President Marcos reaches out to France for strategic partnership on nuclear energy

As you should know by now, I personally favor the use of nuclear power as a key source of abundant energy for the entire Philippines (read my posts by clicking here and here). Nuclear power can produce very high amounts of energy required to power the economy and society and there is no way that solar and wind power could achieve that. Nuclear energy is the answer for the energy requirements of the Philippines and I am really glad that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., reached out to French President Emmanuel Macron and specifically sought nuclear energy partnership during their high-level talk recently in Thailand, as reported by the Philippine Star.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine Star news article. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he sought a partnership with France on nuclear energy during a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Thailand.

I’m very confident that it will be a strong partnership simply because they have up to 67 percent of their power production is from nuclear energy so they are very, very used to it,” Marcos said, according to a release from Malacañang.

Marcos said he wanted to talk to Macron about energy because of France’s use of nuclear power, a controversial energy source that the Philippine president had long advocated for.

On the campaign trail, Marcos said the Philippines should look into reviving the 621-megawatt Bataan Nuclear Power Plant — a venture by his despot father and namesake which was mothballed in 1986 because of safety concerns.

During his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos reiterated his determination to adopt nuclear power, saying “it is time to re-examine our strategy towards building nuclear power plants.

For some added insight into the Marcos-Macron meeting, watch the videos below…

In my honest opinion, it is high-time for the Philippines to move forward with enhancing the entire national power grid by using nuclear power. To invest tons of money on wind and solar power will only produce minimal new energy and the fact remains that the said two types of energy are unreliable. On the social aspect of nuclear energy, I encourage my fellow Filipinos reading this to stop being fearful about anything nuclear and pay close attention to the latest in nuclear power technology, specifically with small modular reactors (SMRs). Learn about them by clicking here and here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development about the Philippines reaching out to France for a nuclear power partnership? Are you glad that President Marcos specifically sought partnership during his bilateral talk with the President of France?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

President Marcos on nuclear power plants in the Philippines

Last March, I highlighted an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) related to nuclear power for the Philippines. Personally, I favor the use of nuclear power and the construction of nuclear power plants in the Philippines not just because it will provide clean and abundant energy but also because technologies and other means related to it all have advanced through the years. 

That being said, it was good that our new President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., mentioned nuclear power during the recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) specifically referring to the nation’s strategy towards building new nuclear power plants.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the GMA News report. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. again expressed his desire to adopt nuclear energy as part of the country’s power mix, but said the government’s strategy has to be rethought.

I believe it is time to re-examine our strategy towards building nuclear power plants in the Philippines,” Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Marcos, however, did not mention the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), a project during his late father Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s regime which has been mothballed for more than three decades.

In 1976, Marcos Sr. ordered the construction of the $2.3-billion BNPP, but it was shelved after three years due to safety concerns.

The Duterte administration had pegged the cost of reviving the BNPP at around $1 billion.

The President, instead, said that “there have been new technologies developed that allow smaller scale modular nuclear plants and other derivations thereof.

In October 2019, Russian State Nuclear Energy Corp. (Rosatom) Overseas JSC and the Department of Energy (DOE) signed a memorandum of intent on cooperation to conduct a pre-feasibility study on the construction in the Philippines of nuclear power plants based on small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

Nevertheless, Marcos said the Philippines will comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations for nuclear power plants “as they have been strengthened after Fukushima.

The President said that public-private partnerships will play a role in realizing the goal of adopting nuclear power.

In the Philippine Senate, there is already support for President Marcos’ plan. Posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in boldface…

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Tuesday he will fully support the plan of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to explore the country’s potentials on nuclear energy as a cheap and reliable source.

Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday that if the country wants to attract investors, both local and foreign, energy-level production must be increased.

“Why not? We are one of the few countries that have not looked at the nuclear option in Southeast Asia. The countries that are developing nuclear power in Asia — Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, even Singapore, are looking at the nuclear option, smaller nuclear power plants, and even Myanmar. We’re already left behind,” Zubiri said in an interview with a news channel.

Despite being a renewable energy advocate, as evidenced by the Renewable Energy Act which he authored, Zubiri admitted that there are not enough efforts to produce the energy requirement the country needs over the next six years.

If you want to have an 8-percent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate, we better have an energy sector that is robust, that can deliver the power the different industries need to be able to power other programs and projects,” he said.

A nuclear power plant, Zubiri said, might take six years to develop starting from its infancy, but can deliver thousands of megawatts from a single plant.

He said the facility must be built right, strong enough to withstand calamities, and away from earthquake faults.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, a known environmentalist, said she is open to exploring the possibility of nuclear energy but it must be considered “clean energy”.

“I may not be an expert in nuclear energy. I am open to hearing discussions and consultations with various stakeholders and experts in science on nuclear energy. I have read that nuclear energy is said to be clean. However, what about the nuclear waste? I am interested to know how it will be handled. At the same time, the safety measures,” she said.

Senator Francis Tolentino is likewise in favor of nuclear energy, which he learned has zero emission.

Meanwhile, the government of France is willing to help the Philippines on nuclear power development. France itself has been a major nuclear power player and therefore their willingness to share their expertise is significant for Filipinos. Posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The French government is keen to help the Philippines develop its nuclear power program as the Marcos administration looks for other reliable sources of energy.

French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz said the embassy has met with some of the Cabinet members and nuclear power was listed among the key areas Paris and Manila could cooperate on.

“(T)here’s obviously an interest. As I said, we have an experience and expertise in many different sectors of renewable energy, including the nuclear sector,” Boccoz said at a reception in Makati City on Tuesday.

She said working on small modular reactors is “probably much more realistic” than reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

“I think that this is a thing of the past because the technologies have evolved so much that it wouldn’t really make sense to work to build this kind of project and it’s probably too big and it probably needs too much of the grid to be operational,” she added.

“So having a sort of more modular systems is probably much more realistic and also in terms of the terrain here and the systemic risks and others. These are much smaller units that can be much more easily protected.”

Boccoz, meanwhile, clarified that talks are still in the “very early stages” as Manila has to put in place a framework first.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the renewed national interest about nuclear power? Are the climate change extremists and modern day Leftists still lying to you that nuclear power is bad while unreliable energy forms like solar and wind power are better? Are you willing to give nuclear power in the Philippines a chance?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

High time for Philippines to use nuclear power to ensure clean, abundant and affordable energy for the people

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the other economic and geopolitical developments related to it caused oil prices to spike. Here in the Philippines, the latest round of fuel price hikes resulted in diesel averaging around P65 per liter while unleaded gasoline is now past the P70/liter mark. Inevitably, the spike in crude oil prices will lead to a series of increases on food, transportation, delivery services, electricity and more.

Inflation really affects everyone and as far as the Philippines is concerned, the timing is really bad because Metro Manila and other parts of the country under Alert Level 1 status is experiencing a revival of commerce and increased number of people moving around. Along the way, the national average of new COVID-19 cases has been averaging in the hundreds the past several days.

Times like these, major decisions on ensuring abundant, clean and affordable energy for the Philippines are needed. In relation to this, President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed a major executive order (EO) that includes nuclear power for the country’s energy mix, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order (EO) 164 that now includes the potential of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

Released on Thursday, EO 164 was signed by the Chief Executive last February 28.

This policy is the start of the national nuclear power program,” said Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. in a press conference.

Under the new policy, it stated that the country “shall ensure the peaceful use of nuclear technology anchored on critical tenets of public safety, national security, energy self-sufficiency, and environmental sustainability”.

Duterte issued the policy following the recommendation of the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC), which conducted a pre-feasibility study and public consultation on the matter.

Through EO 164, the Chief Executive has recognized that nuclear power can be a reliable, cost-competitive, and environment-friendly source of energy based on the experience of highly developed countries.

For the country to achieve its sustained growth targets, it must ensure that it has a reliable, secure, sustainable, quality and affordable electricity supply, including sufficient reserve to guarantee that there will be no disruptions in the power supply,” the policy read.

It added the use of nuclear energy will address the increasing demand for clean energy, rising by 4.4 percent annually, or an additional capacity of 68 gigawatts by 2040.

The EO still included the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in the national nuclear program, but other nuclear power installations will be pursued.

The BNPP was the only nuclear power plant in the region during the 1980s, as the Philippines was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to embark on a nuclear energy program.

However, the project was mothballed because of corruption allegations and safety concerns on the use of nuclear energy.

A study conducted by Russia State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) in 2017 said the rehabilitation of BNPP will require around USD3 billion to USD4 billion.

The public is also becoming more open to the potential of nuclear energy.

“(A) Public Perception Survey on Nuclear Energy in 2019 indicated that almost 79 percent of Filipinos expressed approval or acceptability of the possible use or rehabilitation of an existing nuclear power plant,” the EO said.

The above report ended stating that 65% (of those who took the survey) approved the construction of new nuclear power plants and 78% are open to learning more about nuclear energy.

Of course, there is still this long-lasting fear and paranoia about nuclear power being too dangerous for the Philippines to have. Nuclear-related disasters like the one in Fukushima (2011) and Chernobyl (1986) are still remembered and there are also lots of anti-nuclear activists who continue to make noise.

No matter what those climate change extremists, social justice warriors (SJWs), modern day socialists and anti-nuclear power activists say, nothing changes the fact that nuclear power is the answer to meet nations’ constant demand for energy that is also clear, abundant and cost efficient. Watch and learn from the videos below…

Going back to the executive order Duterte signed, Albay Representative Joey Salceda (who is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee) and presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. support nuclear power gave their respective reactions (click here and here).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about nuclear power as an added option for the Philippines energy mix? Are you still worried about nuclear power being too dangerous because the people who oppose it scared you? Are you able to tell if the anti-nuclear activists have been spreading lies and misinformation just to manipulate you to oppose nuclear power?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/