SAN JOSE CITY, Nueva Ecija -- “Let’s abandon the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and build a brand-new nuclear plant facility in Nueva Ecija or in some other place.”
A Novo Ecijano energy expert proposed this “win-win” alternative to utilizing the long-mothballed BNPP for power generation.
Edgardo A. Alfonso, chief operating officer of the Lucio Co-controlled San Jose City I Power Corporation (SJCIPC) here said given the controversies surrounding the BNPP, the national government may just consider to permanently close the facility but open a nuclear plant in other places where it is less risky to operate.
“If you ask me, we can still go nuclear but never mind the BNPP. Forget it. It’s ill-advised. Instead, let’s look for a place somewhere, like in Nueva Ecija,” he said.
Alfonso, also the incumbent president of the San Jose City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said one of the viable areas to put up a nuclear plant is in this city where a number of power plants are already in operation, including the SJCIPC, a 12-megawatt biomass power plant which generates electricity using “ipa” (rice husks).
The P1-billion project, a joint venture of Lucio Co and 21 local rice millers, started operations in a six-hectare lot in Bgy. Tulat here in 2014. It uses 300 tons of rice husks on a 24-hour basis.
Tulat has been designated by the city government as an industrialized zone where majority of big rice mills are located.
Alfonso said nuclear energy is an expensive investment but is cheap to operate.
“And besides, a nuclear plant does not emit toxic pollutants into the air,” he said.
However, he said there are “too many issues” surrounding the $2.3-billion BNPP to merit a second look.
The 620-megawatt BNPP, located in a government reservation in Napot Point in Morong, Bataan was constructed in 1976.
It was set for commercial operations by then-President Ferdinand Marcos but it was mothballed when Corazon Aquino took power in the aftermath of the 1986 People Power Revolution due to safety concerns.
Steve A. Gosuico