By Loejan S. Anudon

CUTTING OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE! – A common saying befitting the recent move of the national government to obliterate the Php45M yearly upkeep allocation for the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong, Bataan.

The BNPP is an exigent issue that should be given utmost priority on the floor. The projected rotating brownouts and high cost of electricity are plagues that continuously cripple the country’s economy. The relentless rise of electric cost in the country triggers the incessant demand for wage increases. It also causes prices on all commodities to soar as fast in the market that, eventually, the people are pinned to suffer.
Loss of livelihoods, closure of foreign and local businesses and mass layoffs are also imminent consequences.

The move to thwart the upkeep of the BNPP will lead to the denial of one of the major means that could emancipate the country from regression. The BNPP is a viable source of energy and what if the next Philippine president will understand the value when he reaps the benefit of this endowment? There has never been any irrevocable ruling to the BNPP’s re-commissioning or final closure so why such move to capitulate its upkeep unless it is aimed to deteriorate it intentionally?

Former Pangasinan Representative Mark Cojuangco reiterated the importance of the mothballed BNPP during a tour at the site in Morong, Bataan on August 3, 2013. He said that the BNPP is significantly safer than that in Fukushima, Japan. The Fukushima power plant could have stood the devastation of the Tsunami had it been designed like the BNPP which has a seismic acceleration of higher threshold equivalent to 0.4G than that of the former with only 0.18G, he added.

The BNPP is younger than 70 percent of nuclear plants currently operating in the United States, thus an attestation to its dependability. The Kori II, BNPP’s virtual twin in age and design in Korea has been operating perfectly since its inception and the cost of the plant was recovered in just six years of operation, the former solon emphasized.

Negative speculations and irrational fear could have been the only basis of the suspension and, normally, many
base their decision-makings on paranoia and past histories that are irrelevant or inferior to the BNPP’s design and foolproof.

Is the government sincere in its reforms for development? Reliable and low-cost electricity is the incessant cry of all the Filipino people. Local and foreign businesses point to the high cost and undependable source of electricity as one major deterrent in enticing new investors to the country, hampering progress and development. The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) and the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) are being blamed as heartless by TUCP executive vice president Gerardo Seno. However, TUCP president Democrito Mendoza said they sympathize with the business group’s campaign to roll down the cost of electricity. The JFC, ECOP and TUCP should unite to press for the re-commissioning of the BNPP.

To resort to wind and sun as what is being indoctrinated by former US vice president, Al Gore is not a stable source of energy. A slight fluctuation in power supply could result to considerable damages and losses to highly sensitive processes of giant industrial firms; accurate reading results to delicate hospital apparatuses is also largely compromised that can situate patients critically.

Coal has been eyed as a redeemer but obviously, this is simply to evade the services of the BNPP. Eventually, it will situate us all in jeopardy. “There’s no such thing as clean coal, it is still coal, dirty coal!” says Dr. Marc Caratao, a Filipino engineer trained by Al Gore. Coal is a dirty source of energy.

Everything with the word “nuke” in it always connotes evil, spawning irrational fear; these are mindsets that Cojuangco consistently tries to alleviate.

The ill consequences of the interminable political supremacy always settle on the people and the feared political impact that the BNPP could possibly spawn is what is being eyed on more than the benefit it could bestow … tributaries that keep our country constantly miserable.