Greenpeace reiterates opposition to dated, dirty, and dangerous nuclear energy

Press release - September 1, 2016
In reaction to the Department of Energy’s pronouncements that the Philippines is reconsidering nuclear energy to solve power shortage and the high cost of electricity, and being open to the possibility of rehabilitating the Marcos-era Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Reuben Muni, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines, said:

"Greenpeace has always campaigned against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity.

"Nuclear power is a dirty, dangerous, and dated technology. It’s an expensive diversion from the task of developing and deploying renewable energy, energy efficiency and the more decentralized energy systems required for a low carbon future.

"The International Energy Agency’s global Energy Technologies Perspectives 2014: Harnessing Electricity’s Potential, released in May 2014, states that, using a two-degree Celsius warming as a reference scenario, renewable energy will be responsible for almost half (46%) of the CO2 reductions in the power sector leading up to year 2050. On the other hand, using the same reference scenario, nuclear energy provides only 13% of the cumulative reductions. This goes to show that in the long-term, renewable energy far outweighs the nuclear energy sector in terms of contributing to carbon dioxide reductions globally.

"According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, as of May 2016, 30 countries worldwide are operating 444 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 63 new nuclear plants are under construction. However, nuclear power plants only provided a mere 10.9% of the world's electricity production in 2012. [1]

"Nuclear further poses multiple threats to people and the environment from its operations, including the risks and environmental damage from uranium mining, processing and transport; the potential hazard of a serious accident; the unsolved problem of nuclear waste; and, the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.

"The Philippine government should never allow nuclear power to be part of the national energy reform agenda. Re-commissioning the BNPP is not a way forward, contrary to what its proponents would have us believe. It would be a major mistake, given its troublesome history, its close proximity to active fault lines, as well as the enormous costs that its rehabilitation would require. Not only does it seem outrageous to dig up mistakes from the past, it would be a complete waste of money which would be much better spent on further development of the country’s plentiful renewable energy sources—the real solutions to climate change.

"The Philippines needs an Energy [R]evolution - a sustainable path to quit dirty, dangerous fuels by transitioning to renewable energy and energy efficiency. The potential for renewable energy in the country is vast and far greater than that of nuclear power or fossil fuels. As the Philippines moves to become the ASEAN leader in clean, green and renewable energy, so should it take the lead in scrapping nuclear power in the region."

Notes to the editor:

[1] World Statistics. Nuclear Energy Around the World.

For more information:

Reuben Muni, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines
Email: | Mobile: (+63) 917 806 9084

Angelica Carballo-Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines
Email: | Mobile: (+63) 949 889 1332