Manila, 27 December 2012— With just four days until the new year, Greenpeace has a suggested new year’s resolution for Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla: abandon all plans to use nuclear power in the Philippines.
The environmental group reacted with shock at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent proposal to revive the use of nuclear energy to help power the country. Greenpeace says, 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. The DOE’s new proposal to implement a national nuclear power program in the energy reform agenda is utter madness”, said Anna Abad, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“Nuclear energy cannot be good for the country as Secretary Petilla claims, because nuclear power is neither safe nor clean. No amount of technological sophistication or safety culture can prepare any country or its people to the inherent dangers of nuclear energy,” Abad added.
Despite President Benigno Aquino Jr.’s public declaration that he was against the revival of the controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Petilla says that the Energy department was already looking into nuclear projects to attract local and foreign investors.
No nuclear proposals are currently tabled in Philippine Congress. However, the Philippine Energy Plan still has provisions for nuclear energy. The Energy Reform Agenda directs the DOE to conduct research and studies in aid of legislative and executive action for the operation of a 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant by 2025.
“It may seem a cheaper alternative, but nuclear energy pays a human price. Just look at what happened in Ukraine, and very recently in Japan. Has Secretary Petilla has completely forgotten about the Fukushima tragedy, the world’s worst human-made disaster to date?” asked Abad. “His short sighted plan to put profit above people’s safety could put millions at risk. If a nuclear disaster cannot be prevented from happening in rich, technologically advanced nations like Japan, then what might happen in our county?” she added.
The Aquino government has wasted several years pushing for dirty sources of energy such as coal and nuclear. The government must ensure sustainable development with a future powered by clean and safe renewable energy, rather than dangerous nuclear, or dirty coal power.
Greenpeace is advocating an ‘Energy Revolution,’ a sustainable energy pathway for renewable energy, coupled with energy efficiency technologies, to become country’s energy backbone. Greenpeace is calling on the Philippine government to commit to fully implement the Renewable Energy Law to achieve a target of 50% renewables in the country’s energy mix by 2020.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.
For more information, please contact:
Anna Abad, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Mobile: 0917- 8573330 Email: [email protected]
Therese Salvador, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Mobile: 0917-8228734 Email: [email protected]
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