Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday maintained that safety issues surrounding nuclear energy, including the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), remain unanswered, such as the possible effects of its proximity to a potentially active volcano and concerns about radioactive waste disposal.
The senator also said that because of the unresolved questions regarding the safe use of nuclear power, she supports calls to realign maintenance funds of the BNPP for economic programs.
“Radioactive waste will outlive not just all of us alive today but also the succeeding generations. It can prove fatal and cost people’s lives for thousands of years. Dahil hindi pa tayo makakampante sa ligtas na paggamit ng nuclear energy, dapat buksan narin ang diskusyon kung may halaga pa ba sa bansa ang BNPP,” Hontiveros said.
Through the years, experts have consistently flagged the risky location of BNPP. It is on top of Mt. Natib, which makes it more prone to the effects of earthquakes and, possibly, eruption.
According to Vera Files, the government has paid P64.7 billion for the construction of the nuclear power plant that has never been used, and the country continues to spend P40 to P50 million pesos annually for the plant’s upkeep.
“Kaban ng bayan ang ginagastos para sa plantang hindi naman ginagamit at dapat hindi na gamitin dahil sa mga panganib na dala ng nuclear waste. Sa taas ng mga presyo ng bilihin at sa kawalan ng disenteng trabaho, common sense naman na dapat ang milyon-milyong piso na ito ay napupunta sa pagpapagaan ng buhay ng Pilipino,” Hontiveros said.
During the budget deliberations of the Department of Energy, the senator also raised questions regarding the production of nuclear power, as unlike many forms of renewable energy that can be sourced locally, chemicals and minerals needed for nuclear production need to be imported.
“Karagdagang gastos ang pag-import ng raw materials para sa nuclear production. Ang mga bansang gumagamit nito ngayon ay nangangailangan din ng mga storage facilities para itago ang radioactive waste na napakadelikado. Dagdag gastos din ito,” the senator said.
“We have to weigh our options carefully. Klaro na hindi tayo magiging handa na buhayin ang BNPP. Kaya kung anumang ginagastos natin para sa maintenance niya, dapat munang ituon na ito sa mga programang makakalutas sa ating krisis sa ekonomiya,” Hontiveros concluded. ###
OFFICE OF SENATOR RISA HONTIVEROS
Communications TeamFor inquiries:
Lui Belmonte- 0917-5634112