The Philippines wants to revive nuclear ambitions

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the country’s energy department to revive a nuclear power plant built by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Duterte said on March 3 that the move was to lessen the country’s dependence on non-renewable coal, which contributes 57 percent of the country’s power.

“The energy department is hereby mandated to develop and implement the nuclear energy programme as part of the Philippine Energy Plan by utilizing the nuclear power plant,” he said in an executive order.

The facility in question is the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Bataan province, central Luzon. It was built in the 1980s at a cost of US$2.2 billion to generate 623 megawatts of electricity. It was never commissioned, however, because of anti-nuclear protests.

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