By JUNE S. BLANCO
REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd district) favors the use of nuclear energy – but only after a thorough study.
Aumentado aired this position during a recent meeting with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The solon expressed his support for the bill proposing to use nuclear energy provided that all safety measures are put in place.
He said a thorough study must be made by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on the nuclear power models of the United States and Japan, among others, before attempting to repair, retrofit and use the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
On the local scene, he observed, power in Bohol is getting expensive. He said this is because of the strides in infrastructure development brought on by President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrust of “build, build, build”.
Bohol still depends to a large extent on power from Cebu. But, Aumentado said, this may not be for long because Cebu’s power demand is also increasing – at a rate bigger than Bohol – the former being already industrialized.
The price of power will inevitably become more and more expensive, he said. The Philippines’ chance of finding sustainable and stable energy comes in nuclear power, he continued.
However, Aumentado warned, while DOST may be supportive of nuclear power, it should not push to the back burner the concerns on the environment. Development of nuclear power must be consistent, especially with the province’s goal of protecting the environment and the lives of the people.
When operational, Bataan can easily provide from 500 to 1,000 megawatts of power. This can give more elbow room – sufficient and sustainable energy – for even more infrastructure development.
Aumentado said his support for nuclear energy comes from the realization that continued coal mining and fossil fuel use will only deplete resources and destroy the environment, he concluded.