Cojuangco pushes for reopening of Bataan nuclear power plant

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 31 2014 02:46 PM | Updated as of Aug 01 2014 06:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former congressman Mark Cojuangco says had the government started running the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in 2010, the country could have prevented an impending power crisis next year.

Cojuangco, a staunch nuclear power advocate, had a tour and lecture sponsored for some residents of Morong, Bataan about the BNPP.

Cojuangco says it will take 4 years to restart the BNPP.

In his lecture, Cojuangco showed residents video and photo of his trip to various countries with nuclear facilities.

He addressed residents' fears of a nuclear meltdown.

The BNPP was ready for operation since 1985. Government paid more than $2 billion including interest, and was fully paid in 2007.

Yet despite the enormous cost, consumers have not been able to benefit from the 620-megawatt plant.

Cojuangco appealed to President Aquino, his second cousin, to make the reopening of Bataan nuclear plant his legacy in his remaining years in office. He noted this is not just for the Aquino administration but for future generation of Filipinos.

But Bataan vice governor Efren Pascual says the reopening of the nuclear power plant and even the plan to put up a coal fired power plant within the BNPP compound needs their approval as host province.

Pascual adds the provincial government has not made a decision on the reopening of the BNPP since it still wants to hear all sides of the arguments made by pro- and anti-nuclear power advocates.