Bataan Nuclear Power Plant may need USD2 billion to operate

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) may need USD2 billion for it to become operational. “There have been estimates from the studies made by China and South Korea – and it’s at USD2.0 billion plus,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said as quoted by Manila Bulletin.

He said that “all facets of the BNPP studies were already completed.” He said according to studies, BNPP can still be rehabilitated to become operational. However, Secretary Cusi said public acceptance remains to be a question.

On February 8, the Department of Energy (DOE) led by Cusi met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials led by Director General Yukiya Amano.

Cusi said the bilateral meeting “comes at an opportune time as the DOE will submit its recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte on the country’s position on the civilian use of nuclear technology following a series of technical cooperation with IAEA.”

“Based on the technical assessment, the use of nuclear technologies, including nuclear energy, is seen as a long-term energy option for the country. The possible inclusion of nuclear power in the current energy mix is consistent with the national policy towards a technology-neutral energy sector,” Cusi said.

The meeting also discussed the scope of IAEA’s work and its role in assisting member-states in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the use of nuclear science technology for socio-economic development in the country.

Aside from the on-going technical cooperation, the DOE presented its activities concerning the crafting of a national position. The report touched on the possible cooperation in other areas, such as human resource development, nuclear safety, legal and regulatory framework, international standards, cooperation with international community, stakeholders involvement and challenges which includes the closure on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant issue.