In a Balitanghali report by Rida Reyes on Tuesday, Michael Shellenberger said rich countries have already shifted to utilizing nuclear energy, adding that energy obtained from coal and natural gas are too dangerous.

“The reason that nuclear is the safest is that it doesn’t produce any smoke so there is no air pollution. Air pollution kills four million people a year,” Shellenberger said.

“Philippines has some of the most expensive energy in the world so for countries to go for being poor to rich countries, you need cheap sources of energy that are produced inside the country,” he added.

In 1976, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) was constructed under then-President Ferdinand Marcos. It was financed through contracted loans amounting to $2.3 billion, which the government only finished paying in 2007.

Though the Marcos administration didn’t spare costs to build the power plant, it has never been operated for power generation.

Former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos defended her late husband for the construction of the BNPP.

“He said, ‘I will not build anything as a legacy to the Filipino people that would be disastrous to mankind.’ What we have to do is build it and show the people what it can do,” Marcos said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has expressed support to the proposal to revive the BNPP, adding that its revival has no security implications to the country.

Some advocates said the BNPP was well-maintained and that it may actually last for 80 years once it becomes fully-operational.

Some lawmakers, meanwhile, said they would study first the proposal to revive the power plant.

“Although we see that it is more advantageous in the country, we’re just looking at safety, but at the end of the day I think it’s social acceptance,” Lord Allan Velasco, chairman of the House Committee on Energy, said. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News


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