Greenpeace today called on the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to abandon all nuclear power plans, including those currently included the Philippine Energy Plan and the Energy Reform Agenda, and instead focus on achieving long term sustainable progress through safe and reliable renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
The environmental organization also challenged legislators, particularly those who have just this week reversed their pro-nuclear stance, to author a bill that would declare the Philippines a nuclear energy-free zone.
“Our thoughts remain with the Japanese people, who in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami are now faced with a dreadful situation, where instead of being able to plough all resources into rescue and relief efforts, the government is dealing with a crisis caused by the inherent and inescapable risks of nuclear power,” said Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“It is unfortunate that Philippine nuclear proponents need a tragedy such as the one unfolding in Japan, for them to reflect on their dangerous propositions. But they should go beyond merely statements that they are reconsidering their position on nuclear energy, or are putting a moratorium on their nuclear proposals. Nuclear power should be removed from the country’s current and future energy plans: it should be deleted from the energy agenda, and there should be legislation to block all future nuclear proposals,” she added.
Nuclear proponents in the Philippines have been trying to promote the technology with claims that nuclear power is ‘safe,’ and that it is a ‘cheap’ source of electricity. But the statements from the nuclear lobby are more rhetoric than reality. Nuclear power has been proven to be an economic and environmental disaster around the world, aside from threatening peace and stability, and shrouding communities residing near nuclear power plants and waste sites under constant fear of accidents.
Japan, which has 54 nuclear reactors (11 of which have been shut down since the quake), still has one of the highest costs of electricity in Asia . France, which operates 58 reactors that provide 83% of the country’s electricity needs, is the largest nuclear energy user, but looking at its economic development for the last 40 years with comparable countries that have made very different energy choices reveal that no competitive advantage can be attributed to nuclear power.
In the Philippines, the lack of a nuclear safety framework, which include legal and governmental infrastructure, radioactive emergency response and management systems, protocols on radioactive materials transport and nuclear waste management, and accident liabilities, are questions that nuclear advocates have never addressed.
“After more than half a century of study, development and use, nuclear technology still cannot guarantee energy security, much less the safety and health of people and the environment. Nuclear energy is inherently dangerous and an expensive distraction. Progress can only be achieved through clean renewable energy, unhindered by dirty, dangerous and finite fuels. The government must phase out both nuclear plans and fossil fuels as soon as possible, and invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that are not only environmentally sound, but also affordable and reliable,” said Obusan.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace.
- http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/elecprih.html. As of Feb 2011, the Philippines has the highest cost, not just in Asia, but in the world, http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=660035&publicationSubCategoryId=63
- http://www.cleantechasiaonline.com/philippine-bataan-nuclear-power-plant-revival-lessons-french-experience; http://www.global-chance.org/spip.php?article89
- Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Niger, Namibia, Uzbekistan
- Greenpeace is proposing a roadmap targeting 50% RE and 20% EE by 2020 for the Philippines. http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/What-we-do/Climate-and-Energy/The-solution-an-Energy-revolution/
- Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner, +63 917 584 9663,
- JP Agcaoili, Media Campaigner, +63 917 631 2750, +63 2 3321807 loc 121,