Senators divided over Bataan nuke plant revival

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HELLO Senator Nancy Binay tries to use a telephone inside the three-decade-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Senators inspected the mothballed plant on Friday amid proposals to rehabilitate it to provide additional power supply to Luzon. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN

HELLO Senator Nancy Binay tries to use a telephone inside the three-decade-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Senators inspected the mothballed plant on Friday amid proposals to rehabilitate it to provide additional power supply to Luzon. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN

MORONG, Bataan: Senators are divided on the proposal to revive the three-decade-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant after inspecting the facility on Friday, but they are open to use nuclear power as another source of power for the country.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who heads the Senate committee on energy, noted that aside from the BNPP being too old, there were other issues.

“As of now I’m still not convinced in reviving the plant, because of the issues hounding it including the technical expertise needed to run the plant,” Gatchalian told reporters.

Gatchalian went to the BNPP along with Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito and Nancy Binay to personally see the condition of the more than $2.3-billion power plant constructed during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

The plant was designed to generate 620 megawatts, or 10 percent of the power requirement of Luzon.
Gatchalian said reviving BNPP would cost the government $1 billion, too big an amount for an old power plant.
Ejercito favored the rehabilitation of BNPP, saying there were technologies and safety precautions that could be put in place.

He said it would take three to four years to rehabilitate the BNPP while constructing a new power nuclear plant could take seven years at a price tag of $6 billion.

“People were made to believe that nuclear power is dangerous because of politics. But if we will open our minds we will see that it is the safest and cheapest, and a stable and clean source of energy,” he said.

Binay said she would like to seek opinions from experts as well as stakeholders.

“Let’s talk about this deeply. Because our neighbors in the Asean region are already building their own [nuclear power plants]. So why are we going to pass up the opportunity of using it as a source of energy?” Binay said.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara is also open to supporting the proposal to revive the BNPP as an additional source of energy.

But Angara said he also wanted to hear the views of the experts on the safety and technical issues of nuclear power plants.

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6 Comments

  1. Stop being hypocrites and step in to the advance world. We are being left out by our neighbors because of stupid decisions. It is safe, if not why do industrialized nations have it!

  2. kawawa talaga ang bansa ang mag desisyon pra sa atin ay ang mga inosente na senator…my god..puro amateur wla man lang engineering expertise..lalo pa si binay mukhang labandera,ano kaalam-alam sa nuclear technolgy.

  3. Better check it out first with the experts on Nuclear Plant which is mostly SCIENTIST not a Lawmaker or politicians. Law makers or politicians doesnt know nothing about Technology and in this matter… For your information, France is using 70 pct of its energy were Nuclear power..plant.. And even Japan have more than 30 nuclear power plant in their country.. What about our country, ZERO, NOTHING.. kawawa nmn ang Pilipinas,,,, ang yumayaman lang mga oligarch kaya hindi umaasenso ang mamayang filipino dahil sa ayaw talaga ng mga yellow tard businessman na umasenso ang mamayan, instead pinahihirapan pa nila…This is the true and facts…

  4. Nuclear Plants are safer than the other source of energy. Below is the safety records.

    Summary of severe* accidents in energy chains for electricity 1969-2000
    OECD Non-OECD
    Energy chain Fatalities Fatalities/TWy Fatalities Fatalities/TWy
    Coal 2259 157 18,000 597
    Natural gas 1043 85 1000 111
    Hydro 14 3 30,000 10,285
    Nuclear 0 0 31 48
    Data from Paul Scherrer Institut, in OECD 2010. * severe = more than five fatalities
    Comparison of accident statistics in primary energy production
    (Electricity generation accounts for about 40% of total primary energy)
    Fuel Immediate fatalities
    1970-92 Who? Normalised to deaths
    per TWy* electricity
    Coal 6400 workers 342
    Natural gas 1200 workers & public 85
    Hydro 4000 public 883
    Nuclear 31 workers 8
    The technical evaluation of the nuclear plant operations should be left to the Nuclear Engineers and Scientist and not senators and their consultants. PH needs this plant to operate. There are a number benefits not to mention the acquisition of skills and knowledge by Filipino Engineers in nuclear power plants.

  5. No one is experts from those who visited the power nuclear power plant. I been saying even before that a thing like that beyond the knowledge of politician or layman in the field of nuclear power should not be the forefront speaker. Let the experts speak. I know there are stakeholders who might disagree with reviving the nuclear power plant, but again let them know that their particular concern is not the totality of the reality of the nation’s life. We need to meet the energy needed by the people to live. We can listen to all, but we cannot follow them all from their individual perspective. Let us all think that every endeavor, every work there is economic, moral and social impact. When we don’t do it or have it, there is also a moral, economic and social impact. Where and which direction are going to fulfill our dream?

  6. Who is going to maintain and operate this nuclear power plant ?

    Hope it’s not the same idiots (Ceneco) who can’t provide reliable electric power, Hundreds of blackouts every year, steel towers rusting to the point of falling over before anyone does anything about it. Take a look outside at the mess and confusion of the telephone and power lines and tell me that you want these guys operating a nuclear power plant.

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