President Rodrigo Duterte says it's unlikely the Philippines will adopt nuclear energy during his six-year term because of safety concerns.

Duterte told reporters that while nuclear energy remains an important option in the future, the Philippines needs to undertake a study and put safeguards in place.

Duterte said: "Not now because we have to come up with safeguards, really, really tight safeguards, to assure that there will be no disasters."

In 1977, construction of the Philippines' first nuclear power plant began under then dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Bataan province about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Manila. The plant was completed in 1985 but was never operated because of safety and bribery concerns.