Why the BNPP should be every Filipino’s concern

A move is afoot in the House of Representatives, initiated by Rep. Mark Cojuangco of Pangasinan, to rehabilitate for commercial operation the Bataan nuclear power plant (BNPP). The BNPP has been sitting idle for the past 23 years, a monument to government corruption and nuclear folly.

The cost of rehabilitation has been estimated at $1 billion. Considering the history of cost escalation in the nuclear industry, however, the actual cost may reach two to three times the initial estimates, or even more.

Filipinos living far from Bataan may think they have more urgent concerns than a nuclear plant. They must think again, for several reasons:

1. The Cojuangco proposal will fund the BNPP rehabilitation from a tax to be levied on the consumption of electricity, whether it is from a hydropower, wind, solar, coal or oil plant. Thus, every electricity consumer from Batanes to Tawi-tawi will be hit financially. That means most of us.

2. The government has plans for ten more nuclear plants all over the Philippines which could not be implemented because of anti-nuclear opposition. The target sites are a closely-guarded government secret. If the opposition to the BNPP is weak enough for the government to overcome, this will open the floodgates to more nuclear plants, possibly in your region or province. Or even in your hometown. Remember: several studies have indicated that leukemia and other cancers are more common, especially among children, within five to ten kilometers of nuclear plants.

3. Huge government projects draw corrupt bureaucrats like flies to garbage. These huge nuclear projects, costing several billion dollars each, will suck in funds from other government projects. They will mire the country in deeper debt. Yet much of the money will simply line the pockets of bureaucrats, suppliers and contractors. In the end, we the taxpayers, our grandchildren, and their grandchildren will end up footing the entire bill, as we did with the BNPP.

We have so many rivers, waterfalls and hotsprings that can provide us cleaner, safer, cheaper hydroelectric and geothermal power. Wind and wave can further supplement these.

For years now, the prices of computers, LCD projectors, digital cameras, and other electronic equipment have been steadily going down, thanks to large-scale production. The basic element in all these products is silicon, the same raw material used in solar panels. With the large-scale production of solar panels which have been announced in China, Germany and other countries, we may soon enjoy cheap solar power too. Then we may not even need a Meralco or an electric coop to enjoy the benefits of electricity.

But the government will have no money for any of these, if we open our doors to the BNPP and ten other nuclear plants.

3 Comments

  1. manny espina
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    This is Bullshit, the promoter of the BNPP knows the energy demand and competition of the future during his time. If this was not scrapped soon after the peoples power and the US intelligence intervention, the Philippines should be in par today with Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, China, Pakistan, and not be bullied by other countries such as Malaysia, China,etc. Why? you know why. Not speaking that there will be no OFW’s in this categories today. OFW’S will stay home with their families and work here to the benefit of our country.(Broken homes, families, due to overseas job location will at least be eradicated.)

    Nuclear Electric Power is very cheap power.If we have cheap electricity today Filipinos will not go hungry, Tomorrow and the next day ,the Filipinos will not worry on getting hungry because they have cheap electricity, instead worry about the extra electric power we have and in this manner we will divert time into production and the country will only then truly/genuinely benefit from the people’s individual growth now we can say I AM A FILIPINO with pride and dignity globally (Behavioral Chain Reaction).

    We are getting behind further each day and more horrible things we will see around day by day in our country, such as a father jumping with his baby because he can no longer survive poverty etc. Nuclear electric power and transparency is the only Hope/Solution left for us Filipinos. Now is the time were other countries could not easily negatively influence the present generation.

    Developed countries spent huge time and resources to bring about what is nuclear power today(Efficiency, Safety etc.), What we Filipinos can do is simply to adapt the technology into our country, which is the best thing to do.

    Why are we not doing this after all this time???????? we are not blind, The Brain Drain was a generation ago, What do we call ourselves????????? What is the world calling us?????

  2. Roberto Verzola
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Nuclear power is not cheap. If the true cost of nuclear power were reflected in its price, it will be one of the most expensive sources of electricity.

    Countries like the U.S., U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, etc. want nuclear technology because they want to have military nuclear capability. The commercial applications are secondary. The military applications in fact subsidize the commercial applications, so that the true cost of nuclear electricity is hidden from the public.

    Even if electricity were cheap, it does not necessarily eliminate poverty. If it did, Mindanao residents would be richer than Luzon residents.

  3. manny espina
    Posted March 21, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    During World War 2. The German Scientist in have two options to develop nuclear power. The first one they opted was a nuclear reactor that produces enough material for a nuclear warhead, the second is the pebble bed reactor that uses graphite lined with uranium grade and super heats helium in turn to generate electric power but does not have waste residue for military purposes. This is the second generation of modular reactors almost developed today and available in the next few years, safer and cheaper and is suited to countries that scrutinize extensively the pros and cons of nuclear power such as ours.

    If only we open our minds rationally and see the benefits of nuclear power TODAY and at the same time the countries problems such as poverty, hunger, work, fresh graduates, domestic helpers,suicides with reason of poverty(Kristel), insurgency, Muslim conflicts, territorial claims and a lot more.At least we may be capable to address such problems when we have the resources.

    Who would invest/visit to a place with expensive/insufficient electricity?
    The United Arab Emirates,Indonesia,Vietnam,Malaysia has shown interest on the path to nuclear power utilization.This will further make our country left behind (Kulelat)
    It pains me when we Filipinos are called such names and i could’t react.

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