DOE: Pinoys warming up to nuclear energy

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    Amid criticisms on government’s plan to pursue nuclear as a possible energy source in the country, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi said harnessing power from such source is slowly being accepted by Filipinos.

    Citing the results of a survey the DOE commissioned last year to Social Weather Station, Cusi said 78 percent of the respondents are willing to learn more about nuclear energy while 79 percent are okay with the possible use or rehabilitation of the mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant.

    He said 65 percent of the respondents are also in favor of building a new nuclear power plant while 70 percent want government funds to finance the construction of a nuclear power plant.

    “With such a positive turnout, I feel now is time for intensified and informed public discussions on nuclear energy and its potential role in the Philippine energy security agenda,” Cusi said.

    The DOE did not specify the scope and the number of respondents involved in the survey.

    Cusi also assured that while not all Filipinos are open to the idea of nuclear power plants, the inter-agency committee created by Executive Order (EO) 116, has a comprehensive and integrated communication plan to inform the people of the findings of the study .

    “Given that the idea of harnessing nuclear power for our energy needs is a highly politicized issue in our country, we have been working to ensure that public and stakeholder acceptance is fully and properly addressed,” Cusi said.

    The body created by the EO 116 is required to submit an initial report to the Office of the President within six months or by January 2021.