Nuclear plant revival to cost $1b — Napocor

Reviving  the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant  so as to provide the country with adequate power supply  will take at least nine years and $1 billion, Energy officials  informed the House energy committee on Monday.

At a hearing conducted by the House committee chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, National Power Corp.  president Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita  provided lawmakers the cost for the rehabilitation of the BNPP.  

“The BNPP can be successfully rehabilitated at $1 billion for a period of four years; our information now is that  having a new nuclear power would cost $5 to $6 billion and will be completed in 10 years,”  Sta. Rita said.  

This developed as Umali stressed the need for the Aquino administration  to come up with a decisive action as to whether or not his administration will push for the use of BNPP.

“We need to make a policy decision whether to run this or not; this is not to mention the [rehabilitation] cost but more importantly social acceptance,” Umali said.  

The government has allocated P50 million yearly to maintain the BNPP.

Umali said the cost of rehabilitation would be the determining factor for the Aquino administration whether or not to pursue this plan.

“These are matters we consider as a government in determining whether to push for this or not. But, at the same time, I think this is an asset that is already available,” Umali said.

“I think it is also imperative for the government, particularly Napocor, to take all alternative uses of BNPP so that when we make presentation and before you make decision we have a fallback.    “We have options that many consider other than present it as nuclear power plant,” Umali added.

Umali also urged concerned sectors of the government to come up with “comparative presentations that are more feasible, viable and economical on how the government will use the facility.”   

Sta. Rita said that the BNPP, once rehabilitated, could provide 620 megawatts of the power supply requirement of the country.

Nuclear Regulations Division chief Teofilo Leonin Jr. of the Philippine   National Research Institute echoed Sta. Rita’s assessment on efforts to rehabilitate the BNPP.

Leonin told lawmakers that the PNRI would need at least five year to assess the four-year rehabilitation made by the government.

“The technology of BNPP was done in 1970, perhaps if the government decides, if ever, to rehabilitate the BNPP, the [Napocor] who is currently the caretaker of the [plant] needs to show the proof to the PNRI whether it can still be operated safely,” Leonin said.

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