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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Ensure safe use of nuclear energy, Gatchalian urges administration

Senator   Sherwin Gatchalian said the government needs to ensure the safety of nuclear energy use in the country.

The lawmaker said public confidence in the use of nuclear energy needs to improve dramatically, and ensuring safety and transparency is the only way to achieve significant development in this area.

The senator made the statement following the signing of a nuclear cooperation pact between the US and the Philippines.

Under the agreement,   the Philippines would receive investments and technology support as the country transitions to cleaner energy.

Last year, Gatchalian filed a resolution to inquire about the activities, outputs, and accomplishments of the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee and its recommendation for the country to embark on a nuclear power program.

According to Gatchalian, the government must also ensure adherence to international standards.

In March last year, the government adopted a national position and formally relaunched its bid to include nuclear power in the country’s energy mix, generating varied reactions from the public.

Currently, the Department of Energy (DOE) is working on 19 infrastructure issues relating to the adoption of nuclear energy in line with The Milestones Approach of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which promotes the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste generated by the use of nuclear technologies, including nuclear power.

The IAEA safety standards provide the fundamental principles, requirements, and recommendations to ensure nuclear safety.

The Philippines has yet to ratify the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management, and the Amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

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