Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel

MANILA – Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel believes that “greater use” of nuclear energy is the way for the Philippines to go.

Pimentel was in Europe to study peaceful uses of nuclear technology with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

IAEA is an international agency that facilitates technical and scientific cooperation among nations for the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology.

While some people associate nuclear power with “widespread destruction,” the lawmaker said this technology is also a “very powerful tool for progress that the Philippines should learn how to utilize for our own benefit.”

He said that IAEA officials discussed with the Philippine delegation the nuclear weapon situation in other countries.

They also visited the IAEA laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria, the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration, and the Krško Nuclear Power Plant in Krško, Slovenia.

“We can use nuclear technology not just to generate electricity, but also for pest control, food and environment protection, plant breeding and genetics, soil and water management, animal protection and health, and dosimetry, or fighting cancer,” Pimentel said.

The senator vowed to work closely with the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) to see how the Senate can help the agency improve the lives of Filipinos.

“We should not deny the benefits of this technology to Filipinos,” he added.

Joining Pimentel in Europe were Senate committee on energy chairman Sherwin Gatchalian, Department of Energy undersecretary Donato Marcos, and PNRI Director Dr. Carlo Arcilla./PN

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