Govt taps US expert for BNPP revival

Published by rudy Date posted on July 4, 2009

THE Philippine government has tapped a US-based expert to shed light on the possible revival of the mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant. 

The expert, Ian McKinley, is head of McKinley Consulting, a private consultancy firm for radioactive and other toxic wastes.

The House of Representatives invited McKinley as a resource person at a forum state-owned National Power Corp. (Napocor) will sponsor on Monday.

A source from Napocor said that McKinley will discuss current trends and developments in nuclear power.

The forum will also tackle the possible re-introduction of the said technology in the Philippines, including the revival of the country’s lone nuclear facility.

The government had spent about $2.10 billion for the construction of the Bataan plant and is setting aside up to P40 million a year for its maintenance.

The facility was supposed to operate commercially in 1986 but was mothballed due to opposition from various environmental and cause-oriented groups.

Some lawmakers, however, have been pushing for the facility’s rehabilitation to help secure the country’s energy requirements.

Pio Benavidez, Napocor senior vice president and vice chairman of the special group on nuclear energy, earlier said that at least $1 billion will be needed to rehabilitate the Bataan facility.

The government has already set aside P100 million for the conduct of a study on the facility’s revival, with Napocor tapping Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) for the purpose.

A number of groups however have come out to oppose government plans to revive the facility as well as put up new ones altogether because of safety and environmental concerns. –Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo, Manila Times

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