BAGAC, BATAAN: Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Director Carlo Arcilla reiterated that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) is not built on top of a fault and on top of a volcano, debunking speculations surrounding the facility.
However, Arcilla does not want to ignore these objections because he said which need to these issues will be revived in the coming weeks especially if the government moves to rehabilitating the nuclear facility.
The geologist, who conducted his own research in the past, cited the thesis of graduate which tackled the Lubao Fault in Pampanga.
“She showed that there is actually a fault there but whether that fault continues all the way here is an open question,” Arcilla said.
“But the primary consideration is that number one, if there’s such a fault, what is the likely maximum earthquake that can happen from there. You can determine that from the length of the fault. And if that’s the case, is the plant designed to withstand the maximum earthquake,” he added.
Last November, geologist Kelvin Rodolfo pointed out that an active earthquake fault in Pampanga, running through Natib volcano and the Bataan Nuclear Popwer Plant, was reason enough for the Duterte administration to halt its plans to re-energize the power plant.
Mt. Natib is a dormant volcano and caldera complex in the province with an elevation of 1,253 meters above sea level.
In the revised version of his paper entitled “Geological Hazards of the Bataan Nuclear Plant: Propaganda and Scientific Fact,” Rodolfo claimed that he, Prof. Fernando Siringan, and his students first noticed “a sharp lineament in Lubao” in 1997.
Lineament is a linear feature on the earth’s surface which denotes an underlying geological structure such as a fault.
He then noted the possibility that the lineament was a fault, and the likelihood that it extends under Mt. Natib should be explored immediately by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs) and other institutions.
Arcilla said he wanted to conduct more studies on this with the PNRI although the mountain last erupted about 60,000 to 70,000 years ago.