05 March 2009
The controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) is bound to be mothballed in perpetuity after the Committee on Appropriations unanimously adopted an amendment made by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman requiring the conduct of a prior validation or feasibility study as a condition precedent for the rehabilitation and operation of the BNPP as proposed by Rep. Mark Cojuangco in House Bill No. 4631.
The Lagman amendment reads:
“The amount of One Hundred Million Pesos (P100,000,000.00) is hereby appropriated chargeable against the appropriations of the Department of Energy (DOE) under the current General Appropriations Act and/or supplemented or augmented by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) for the conduct and completion of a validation or feasibility study to determine the viability of rehabilitating, commissioning and commercially operating the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) as a nuclear facility taking into consideration technical, safety, economic, financial and ecological concerns and using as references previous feasibility studies conducted before and after the BNPP was mothballed in 1986.
“The study must also include the alternative uses of the BNPP for the generation of efficient, ecologically-safe, cost-effective and affordable electricity.
“The subject study shall be a condition precedent for the rehabilitation, commissioning and commercial operation of the BNPP.”
Oppositors to the operation of the BNPP as a nuclear facility hailed the Lagman initiative as a “killer amendment” because they believe an updated feasibility study would validate the structural defects, safety risks and ecological hazards of the BNPP which led to its mothballing in 1986.
Critics of HB 4631 also claim that the study will also document the huge financial outlay required to rehabilitate the BNPP which will make its operation unviable, wasteful and unprofitable.