Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (From Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Facebook)

The inter-agency committee formed to assess the viability of introducing nuclear power into the country’s energy mix will submit its findings by December, a Department of Energy (DOE) official said on Saturday.

“Kailangang matapos na iyong national position study na isusumite kay pangulo under his executive order by December,” Energy Undersecretary Felix Fuentebella said in a Laging Handa briefing.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 116 on July 24, which aims to adopt a national position on a nuclear energy program.

The Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC), chaired and co-chaired by the heads of the Department of Energy and Department of Science and Technology, respectively, was given until January 2021 to submit an initial report to Duterte’s office.

Aside from evaluating the viability of nuclear power and formulating a national strategy, the committee will also be tasked to recommend measures to utilize existing nuclear power facilities such as the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which cost more than $2 billion, was the country’s only nuclear power plant.

In October, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte wanted the Bataan plant revival to “start from the ground.”

“Ibalik sa ground level, tatanungin ang taumbayan ng Bataan kung ano ba talagang gusto nila. Hindi pupuwede na sa taas nanggagaling ang desisyon,” he said when asked about Duterte’s stance on the eyed plant reopening. John Ezekiel J. Hirro