Former solon reiterates re-commissioning of BNPP (Philippines News Agency)

Former Congressman Mark Cojuangco said the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Bagac, Morong, Bataan, once fully operational will slash electricity prices by half.

Imagine, BNPP can generate electricity for only between P2.00 to P2.50 per kilowatt-hour as compared to the ongoing average rate of P5.00 to P5.45 through the national grid which is being retailed and distributed to about P10 to P12 per KWH, Cojuangco said in a statement from the National Power Corp (Napocor) Tuesday.

He attended the Board meeting of the Napocor, where the members agreed with him to preserve the entire facility.

Napocor, for its part, said it will comply with the order of the government to either fully shut down the facility or go into commercial operations.

Cojuangco noted politics should be set aside since the BNPP’s opening will benefit the economic development of all citizens. He said that the reopening of the new facility is timely for the Philippines to compete in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration.

During his term at the House of Representatives in 2009, the former Pangasinan (5th district) lawmaker authored the controversial House Bill 04631 that mandates the immediate re-commissioning and commercial operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.

Cojuangco also proposed that the Bagac-based nuclear village be returned to BNPP, under the Department of Finance (DOF) and Napocor, and be removed from the Power Sector Assets Liabilities and Management (PSALM).

He noted the retention of the nuclear village is vital once the BNPP is rehabilitated or a new nuclear generating unit is installed in the Bataan reservation area. It is currently tapped by Napocor for training and seminars.

Cojuangco added other attached assets such as the West Nuk and other bio-monitoring labs should be retained by the BNPP.

He also cited Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) Director Renato Solidum who said that the buffer zone against rupturing recommended by Philvolcs is five meters on both sides of a verified trace or from the edge of the deformation zone.

Solidum added the BNPP is located 64 kilometers (kms) south of Iba Fault, 78 kms northwest of the West Valley Fault System in Marikina and 83 kms south of the East Zambales Fault, stressing the BNPP is safe from the hazard of ground rupture of fault movement.

He also explained the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan was an isolated case due to the tsunami that occurred before the radiation leak, adding it had not caused deaths but was due to the tsunami.

Cojuangco stressed that the BNPP also has a higher seismic acceleration of 0.4 G than Fukushima’s 0.18 G.

He also said that nuclear power is still the best choice for the country in producing affordable and abundant energy.

Let me state that I believe it is in the country’s best interests that the BNPP be operated. It is also my belief that the nuclear power option is still the best choice that the country can make to balance the supposedly conflicting needs of abundant power (energy), cheap power (energy), clean and harmless energy (power), for future and new power plants, and the great savings of Katas OFW Forex, he said. (PNA)