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  • September 20th, 2016
http://newscentral.ph/top- story/bataan-nuclear-power- plant-tapped-alternative- energy-source/
By Chrisheil Acal

September 16 2016
Senators who conducted an ocular inspection of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) on Friday, September 16, are undecided over whether to rehabilitate it as an alternative power source.
Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, chairperson of the committee on energy, said he was not convinced that the 29-year-old plant should be operational because of “technology and safety” issues.
Sen. Nancy Binay, committee member, said she was “open to the idea of the BNPP as an alternative source of energy” so it may be worthwhile to “listen to the other side of the story”.
Sen. Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito, another committee member, said he favoured the rehabilitation of the BNPP because the “asset” would be such a waste.
The ocular inspection was made as the government was considering alternative sources of energy to ease the power crisis.
Meanwhile, Ian Rivera, national coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) said the opening of the BNPP would be a “messy and problematic investment” and “it won’t fly”.
Rivera said the concern about the BNPP was not only about safety but also “economic viability”.
He cited the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Japan, where millions of residents were displaced to avoid being affected by its radioactive emission following a leak.
After five years, Japan is still recovering from the nuclear disaster which was caused by an earthquake.
“We do not have in-house capacity in the Philippines. We still rely on the expertise of other countries, “said Rivera.
It will be difficult for the Philippines if the same happens since the country is not as technologically advanced as Japan, said Rivera.
Rivera urged the government to fund renewable energy sources instead of nuclear and coal-powered plants, adding it will free the country from energy problems in the future.
He cited reports that the government was ready to provide $1 billion for the operation of the nuclear power plant.
“This is very, very wrong because if the government would shell out one billion dollars why not give it to renewable energy? ” Rivera asked.
According to the website of the National Power Corp. (Napocor), the BNPP sits at the tip of a 389-hectare protected land at Napot Point, Morong, Bataan.It is the only erected commercial nuclear power station within the Asean countries.
Napocor said it was mandated by law to preserve and maintain the plant and has instituted procedures and programs to keep the aesthetic attributes of BNPP.
Napocor said the BNPP was designed to “withstand the highest postulated earthquake in the Luzon island at ground acceleration value of 0.4G or Intensity 8 in the Richter Scale”.

At 18 meters above sea level ground elevation, Napocor said the BNPP plant site was well protected against tidal waves and tsunamis. It can sustain operation even if a Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant-like tsunami incident of March 11, 2011 happened at this site.

Napcor said that if the plant had operated, its 623-megawatt electrical capacity could have provided at least 10 percent of the present power requirements for the Luzon grid.
The plant was almost completed in 1984 and 100 percent of plant equipment and systems had passed the one-year long Hot Functional Tests that was conducted then, Napocor said.
It said the BNPP was a Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactor Nuclear Power Plant,
“the most popular reactor design in the industry”. It took 10 years to construct and has been on preservation mode since 1986 at a cost of P40 to P50 million a year.
BNPP was about 98 percent complete in February 1984, and in June 1985 public hearings were set to be conducted for the Operating License of BNPP as requirement prior to initial nuclear fuel loading to the reactor. This is inpreparation for the commercial operation of the plant.
The International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA), as the world’s advisory body toutilities on the safe operation of a nuclear power plants, has inspected the BNPP twice
the IAEA Operational Safety Analysis Review Team (OSART) I and II (July 1984 and February 1985, respectively).
Although it identified issues and made recommendations, the IAEA said the plant’s construction met international standards. After the second inspection, the IAEA said that the plant was ready to receive fuel and begin start-up testing for its commercial operation, according to the Napocor.

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