Sidebar: Candidates’ take on nuclear power and the BNPP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2009 01:41 PM | Updated as of Dec 22 2009 09:46 PM

Manuel Villar 

The senator told a group of bloggers that he opposes efforts to revive BNPP. Blogger Ganns Deen quotes Villar in his blog saying, “We cannot afford the maintenance of the plant and the infrastructure of Bataan is not ready to support it.”

Manuel Villar’s running mate, Senator Loren Legarda, has differing views on nuclear energy in general and the case of the BNPP in particular. In a privilege speech, fellow Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) member and proponent Mark Cojuangco says the senator told him that, “one must be pro-nuclear energy in order to be an environmentalist.”

However, in a press statement released during the height of the World Bank blacklisting of anomalous firms, the senator notes that, “Many roads and highways that lead to nowhere had been built in the past using high-interest loans. Ditto with white elephants like the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), the dangerous operation of which is now being pushed anew by some." (See press release)

Richard Gordon

In an article in the Philippine Free Press on February 28, 2008 entitled, “Thinking Nuclear,” Gordon recommended “a shift to nuclear power to cut the cost of power” but encouraged the creation of new nuclear plants as the BNPP’s reactor was “probably already beyond use.”

JC delos Reyes

Ang Kapatiran’s presidential bet said in an interview that he strongly opposes the rehabilitation and re-commissioning of the mothballed plant but stressed openness in the possibility of using nuclear power as energy source.

Senator Benigno Aquino III

The son of the president who ordered closure of the BNPP expressed distaste in the reopening of the plant. “I'm not in favor of the BNPP. The idea of nuclear waste and disposal [has yet to be looked into] and for something that has a very significant half-life, [re-opening] is a major issue,” he told abs-cbnNEWS.com. – Leilani Chavez, abs-cbnNEWS.com