BALANGA City- The Nuclear-Free Bataan Movement on Wednesday asked Pres. Aquino to veer away from nuclear and coal as fuel to power plants in solving the impending power woes.
“We want to tell the President that the solutions should stay away from coal-dependency exhibited by his Philippine Energy Plan especially in the light of real climate change implications and the worrisome revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong town,” said NFBM chair Rev. Msgr. Antonio Dumaual and Sec. Gen. Francisco Honra.
NFBM opposes the coal-fired power plants in Mariveles and Limay towns and the probable conversion of BNPP to coal. “We stand on renewable energy to be the safest and sustainable source of energy,” Dumaual and Honra said.
They said that the country should stop building coal-fired plants quoting a warning from the World Bank and the International Energy Agency in 2012 that at least 80 percent of known reserves of fossils must be left untapped if the world is to avoid a catastrophic temperature rise.
Despite this warning, NFBM claimed that the country is constructing 24 new coal power plants that it said contribute 52.8 million tons per year more of carbon dioxide emissions. To further aggravate the situation, it charged there was a proposed additional of 20 more in the next two to five years.
NFBM said the Philippines used to be second to the United States in producing geothermal energy globally. “Our combined renewable energy potential, however, was set aside in favor of carbon-intensive energy plants like coal and even the revival of BNPP,” Honra said.
Honra said that studies showed that the combined renewable energy potential in the country that includes wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal can produce around 200,000 megawatts.
NFBM called on President Aquino also not to entertain the idea of rehabilitating BNPP because of the continuing tragedy in Fukushima that showed how devastating a nuclear disaster could be.
“Now is NOT the time to gamble with the risk of nuclear technology which has been proven fundamentally dangerous and unsafe. Instead, it is time to shut down the nuclear program permanently, “ Dumaual said.