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Prospects of a Nuclear Future

Imagine having limited access to energy and power in your homes and offices. Picture a world
without sustainable power altogether. That is the future that we are headed. A power crisis will soon be
upon us and it will come much faster than you would think. It may already be plaguing us now. Constant
power shortages and spontaneous blackouts are only symptoms, merely tell-tale signs of what is to come
in the near future. More than 60% of all the energy in the Philippines comes from burning fossil fuels and
our dependency on fossil fuels has only increased from 1989 until the present date. Many
environmentalists are considering the prospect of fossil fuel depletion. Saying that the Philippines should
get off the fossil fuel wagon. Because this industry could collapse on any moment in time and if that
happens then we would have lost more than half the source of our energy in a flash. What do we do by
then?

The potential of nuclear energy in the Philippines is limitless and is bound only by our capacity to
take advantage of this vast potential and by the ways that we could implement the low-cost energy that it
provides. The initial construction of nuclear power plants are large but besides that, the cost to producing
the same amount of electricity a typical power plant would is much lower. On average, nuclear power
plants are 140% more cost-effective than that of fossil fuel power plants. This on itself is a big upside for
nuclear energy because this could distribute energy to more people at a relatively low price that anyone
in the country could afford. This would mean that power and energy is now in the clutch of the lower class
and the lower-middle class, who in the most part of our history have struggled to afford the necessity of
power and energy. When we truly detach ourselves from the use of fossil fuels as the primary source of
energy in the Philippines is when we stop relying on the import of oil from other countries, specifically
countries in the Middle East, who are monopolizing the oil and natural gas industry. Energy independence
from these countries would mean much for the economy of the country. In recent years, there have been a
few wars in the Middle East that proliferated the increase of oil price all over the world which in turn
lowers the GDP of the country significantly, may it be directly or indirectly. Future economic growth will
be impeded by the depletion of critical natural resources, the increased costs of extraction and its
associated negative environmental impacts, and ever mounting debt. This is not a temporary
phenomenon, it is the start of a long series of cyclical recessions, and it signifies the end of growth. It is a
great disruption to our normal patterns. This crisis may be our best chance to start a new monetary and
economic system. It requires a paradigm shift, and for the institutions which parrot economic growth as
their catechism this will come as a rude shock. But after this, we would really be independent from other
states and nations, surviving with a sustainable energy source that we could produce ourselves and have
just enough or more than enough for a rapidly growing country like the Philippines.
With the exception of renewable energy sources like solar power, wind power and hydroelectric
plants which virtually cost nothing when it comes to generating the energy we need compared to other
sources. But frankly, these still have a ways to go for it to be a stable and reliable source of energy for the
common Filipino citizen, the technology is just not there yet. With that being said, I think that nuclear
energy could very well serve as a platform or a stable base when we decide to transition from
unrenewable sources of energy, like fossil fuels, oils, and natural gas, to those that are sustainable and
renewable ones just like wind and solar. I think that nuclear power is the most efficient way to take the
place of fossil fuel energy, if we were to go completely renewable in the long run, and give time for the
renewable sources technology to catch up and be an efficient and reliable source of energy.

Because of the low-cost of electricity and power production and having no repercussions to the
environment, assuming we dispose of wastes and limit the production of greenhouse gases, I really do
expect or at the very least I want to expect a nuclear future for the country but it will not be a future that
lasts. I think that nuclear energy will just a transition phase until renewable sources of energy catch up to
the needs of the masses in the Philippines and be the primary source of power to keep the country
running.