The Duterte administration is urged to rethink its plans to revive the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Bataan Power Plant (BNPP) due to dangers wrapped around its possible operation.
Akabayan party list representative Tom Villarin said that the Fukishima accident in Japan and the Chernobyl disaster in Russia should be a reminder for Filipinos on what’s at stake in reviving the Bataan plant.
“If a rich, scientifically advanced country like Japan had to spend hundreds of millions to avoid a meltdown in Fukushima, imagine what it would cost the Philippines to clean up a BNPP accident,” Villarin said.
“Countries with more advanced technologies like Japan and Germany are already shunning nuclear energy,” he added.
The party list rep added that reviving the BNPP is not worth putting the safety, health and welfare of the Filipino people.
The government earlier said that it would require around $1 billion to rehabilitate the 30-year-old plant.
Villarin said that the funds for rehabilitation should just be used in renewable energy projects.
“The estimated $1 billion required to rehabilitate the BNPP could go instead into pushing for renewables, where even if initial capital layout is high, has proven cheaper in the long run. Costs of turbines, solar panels and batteries have gone down as a result of research and development,” he said.
The spokesperson added that they are afraid that the current administration is on a roll in reviving the ghost of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“We are afraid this administration is on a roll in reviving the ghost of Marcos, first by allowing a hero’s burial for the dictator and now reviving the dictator’s corruption-laden pet project,” he added.
Last Saturday, Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said that President Rodrigo Duterte approved the rehabilitation of the BNPP.
This is despite saying that the country will not run on nuclear energy under his term.