South Korea’s offer to rehabilitate Bataan Nuclear Power Plant still stands, says PNRI exec

The offer of South Korea to rehabilitate the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) still stands, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PNRI) said Monday, Dec. 6.

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) is seen during a tour around the BNPP compound in Morong town, Bataan province.(Reuters file)

DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo Arcilla said the South Korean government remained interested in rehabilitating the Bataan plant which has been mothballed since 1986.

He said South Korea’s BNPP rehabilitation proposal has been submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE).

“South Korea has offered to rehab our BNPP, may offer sila, nandun po sa DOE (they have an offer, it is with the DOE),” the PNRI top official said in a virtual presser on Monday as part of the DOST-PNRI’s Atomic Energy Week celebration.

He said the BNPP may be rehabilitated in four to five years.

“There is active proposal from the South Korean government to rehabilitate and they said , can we rehabilitate it with the budget of between 1 to 1.2 billion dollars. This is the cost of one coal plant for the same output and they can do it even five years,” Arcilla said.

“But, before you do that there will be many things, first example, you might create amendments in the EPIRA law because the EPIRA law prohibits the government from owning power generating units. How will that interact with the current EPIRA Law, that has to be studied. There will be legal things,” he said.

Arcilla said the revival of the BNPP is the “fastest route to start nuclear” in the Philippines.

The $2.3-billion BNPP is located in Morong, Bataan. It was completed in the 1980s under the leadership of late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

The BNPP was set to generate 623 megawatts of electricity.