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Cost and safety dangers should rule out nuclear power for the Philippines

Going nuclear, (The Philippine Star ) – October 3, 2020 As if the country didn’t have enough disasters, certain quarters still haven’t given up on harnessing nuclear power for electricity. The idea is to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, built during the Marcos dictatorship. The BNPP was mothballed after the 1986 people power revolt because of a corruption scandal and safety concerns arising from the fact that it sits on an earthquake fault connected to the dormant Mount Natib volcano in Bataan.

A report this year placed the cost of reviving the BNPP, as estimated by a foreign group, at $3 billion to $4 billion. Reviving it will go against a trend in other countries to reduce nuclear power in their energy mix, because of safety concerns in the power plants as well as the risks posed by nuclear waste, which remains radioactive and cannot be destroyed or recycled……..

Like Japan, the Philippines sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Before the start of this year’s pandemic, Taal Volcano’s powerful phreatic explosion emptied surrounding communities, displaced thousands and blanketed towns and cities all the way to Metro Manila with toxic, suffocating ash. Earthquakes and aftershocks continue to be recorded in Taal, with seismologists warning of the possibility of a cataclysmic eruption.

If the BNPP is revived, at great cost to a cash-strapped government, what happens if Mount Natib also acts up, or if an earthquake hits Bataan? If all the proponents of nuclear energy will live together with their immediate families near the BNPP – and not just for show, buying a house nearby while the kids live in an exclusive village far from harm’s way – then by all means, go ahead with the project. https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2020/10/03/2046802/editorial-going-nuclear

October 3, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, Philippines, politics, safety

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