US nuclear expert, Napocor to discuss possible revival of BNPP

July 5, 2009 10:30 pm 

MANILA, July 5 — A United States expert on nuclear energy is now in Manila to explain issues surrounding the possible revival of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong, Bataan.

Dr. Ian G. McKinley of the McKinley Consulting is set to visit the BNPP and to discuss concerns on radioactive waste disposal management.

Dennis Gana, corporate communications head of state-owned National Power Corp.(Napocor), said McKinley would discuss issues on nuclear power this Monday.

McKinley, Napocor president Froilan Tampinco, Rep. Mark Cojuangco and Dr. Carlo Arcilla, Associate Professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of the Philippines and other Napocor officials are expected to attend the Nuclear Power forum slated at 10 am Monday, Gana said.

Napocor earlier commissioned the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KepCo) to conduct a feasibility study on the possible revival of the BNPP.

Napocor expects the Korean firm to complete the feasibility studies in the next two month or by September.

Tampinco, in an earlier interview, said KepCo appraised them of the status of the study which, he said was about to be completed.

He said Napocor was also confident that the results of the Kepco study would help the government in making the right decision on whether to push for the revival of the plant and the use of nuclear power.

”At least we will have a clear direction on what particular options we should choose,” Tampinco said.

Earlier, Pio Benavidez, Napocor senior vice president, said that the government would need over US$ 1 billion to rehabilitate the BNPP.

Napocor proposed a P1-billion budget for this year to study the possible revival of the plant.

"We are currently doing system verification review where all the parts are being verified if it still can be used," he said.

"We and the Korean (company) have identified some that can be used and not. Out of that review, we will look at the results as to what can still be used and cannot be used," Benevidez said.

He said initial results of the study indicated that "the system that had to be updated were mostly on the electrical side (i.e wiring, cable), particularly the controls, but in terms of the mechanical side it still can be used."

"We just have to replace the parts that have to be replaced to make it operational," he said.

Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes admitted that the Philippines was not yet ready for nuclear power.

“Let us not get into it [nuclear power] unless we are dead sure that we are ready. We don’t want another situation where we put an expensive power plant and we cant use it. The most expensive nuclear power plant is one that you set up but is not operational. We don’t want another one like that. Thus, if the country is not ready, then we should not proceed with it,” Reyes said.

But Reyes said the Department of Energy was still keeping its options on nuclear open since its the cheapest source of power.

"We are keeping nuclear option as an option, but right now we are not ready for it," he said.

He said nuclear power has advantages and disadvantages but the worst is having no power at all.

“Nuclear power has its inherent dangers which the whole world is trying to solve, but there are advantages as well. And among the advantages is that nuclear power is baseload and will remain stable for as long as 50 years. It provides you steady and cheap power in the long run though it is expensive initially,” he said. (PNA)



One Response to “US nuclear expert, Napocor to discuss possible revival of BNPP”

  1. benny tancauco on July 13th, 2009 3:43 pm

    providing the people in general not the majofity or the minority with cheap, safe, raliable source of electricity for about 50 years is a blessing.