Outsize cost—and risks

15 November 2016

Perhaps it’s appropriate that news of President Duterte’s green light for the rehabilitation of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) came in the midst of the public outrage over the Supreme Court’s upholding of the planned burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ remains in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. If there is an enduring symbol, after all, of the staggering plunder that marked the Marcos regime, the concrete monstrosity sitting on 389 hectares of the coastline in Morong, Bataan, more than qualifies.

Read on…

14 Responses to Outsize cost—and risks

  1. November 16, 2016 at 12:40 am

    People do not ask enough questions about nuclear waste, where are they stored etc. If one bothers to do even just a cursory google search one will see that nuclear waste storage/disposal is a problem that as yet has defied a permanent solution. The nuclear power industry does not like to talk about it. But where on earth can thousands of tons of nuclear waste be stored safely in containers and sites that will remain stable and secure for thousands of years? There is no site in the world they can point to where they can guarantee safe storage. As of today, waste is piling up and they are just piling them in relatively safe places like abandoned salt mines and such. So okay you can build a perfectly safe nuclear power plant but where will you store all waste materials?

  2. November 16, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    The Philippines would spend the next 30 years paying off the BNPP debt, representing its biggest international credit obligation for over a generation.

    And not a watt produced. It actually explains how we went bankrupt after 1986. My very rough estimate is we paid about half a trillion pesos all in all, all that taxpayers’ money washed down the drain tsk tsk tsk

    I wonder. How did it get the go from the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1986 if it was then unsafe to operate?

    • November 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      umm parang it never got the go from the IAEA even in marcos’s time. have you seen this:
      http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1986/09/01/67989/index.htm THE $2.2 BILLION NUCLEAR FIASCO

      • November 17, 2016 at 9:01 am

        “The IAEA as the world’s advisory body to utilities on the safe operation of a nuclear power plants has inspected 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.”


        • November 17, 2016 at 9:33 am

          naku, i don’t trust those napocor reports. why don’t they show us the IAEA recommendations mismo, na nawala na sa website ng IAEA, govt daw ang kailangang magrequest.

      • November 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

        Just read it. Will re-read for the details.

        Anyway, I believe money indeed changed hands but not the entire $1.55B ($2.2b- $650m) going into Marcos’ pocket as often insinuated by some quarters.

        What happened to that court suit against Westinghouse? The Cory government should have pursued it to the bitter end if only to recover the humongous loss resulting from the mothballing of the plant.

        • November 17, 2016 at 9:39 am

          teka i read somewhere that it was in FVR’s time na na-settle ito. heh di ko na mahanap but i found this: “less than 200M$” http://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/16/business/westinghouse-pact-with-philippines.html

          • November 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

            $45M!? And the terms were never disclosed. Why they settled for such a measly sum should have been explained. It’s atrocious. Ba’t di na lang itinuloy-tuloy? Parang nagka-ayusan yata under the table.

  3. November 17, 2016 at 12:11 am

    BEN KRITZ: Someone should have done the Philippines a huge favor and bulldozed that wretched monument to Marcos folly a long time ago, then we would not be continually having the debate over whether or not using the plant for the purpose it was intended more than 30 years ago is a good idea. That debate has only carried on for as long as it has because the BNPP exists, not because the Philippines actually has a real need for or any capacity to operate a nuclear power plant. No BNPP, and the topic of nuclear power would not be raised nor be missed.” FOOLS RUSH IN

    • November 17, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Yep it should have been bulldozed a long time ago.

    • November 17, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Hahaha, it really should be bulldozed, Ms Angela. Imagine that it would still be there standing proudly unscathed, defiantly unmoved by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other calamities, after another thirty years, after fifty years, after a century, what would be the verdict of the future? As they say, time will tell who’s right or wrong.

      • November 17, 2016 at 9:41 am

        ah but that would only tell us about the integrity of the structure. i’ve always been more concerned about the flawed reactor and the waste management.

      • November 20, 2016 at 8:17 pm
        Batang-Genyo, Alah Eh

        The biggest problem of nuclear energy facing future generation is waste management. I hope science can have a break through in handling it into a recylable waste. We build new solutions to create new problem.

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