PHL pushes for peaceful use of nuclear tech at ASEAN forum

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 09:46 AM    Views : 2770by:GMA News Online

The Philippines pushed for cooperation among nations in the peaceful use of nuclear technology and in addressing nuclear threats.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for Policy Evan Garcia said the ASEAN Regional Forum's (ARF's) members have a "common stake" in ensuring peaceful use of nuclear technology.

"Our global environment remains increasingly vulnerable, as the issues of nuclear terrorism and nuclear safety cannot be confined within national borders. Hence, avenues for strengthening regional and international knowledge-sharing, networking, capacity-building, and cooperation are vital to confront these pressing challenges," he said at the opening of the 5th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in Makati City.
'Legitimate right'

He said the peaceful use of nuclear technology is a "legitimate right" of all parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but also has corresponding responsibilities.

Co-chairing the meeting, which focused on peaceful uses of nuclear technology, were the Philippines, Australia and Japan.

The peaceful use of nuclear technology is one of three pillars in the work of the ARF on nuclear matters. The other two are non-proliferation and disarmament.

ARF is a venue for multilateral dialogue on regional security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. It marks its 20th anniversary this year.

Also attending the event were representatives from 23 countries and from international organizations, including:

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP)

The DFA said the participants exchanged views on the applications of nuclear technology in various fields, including environmental protection, food and agriculture, and health.

It said they also discussed IAEA standards on nuclear safety and security, preventing nuclear terrorism, and steps to improve nuclear safety worldwide.
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

The forum coincides with the recent commemoration of the completion of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) almost 30 years ago.

A group of journalists and bloggers headed to Morong, Bataan, to visit the BNPP on the anniversary of its completion on May 28, 1984.

The visit was organized in an effort to jumpstart renewed interest in nuclear energy as a viable source of power for the country.

The BNPP, or the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant I (PNPP-1) as recorded in the detailed progress document of the National Power Corporation (Napocor), was commissioned by then President Ferdinand Marcos in response to the 1973 global oil crisis.

According to Napocor, the BNPP was 94.5% complete by the end of 1984 and was ready for start-up operations.

"Hot Functional Testing was completed on May 28, 1984,"

Napocor said—meaning that the plant had undergone actual operation proving that the whole facility actually worked and ran.

But, due to safety and environmental concerns, the $2.3 billion BNPP was mothballed and has not been run since. — with Asti Flores/TJD, GMA News


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