Bishops caution vs. revival of Bataan nuclear power plant

Published August 1, 2020, 10:51 AM

by Christina Hermoso

Diocese of Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos has expressed concern over the planned revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant as part of the government’s intention to use nuclear energy as an additional source of power supply.


“We welcome and accept that there is a need for a study, but we want the government to be transparent and for its assessment to be open to the public. The plan must also be for the common good and must benefit public interest,” Santos said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

“Let us remember that Russia conducted a study on the BNPP and found the power plant to be absolutely outdated.  The use of nuclear energy will be dangerous for Bataan and for the country as a whole,” he added.

The Church leader called on authorities to focus its attention and the country’s resources, instead, on the worsening coronavirus disease situation in the country.

“The number of cases of coronavirus in the country has gone really high, but we do not have the capability to address it. We lack hospitals, medicines, and support for our health care workers. The government must pour its resources on the health crisis, which should be given priority,” Santos stressed.

San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Commission on Social Action Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA), earlier, expressed alarm over the Department of Energy’s intention to use nuclear energy as an alternative source of power.

A study by the Department of Energy (DoE), the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR), and the Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO) said, the country will need to spend more than $1 billion in a span of four years to revive the 631-megawatt BNPP which was built in 1984.