Salceda

Salceda: Nuke energy fits PH food security, housing needs

August 19, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 375 views

A HOUSE leader has vowed to support measures to enable nuclear energy generation in the Philippines, saying that the form of energy “is the right fit for our growing food and housing needs.”

This, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, said, in anticipation of his panel’s Tuesday’s hearing on HB 8218, in substitution of HBs 7049, 371, 481, 526, 542, 1255, 2103, 3301, 3898, 4822, 6030, 7003 & 7330 – Establishing the Philippine Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority.

The measure also provides for a comprehensive legal framework for radiation protection, nuclear security, safety, and safeguards, and physical safety in the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy in the Philippines. Salceda is a principal author of the measure.

“In a country where land is scarce, we need space-efficient options like nuclear. To produce the same amount of power, wind requires 170 times the land required by nuclear, and solar requires 32 times. So, nuclear is also good for our growing agricultural and housing needs,” Salceda said.

“Let me give you some perspective on this. To power the entire country with wind power, you need an area the size of the entire Bicol region. To power it with solar power, you need an area the size of the entire province of Albay. So, from a land use standpoint, renewable may be good for the environment and is good as part of our energy mix, but we still need space efficient sources,” Salceda said.

“By contrast, hypothetically, if all our energy was nuclear, the City of San Juan, NCR’s smallest by land area, can host all of the nuclear plants needed to power the country at peak demand and still have plenty of space left,” he said. “Nuclear is also 28% cheaper than coal when installed. We just need to find sources to actually come up with the investments necessary at the initial phase.”

Salceda also emphasized the “crucial role” of a working regulatory model for nuclear.

“As far as international models go, the way forward is France. They build their plants quickly, and their plants are extremely safe. Even their worst ever accident caused no casualties and was quickly resolved,” he said.

“On the negative side, we must not adopt the US model, which due to disharmonious regulation, delays the construction of these measureMeanwhile, coal kills 25 people per terawatt hour produced due to air pollution alone. That’s about 3,400 people for the Philippines. A silent but certain killer by any standard,” Salceda said.

“We support this measure, and hope for its approval soon,” Salceda added.

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