The Philippines has taken a big step towards tapping nuclear power, its energy minister said on July 29. This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte created an inter-agency panel to study the adoption of national nuclear energy policy. Country’s energy secretary Alfonso Cusi has constantly been advocating the use of nuclear power to solve the country’s energy need and the use the 621-megawatt nuclear power plant in the country.
Meanwhile, in an executive order released publically on July 29, Duterte created a committee to conduct a study indicating openness to reviving the country's nuclear energy ambitions. According to reports, the committee will assess the feasibility of adding nuclear power to the country’s power mix, after considering it’s economic, security and environmental implications. If the panel approves it, the authorities would build or rehabilitate Batan plant. Cusi has welcomed the move and said that it was a "major step" towards the realization of the Philippines nuclear energy programme that would "help shield our consumers from traditional power price volatilities".
Scientists have long sought to mimic the process of nuclear fusion that occurs inside the sun, arguing that it could provide an almost limitless source of cheap, safe and clean electricity. Unlike in existing fission reactors, which split plutonium or uranium atoms, there’s no risk of an uncontrolled chain reaction with fusion and it doesn’t produce long-lived radioactive waste.
(Image credits: AP)
(With inputs from agencies)