Bataan Gov. Garcia wants to dismantle mothballed nuclear power plant in Morong

Published by rudy Date posted on March 6, 2009

BALANGA City, Bataan: Provincial Gov. Enrique “Tet” Garcia has openly spoken against the reactivation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and if he has his way would like the mothballed nuclear structure in the mountain town of Morong dismantled.

“It is best that the BNPP be knocked down so that in the coming years no more attempts will be made to revive it,” the governor said.

Garcia said many people in Bataan voiced strong opposition to the plant and reviving it will be repeating what happened in the past when government spent billions of pesos in building it but yet the investment turned to naught.

“Mahalaga na marinig muna ang pasiya ng taong-bayan bago gumawa ng anumang hakbang sa pagbuhay ng nuclear power plant [What’s important is to first consider what the people have to say about the nuclear plant before making any move to revive it],” the governor said.

He quoted studies of nuclear experts commissioned by the Aquino administration reportedly for a fee of $9.5 million that the structure has 40,000 defects that can be corrected at an estimated expenditure of $4.5 billion.

“The amount to correct the defects is higher than building a new nuclear plant but it should not be in Bataan and not above an earthquake fault,” Garcia said.

The governor spoke in a prayer rally last week against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant spearheaded by the Catholic diocese of Balanga under the leadership of Bishop Socrates Villegas. In all masses for three consecutive Sundays before the rally, three pastoral statements were read condemning the planned revival of the nuclear plant.

The prayer rally was the third protest action conducted for the month of February. Organizers threatened that bigger rallies will be held and make a repeat of mass actions in the 80s should government insist in reactivating the nuclear plant.

Rep. Mark Cojuangco of Pangasinan has sponsored a bill that will revive the plant for $1 billion. Some members of the House Committee on Energy chaired by Rep. Mikey Arroyo of Pampanga inspected the structure at Napot Point in Morong.
–Ernie B. Esconde, Manila Times

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