Alpas Pinas celebrates Earth Day, promotes benefits of Nuclear Energy for Cleaner PH

Quezon City – April 29, 2024 – In celebration of Earth Day, Alpas Pinas, a non-stock, non-profit organization leading the advocacy for nuclear energy as a clean energy source, together with the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) celebrated Earth Day under the theme ‘Every Day is Earth Day with Clean and Green Nuclear Energy.’

The celebration took place at the PNRI Compound, located along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City.

Focusing on the cleanliness, affordability, and reliability of nuclear energy, the Earth Day event highlighted how integrating this energy solution into the country’s energy mix ensures a stable and reliable power supply while also fostering a cleaner and greener environment for the Philippines.

Alpas Pinas Convenor Gayle Certeza emphasized the environmental harm caused by the country’s current energy source, fossil fuels, and highlighted Nuclear Energy as a clean energy technology due to its lack of greenhouse gas emissions.

“As we celebrate Earth Day, let this serve as an important reminder that immediate action is imperative; otherwise, climate change will only worsen. With 77% of the Philippines’ energy coming from fossil fuels, Nuclear Energy not only eliminates greenhouse gas emissions but also provides a denser energy source capable of meeting our electricity needs for future generations,” said Certeza.

The recent red and yellow alerts declared by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in the Luzon grid, following forced outages in 19 power plants, underscore a pressing need to strengthen the country’s energy capacity. While the alerts have been lifted, it’s crucial to recognize the ongoing concern. The growing electricity demand suggests the potential for future similar occurrences, emphasizing the necessity for proactive measures to prevent further power supply interruptions.

Pangasinan 2nd District Representative Mark Cojuangco, an advocate for nuclear energy and recipient of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Distinguished Public Service Award, echoes the statement as he highlighted the urgent need for a reliable energy source to meet the growing energy demand of every household.

“The Philippines has tried all sources of energy and they have failed to make electricity clean and cheap. There is only one solution right now, and that is nuclear energy. What we fail to realize is that we need an intrinsically clean, cheap, and reliable energy source that only nuclear energy can provide,” Cojuangco added.

While organizations explore other energy solutions to incorporate into the mix, such as renewable energy and power facilities driven by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to reduce electricity costs, the former is heavily reliant on a backup power source, which still needs to be either from coal or gas and the latter is poised to bring significantly higher energy prices, as stated by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

For PNRI, this celebration signifies their ongoing studies, research, and education on nuclear energy in the Philippines. It also serves to open a dialogue with the public about PNRI’s operational nuclear research reactor, which is one of the few of its kind in the world.

“Last year, the Philippines’ first and only nuclear reactor training facility named Philippine Research Reactor – 1 Subcritical Assembly for Training, Education and Research (PRR-1 SATER) became fully operational and has been granted permission to operate. With this facility, we aim to foster growth within the research and academic community to address any research needs required to ensure the safe use of nuclear energy,” said PNRI Director Dr. Carlo Arcilla.

The PNRI, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is mandated to undertake research and development activities in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Aside from this, it is also tasked with developing nuclear energy as a viable solution to the high cost of power, a greener source of energy and as practical applications in the fields of manufacturing, agriculture, and medicine.