Groups form ‘human banner’ versus nuclear plant revival

Published by rudy Date posted on February 23, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Groups opposing the proposal to revive the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) formed yesterday a “human banner” to express their protest against the plan and they urged lawmakers to reject the bill that favors the opening of the nuclear plant.

The environmental organization Greenpeace said at least 700 volunteers participated in the formation of the human banner spelling “No to BNPP” at the University of the Philippines Sunken Garden in Quezon City. The volunteers belong to Greenpeace and the Network Opposed to BNPP.

Greenpeace has been urging congressmen to reject the proposed bill to revive the BNPP because the re-commissioning of the nuclear plant would make Filipinos dependent on the “world’s most dangerous and expensive source of electricity.”

“Rep. Mark Cojuangco’s plan to ‘validate’ with the purpose of reviving and commissioning this nuclear plant, is the height of irresponsibility and arrogance. The BNPP was mothballed for safety reasons, which today still remain undisputed by any expert or study,” said Beau Baconguis, campaigns manager for the Philippines of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The measure to revive the BNPP is currently being debated at the House Committee on Appropriations after it passed the Committee on Energy headed by Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo, a co-author of the bill. Critics have noticed the “undue haste” with which the bill is proceeding in Congress.

The bill will require all energy consumers to pay at least 10 centavos more for electricity to partially shoulder the plant’s rehabilitation, and also allows the government to enter into a multi-million dollar loan for the plant’s revival, Greenpeace pointed out.

Greenpeace said aside from the “dubious monetary allocations” that are being debated in the Committee on Appropriations, it is questioning the entire premise of the bill, which it asserted is “falsely and misleadingly presupposes that the only way to stop climate change and achieve energy security is through nuclear power.”

“Our congressmen must face the simple, indisputable facts that nuclear power is the most dangerous way to generate electricity, there is also no known scientific solution to safely storing plutonium, its deadly radioactive waste-product which remains radiotoxic for 200,000 years,” Baconguis stressed.- Katherine Adraneda, Philippine Star

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