DOE Secretary Cusi Speaks at Opening of IAEA Scientific Forum
TAGUIG CITY – Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi yesterday (22 September) virtually joined the roster of high-level speakers from around the world, for the Opening Session of the two-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Scientific Forum.
The Scientific Forum on “Nuclear Power and the Clean Energy Transition” is being held in conjunction with the 64th IAEA General Conference (21-25 September 2020). Featuring notable speakers from the government, industry, and international organizations, the event seeks to facilitate discussions on how nuclear power figures in the global transition to clean energy.
In his speech, Secretary Cusi shared the Philippines’ on-going journey towards exploring the potential of safely harnessing and utilizing nuclear energy, to help the country attain its energy security and sustainability goals.
He also expressed his regret over the country having missed its chance to use nuclear energy as an alternative source of power early on.
“I firmly believe that our country’s economic landscape would be much different had we tapped nuclear power back then. Instead, our economic development was stunted, whereas our regional neighbors who had boldly ventured towards nuclear, had all been transformed into economic powerhouses,” he emphasized.
The Energy Chief also updated Forum participants on recent nuclear-related developments in the Philippines, particularly Executive Order (EO) No. 116.
Signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on 24 July 2020, the EO provides for the creation of the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee to conduct a study on the adoption of a national position on a Nuclear Energy Program. The Inter-Agency Committee will be chaired by the DOE.
“While we work closely with the IAEA and all our stakeholders in sufficiently addressing all issues and concerns, I continue my call to my countrymen to consider the potential of safely using nuclear energy to meet our ever-growing power needs,” Secretary Cusi concluded.
Among the other speakers at the Opening Session were Brazil’s Minister of Mines and Energy Bento Albuquerque; United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma; United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova; International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol; Urenco Limited Chief Executive Officer Boris Schucht; China Atomic Energy Authority Chairman Zhang Kejian; and CEA Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Francois Jacq.