Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment slammed the recent pronouncements of president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
On May 22, the president-elect met with South Korean ambassador to Manila Kim Imchul to discuss the possibility of reviving the mothballed 621-megawatt nuclear power facility.
After the meeting, Marcos Jr. said the country must have higher power supply should “we industrialize post-pandemic.”
He said a nuclear power facility would need at least “three years of lead time” before full utilization, adding that even if it will not happen “during my administration, we still have to start somewhere.”
During the campaign, the president-elect said that he will consider nuclear energy as a power source should he win the presidency.
“For thousands of years, we will potentially pay for toxic impacts on our water, land, and health,” warned Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.
He said Marcos Jr. keeps saying that the nuclear plant is “a more affordable and sustainable energy source.”
“He seems oblivious that the [plant] will entail radioactive wastes such as uranium mill tailings and spent reactor fuel that have costly and catastrophic consequences,” said Dulce.
The Bataan nuclear plant was a US$2.3 billion power project that began development in 1973 during the administration of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
It was projected to provide enough electricity to power the whole country but was closed and decommissioned due to issues of safety and corruption.
The controversial project was met with general strikes and other demonstrations by citizens of Bataan and surrounding provinces.
“It seems the only reason Mr. Marcos Jr. intends to revive [the Bataan nuclear plant] is to rehabilitate his family’s legacy, at the cost of causing a potential nuclear meltdown,” said Dulce in a statement.
“Has he already forgotten about his rhetoric about wind and other renewable energy sources that are more abundant and sustainable in the Philippines?” he added.