Resolution introduced in Puerto Rico House to investigate nuclear power production
SAN JUAN – The spokesman of the majority New Progressive Party (NPP) in Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Rep. Gabriel Rodríguez, introduced Monday a resolution ordering the chamber’s Government Committee to investigate the need for the establishment of nuclear energy plants on the island.
House Resolution 1189 states that research on the incorporation of nuclear energy should include a careful look at new modular technologies for the design and operation of the plants and the safety measures required.
Rodríguez said in a release that after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island electrical grid, “it is imperative to look for new, more efficient and less expensive sources” of energy production.
“One of the most damaged areas and that took longer to restore service was the mountainside. In my representative district #13, there were sectors where electricity was restored a year after Hurricane Maria,” the lawmaker said.
He said the production of power with natural gas, rather than fossil fuels or renewable sources, has been discussed publicly and that both alternatives have advantages and disadvantages for customers.
“The important thing is we do not rule out any of the options in advance, among them the production of nuclear energy,” the lawmaker said, adding the technology has advanced along with safety, but a “feasibility study for its incorporation for the benefit of our citizens” has not been conducted.
If passed, the committee will have 180 days to present a report on the findings to the House of Representatives.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is in the process of rebuilding the island’s grid and is undergoing a transformation under Act 120 of 2018, which involves the concession of its transmission and distribution system and the sale of its assets.
Rodríguez’s release adds that, stateside, there are “104 active nuclear power plants, in California, South Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, among others, as well as an inactive nuclear power plant and 26 dismantled nuclear power plants.”