Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III opposed the proposal to construct a new nuclear power plant, suggesting that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) has to undergo intensive assessment first.
According to a Manila Bulletin report, Dominguez expressed that the government should first examine whether the BNPP is still safe, economically beneficial, and viable for operations before constructing another nuclear power plant. This was in light of President Duterte’s recent agreement with a Russian company to explore possible intercounty cooperation for the construction of nuclear power plants in the country.
“It [BNPP] has been sitting there since the 70s. I’m okay looking at it because we spent $2 billion on that […] we just stopped paying recently after years and years and years. We should really seriously look at it,” Dominguez was quoted saying in the report.
It was disclosed that the construction of the 620 MW nuclear power plant cost roughly P516.26 billion — equivalent to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)’s one-year budget.
“It has never generated a single watt power. That plant has a sister plant, exactly the same, in Slovenia which has been operating since the 1970s, so it must be good,” Dominguez noted.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo clarified that the proposal was just a framework and is not yet finalized, stating that the president wanted to study the proposal first.
Dominguez had been encouraging the Department of Energy (DOE) to “really study” the possible revival of the BNPP since recent technology advancements can ensure the safety of the people and the area where the plant is located.
Supporters of the revival of the plant allayed fears of the possible health and safety hazards because of new technological developments which made operations safer and cleaner.