Alfonso Cusi, Secretary of Energy, has unveiled the possibility of opening the country’s only nuclear power plant located at Morong, Bataan. The 620-megawatt nuclear power station built during the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos never opened for operation due to some several issues.
During the end of the 70s and 80s, there were several protests against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant due to a hazard to health and located inside an earthquake zone.
During the Marcos Era, the Philippines had invested around $2 billion for the construction of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant but gained controversies after being discovered that Westinghouse, the energy company who constructed it, sold similar technologies to other countries but for a much lower cost.
The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant once decided to be opened will need a budget of $1 Billion to be fully operational, though the power plant was never open its maintenance was consistent for the past 25 years.
The energy secretary says that the supply of power is sufficient but opening the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant could lower the risk of its status under yellow or red alerts which happened in the recent months.
“The problem is that what we have now – oil, diesel, natural gas, and coal – that has a limited life. Up to a certain time, the Malampaya, that will be over, that will be depleted by 2022 or 2024,” The energy secretary said.
Cusi also added that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant could ensure a long-term supply of clean and cheaper electricity for the country.
The Senate members have divided inputs regarding the revival of the said plant, but Cusi stated that the DOE are currently studying possible options that are available.
The possibility of reviving the plant was opened years ago but did not pursue due to concerns about safety after the nuclear incident in Japan half a decade ago.