Bataan nuclear plant can weather quake, jumbo jet impact

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 02 2016 05:07 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2016 10:16 PM

MANILA - The mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant is strong enough to withstand both an Intensity 8 earthquake or the impact from a Boeing 747, even as it needs repairs, the National Power Corp. said Friday.

The 40-year-old structure is not located on a fault line and sits above sea level, at the foot of a dormant volcano, said Mauro Marcelo from the Napocor's asset preservation office.

Environment groups have raised concern over the safety of the nuclear plant after Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said this week that the government was considering using it for the first time. 

Marcelo confirmed the findings of Korean power firm Kepco that one-fourth of the plant needs to be repaired or replaced. The government needs to shell out $700 million to $1 billion to revive the facility.

While unused, taxpayers still pay for the plant's maintenance cost of P27 million annually.

And if President Rodrigo Duterte decides to revive the plant, it could take up to five years before it is operational.