COST PROJECTIONS for electricity generated by proposed nuclear power plants need to reflect the cost of storing radioactive waste material, a non-government organization (NGO) said.
Gerry C. Arances, convenor of People for Power Coalition and executive director of the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development, said nuclear power proponents who put forward affordability arguments are not accounting for the cost of storing nuclear waste.
“(We need to) see the pricing when the nuclear proponents incorporate waste disposal and waste management because that’s one of the largest (expenses),” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a briefing.
Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said in a forum last month that the government is laying the groundwork to “satisfy the competency requirements” based on the milestone approach of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Mr. Lotilla said the Department of Energy has started drafting the national policy and strategy for safety in nuclear energy, which will set out the government’s commitment to achieve the fundamental safety objectives and to adopt the safety principles established by the IAEA.
The policy document is intended to foster transparency in all activities related to the nuclear energy program, particularly on the protection of people and the environment, he said.
Mr. Arances said that unlike nuclear energy, renewable energy has “already proven” its low cost.
With renewable energy, “there is no risk, no need to import,” he added.
The government hopes to increase the share of renewable energy in the power mix to 35% by 2030 and to 50% by 2040.
“In all the studies that have been released, those have not incorporated the financials of waste materials. Who will ensure the security of waste materials? National Government? Does that (include) all the risks and financial requirements?” Mr. Arances said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera