear weapons firmly on the path of extinction, as set forth in its constitution and in the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone.

During the negotiations on the nuclear-weapons ban, the Philippines championed the inclusion of nuclear testing in the list of prohibited acts. It proposed language that would have committed States Parties to undertake not, and I quote, “to carry out any nuclear-weapon test explosion or any other form of nuclear-weapons testing.” However, as treaty negotiations go, the language proposal was watered down.

Be that as it may, what is important is that, under the nuclear- weapons-ban treaty, States Parties undertake not to conduct nuclear- weapons tests. With this, the act of nuclear-weapons testing is effectively declared illegal under international law.

The Philippines looks forward to signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on September 20 and usher in this new phase in our collective goal for the complete, irreversible and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons.

The Philippines’s long-standing position against nuclear testing was first articul ated on the international stage when it signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996. It lent its voice to the growing clamor that recognized the detrimental effect of nuclear testing to the environment and its horrific consequences to humankind, where the suffering of victims can span generations.

Today, as in the years past, we call upon the remaining eight fellow UN member-states to finally heed the humanitarian imperative against nuclear tests and exercise their role as responsible citizens of the global community by finally signing onto the Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby ushering it into force. The forthcoming Conference on the CTBT is the most opportune time to do this. It happens to be on the same day when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will be opened for signature. 

The actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea constitute a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions and pose a clear and present danger to international peace and security. Its actions demonstrate the urgent need for the CTBT to enter into force. While the Philippines, along with its fellow Asean members, condemn DPRK’s missile tests, it underlines the need to establish the international legal landscape that expressly delegitimizes its actions—if only to clearly and unequivocally articulate the collective desire of the community of nations to put a stop to them once and for all.

Thank you, Mr. President. 

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Philippines, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vulnerable to Climate Change – Philippines

From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots  Global warming will not affect everyone equally. Here we look at seven key regions to see how each is tackling the consequences of climate change, Guardian, John Vidal, 23 June 17

an emotional powerful speech on climate change

……Manila, Philippines

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the city of Tacloban in November 2013, Yeb Sano was the Philippines’ climate commissioner. He was distraught when I met him. He believed that his brother who lived there had been killed along with many thousands of others.

One hour later Sano broke down as he addressed the world’s diplomats. It was the third super typhoon to hit the Philippines in three years, and five of the 10 strongest typhoons had come in the previous eight years. “Climate change is real and now,” he told them in tears.

The Philippines is regularly ranked in lists of the top few countries most affected by climate change. “We are already experiencing climate change impacts, including sea-level rise, hotter temperatures, extreme weather events and changes in precipitation,” says Sano, who has now left government to direct Greenpeace SE Asia.

“These in turn, result in human rights impacts, such as loss of homes and livelihoods, water contamination, food scarcity, displacement of whole communities, disease outbreaks, and even the loss of life.”

Scientists widely agree that the country, along with nearby Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, is a hotspot. Analysis of 70 years’ of government data, published in the International Journal of Climatology last year, shows a small decrease in the number of smaller typhoons that hit the Philippines each year, but more intense ones. It is not conclusive evidence, but previous studies have suggested the increase may be due to rising sea-surface temperatures since the 1970s.

There is no doubt temperatures are rising on land. In Manila and the surrounding metropolitan area, which has a population of more than 12m, the tropical storms are more intense, the floods are more frequent, the nights are hotter and there are fewer cool days, says the state meteorological office, Pagasa.

“There has been a significant increase [in the last 30 years] in the number of hot days and warm nights and a decreasing trend in the number of cold days and cold nights,” Alicia Ilaga, head of climate change in the government’s agriculture department, told me in 2015. “Both maximum and minimum temperatures are getting warmer. Extreme rainfall events are becoming more frequent. In most parts … the intensity of rainfall is increasing.”

It’s not just Manila feeling the heat. In its latest 2014 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it expects life in major Asian and African coastal cities like Manila, Guangzhou, Lagos, Ho Chi Minh City, Kolkata and Shanghai to worsen as temperatures rise.

“Urban climate change–related risks are increasing (including rising sea levels and storm surges, heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, drought, increased aridity, water scarcity, and air pollution) with widespread negative impacts on people (and their health, livelihoods, and assets) and on local and national economies and ecosystems,” it says. “These risks are amplified for those who live in informal settlements and in hazardous areas and either lack essential infrastructure and services or where there is inadequate provision for adaptation.”

Food supplies are also threatened. I visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) outside Manila. This research centre, funded by the world’s richest nations to develop better strains of the crop that feeds nearly half the world, has seen temperatures soar.

A few years ago, IRRI’s deputy director general, Bruce Tolentino, called climate change the greatest global challenge in 50 years. “The challenge now is to rapidly adapt farming to climate change with modern varieties and feed a fast-growing global population, half of which depends on rice as a staple food. One billion people go hungry every day. In the 1990s, rice yields were growing 2% a year; now they are just 1%. Temperatures here have risen 2–4C. Climate change will reduce productivity. Rainfall is unpredictable and rice is grown in areas like deltas that are prone to sea level rises. We have to gear up for more challenging agro-ecological conditions, we need to be able to use swampy areas and develop varieties that can be grown in salty or flooded areas.”

RRI has been working to develop rice varieties that can withstand extreme climatic conditions such as droughts, floods, heat and cold, and soil problems such as high salt and iron content. New drought-tolerant varieties that can produce up to 1.2 metric tons more per hectare [0.54 tons per acre] than varieties that perform poorly under drought conditions have been introduced to India, Nepal and elsewhere.

“Every city and every sector of society in the region is at risk,” says Sano. “The IPCC tells us it will probably get 4C warmer. That means everything will be compromised, from food and energy to settlements. We are not ready. The challenge is too huge. We are very vulnerable.”…..

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/23/from-heatwaves-to-hurricanes-floods-to-famine-seven-climate-change-hotspots?CMP=share_btn_tw

June 24, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Philippines | Leave a comment

Philippines government needing to set up a pro nuclear ‘massive information campaign’

Energy dept seeks to calm nuclear power fears, Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News Jun 20 2017 MOSCOW – The Department of Energy on Monday stressed the need to calm the public’s fears over nuclear power, as it studied the feasibility of adding it to the country’s energy mix. The department aims to provide President Rodrigo Duterte with a menu of nuclear energy sources, including using the three-decade-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos told ABS-CBN News.

“The biggest challenge is social acceptability,” said Marcos on the sidelines of a summit hosted by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp.

 “We need to come up with a massive information campaign so that the people will know. They need to be educated on nuclear power,” he said.

The $2-billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never used due to worries over its safety……

The energy department last month signed a memorandum of understanding with ROSATOM on nuclear energy cooperation, including winning public support.

Russian companies have also offered nuclear power barges to the Philippines to help meet growing demand in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/06/19/17/energy-dept-seeks-to-calm-nuclear-power-fears

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Philippines, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Russia keen to put Philippines into debt as it markets its Rosatom nuclear reactors

Duterte dials Russia for nuclear power future, Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News,  Jun 19 2017 “…….President Rodrigo Duterte is bringing the Philippines closer to tapping nuclear power than any of his immediate predecessors by dialing Russia, which is offering its technology to the world. Duterte’s government forged an agreement with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp. (ROSATOM) for the possible development of nuclear infrastructure, personnel training, and courting public support for the technology following his visit to Moscow last month.

Russia also offered to supply the Philippines with nuclear power barges and capsules.

ROSATOM on Monday opened an showcase of Russian nuclear technology, hoping to attract new clients from around the world, including the Philippines.

“We want to cooperate and be partners” said Sergey Kirienko, first deputy chief in the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin……

Project financing is the biggest concern of developing economies that seek to tap nuclear power, said Iliya Rebrov, economic and finance director at ROSATOM.

Rebrov said ROSATOM helps its clients secure funding from various sources, including loans.

“The key competitive factor is the ability of the contractor to arrange financing,” Rebrov said, citing a recent wind-farm project in southern Russia that was financed with Gazprombank.

ROSATOM is “very confident” in the world market as it diversifies its offerings to meet growing demand, said Kirill Komarov, the company’s First Deputy Director general for corporate development and international business. http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/06/19/17/duterte-dials-russia-for-nuclear-power-future

June 21, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia and Philippines – Nuclear Marketing

Philippines, Russia forge nuclear cooperation deal, ABS-CBN News, May 26 2017 MANILA – The Philippines and Russia have agreed to develop cooperation on nuclear energy under an agreement signed in Moscow, Russia’s state nuclear agency said Friday.

Under the memorandum of cooperation, the two nations will pursue the “development of the nuclear infrastructure” in the Philippines, including personnel training and securing public acceptance of nuclear power, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corp said in a statement……Duterte has approved a study on the feasibility of nuclear power to augment the country’s electricity supply.

The Philippines has a nuclear power plant in Bataan, which has never been used.http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/05/26/17/philippines-russia-forge-nuclear-cooperation-deal

May 27, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia and Philippines Military Cooperation Agreement

Russia, Philippines forge Defense Cooperation Agreement, UPDATE PH, May 26, 2017 Caleb Velasquez The defense cooperation will expand exchanges in terms of training, seminars and best practices between the two countries, with the end to develop relations in the field of military education, including military medicine, military history, sports, and culture as well as experiences in consultation, observer participation in military training exercises, and military port calls…..

Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines and the State Atomic Energy Corporation, otherwise known as ROSATOM on Cooperation on the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes was also forged. https://www.update.ph/2017/05/russia-philippines-forge-defense-cooperation-agreement/17735

May 27, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Bigger battles beyond the climate agreement – climate crises for vulnerable countries

The ‘flexible’ carbon mitigation mechanism of National Determined Contributions that makes contribution to emission cuts voluntary allows for the watering down of the historic and current responsibility of big polluter countries like the United States and China. Pressure is unjustly put on low carbon economies of developing countries when there should be none in the first place.

There are no concrete commitments and mechanisms that will ensure adequate and unconditional support for climate vulnerable countries. Even more marginalized was the proposed mechanism for ‘Loss and Damage’ that sought to facilitate compensation from industrialized nations to vulnerable nations that are already suffering climate impacts.

Transnational corporations and financial institutions, meanwhile, are given free rein to promote multi-billion dollar false climate solutions such as mega hydro, clean coal, and nuclear power plants, timber plantations, carbon credits, and other projects that displace communities and degrade the environment.

These are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are bigger battles outside the Paris Agreement   http://opinion.inquirer.net/98960/there-are-bigger-battles-outside-the-paris-agreement   November 04, 2016   LEON DULCE
Campaign Coordinator Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
We write with regard to the resurgence of debate on President Rodrigo Duterte’s ambivalence over the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as it comes in a time when deeper public discourse and action on the climate crisis is urgently needed.

World leaders will gather at the United Nations “COP22″ climate talks once again to attempt to concretize the Paris Agreement’s agreed common actions on mitigating carbon emissions that induce climate change, adapting communities to worsening climate impacts, and ensuring financing, technology transfer, capacity building, and loss and damage mechanisms.

COP22’s commencement fittingly coincides with the Philippines’ commemoration of the third anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan). World leaders should be reminded that some 16 million people were severely affected by Yolanda’s powerful winds, floods and storm surges across the Philippines, and that these impacted communities are still struggling to recover three years later—a preview of what future climate norms are in store for us if climate disruption is left unfettered.

An alarming evidence of this was the findings of current Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo that at least 200,000 Yolanda survivors have yet to receive emergency shelter assistance from the state because of discrimination by local politics during the Aquino administration.

Meanwhile, the specter of ‘disaster capitalism’ continues to haunt Yolanda survivors. Initial findings of an environmental investigation mission held by the Center for Environmental Concerns and scientist group AGHAM regarding the proposed P7.9-billion Leyte Tide Embankment Project revealed how the biggest post-Yolanda mega-infrastructure solution actually threatens the livelihood and environment of some 10,000 residents across the east coast of Leyte.

Unfortunately, there is still a yawning gap between the abject plight of Yolanda survivors and other frontline communities and the reality of the Paris Agreement.

The ‘flexible’ carbon mitigation mechanism of National Determined Contributions that makes contribution to emission cuts voluntary allows for the watering down of the historic and current responsibility of big polluter countries like the United States and China. Pressure is unjustly put on low carbon economies of developing countries when there should be none in the first place.

There are no concrete commitments and mechanisms that will ensure adequate and unconditional support for climate vulnerable countries. Even more marginalized was the proposed mechanism for ‘Loss and Damage’ that sought to facilitate compensation from industrialized nations to vulnerable nations that are already suffering climate impacts.

Transnational corporations and financial institutions, meanwhile, are given free rein to promote multi-billion dollar false climate solutions such as mega hydro, clean coal, and nuclear power plants, timber plantations, carbon credits, and other projects that displace communities and degrade the environment.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. It is hard not to cast a shadow of doubt over the Paris Agreement and the uphill battle to step up the pact’s ambition in the upcoming COP22. It is actually commendable how President Duterte asserts our people’s right to develop as the foundation of his argument, a right of vulnerable and poor nations that is given only tokenisms in the agreement.

The climate talks, however, are still a legitimate venue to advance the concrete needs and aspirations of our people.

President Duterte can take a leaf from the book of Bolivian President Evo Morales, who called out global capitalism as the root of the climate and environmental crises in his plenary speech at COP21 last year, or from Pope Francis who also called for system change with his encyclical “Laudato Sii.”

At COP22, Duterte can take up the cudgels for the Filipino people struggling for climate justice, from the Lumad, Igorot, and other indigenous peoples resisting big coal and metallic mines to the Yolanda survivors that will march once again on ‘ground zero’ come November 8 to assert their demands for resilient homes and livelihoods.

These are the bigger battles outside the Paris Agreement that need to be fought, as these are the ones winning the struggle against the global system that perpetuates climate injustice. Let these stories of struggles in the frontlines be at the core of the climate talks.

November 5, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Philippines, politics international | Leave a comment

Philippines Senator supports President Duterte’s stand against the use of nuclear power

text-NoGatchalian with Duterte on stand vs nuclear power By:  / @TarraINQ  / November 04, 2016  Sen.Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday expressed agreement with President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand against the use of nuclear power, saying further studies must first be undertaken to ensure that it would be a viable and safe energy source for the Philippines.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate energy committee, said the Department of Energy should first “formulate a comprehensive nuclear energy policy” before forging ahead with the use of nuclear power.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi  earlier proposed the use of the long-mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, but Gatchalian expressed reservations, citing safety concerns over the aged facility.

“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 in a statement.

He said he was willing to hear out advocates of nuclear power but proposed to shift focus first on more viable energy sources……http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/841149/gatchalian-with-duterte-on-stand-vs-nuclear-power

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

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

Philippines: Alarm sounded over revival of mothballed nuclear plant, http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/09/01/philippines_alarm_over_revival_of_mothballed_nuclear_plant_/1255178  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