Nuclear power seriously considered for ASEAN power grid

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Map showing member countries of ASEAN

The Philippines and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are becoming alarmed over the rapid increase of global oil prices and are seriously looking into prospects of building nuclear powered plants to energize the electric needs of the 10 member nations of ASEAN.

The heads of Asean Power Utilities/Authorities (Hapua) Council got together in Manila this week and are forming an ASEAN Power Grid.

Energy ministers and delegates from ASEAN member countries, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines are pursuing alternative sources of energy and connecting the power grids of the member countries.

A task force was created by the Philippines Department of Energy that will look into the possibility of using nuclear power as a counter-measure to dependence on oil to power up the Philippines and the rest of ASEAN's power generators.

Energy secretary Angelo Reyes also received the recommendations from a six-man team from the International Atomic Energy Agency on the prospects of operating the moth-balled Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

The Bataan nuclear plant was first built in the late seventies under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos but was scrapped by President Corazon Aquino in 1986 owing to kick-backs in the plant's construction and safety concerns.

Reyes stated that the council and the department was also looking into alternative sources of renewal energy such as solar and wind power, biomass, geothermal and hydro-electric to reduce dependency on fossil fuel.

For the time, the Philippines has implemented several measures on conserving energy particularly the conversion to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).