Greenpeace asserts that nuclear plants are grotesquely capital intensive and expensive at almost all stages of its development. Historically, it said, nuclear construction projects consistently run over budget, so even the $1 Billion projected cost for BNPP’s rehabilitation could be exceeded.
The group further said, “The plant would also make the country dependent on imported uranium, a resource found only in a few countries. There are further costs for spent fuel storage and security, and should an accident occur, massive costs for evacuation, relocation of communities, health costs, aside from the repair of the plant and the rehabilitation of surroundings would be incurred. From previous experience of nuclear disasters, these costs amount to hundreds of billions of dollars spent for a period of decades.”
Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez said, “Nuclear energy is not clean, not safe and not cheap. In fact, it is probably the most dangerous and expensive power source there is. To say otherwise is to endorse patent falsehoods for the benefit of the nuclear industry.”
Source of corruption?
Bautista said, “The most probable reason why the Arroyo government, particularly the Department of Energy, is reviving the nuclear option is that it is a multibillion dollar project where fat and grease money will come in from foreign energy corporations and international financial institutions.”
Bautista recalled that Marcos and his cronies are estimated to have gotten $80 million in kickbacks from the BNPP. He said that with the current administration, perceived to be the most corrupt, the BNPP would just be another source of corruption.
The Aquino government sued Westinghouse for overpricing and bribery but ultimately lost the case in a United States court.
San Miguel Corp., which is being managed by Cojuangco’s father, has already expressed interest in taking over the BNPP. The food and beverage conglomerate is diversifying into power generation.
Not the solution to the energy crisis
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, chairperson of progressive scientists group AGHAM said the BNPP is not the apt solution to the country’s energy problems.
Tapang said there is no question regarding the need to be energy independent. He added the government must harness the indigenous and sustainable energy resources such as hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, natural gas and oil to provide for the country’s needs.
He said however that these energy resources have been all put to sale by the government to private independent power producers (IPPs). “Instead of looking at nuclear power to provide cheap energy, President Arroyo only has to realize that most of the energy resources she has auctioned off could have provided the Philippines cheap and renewable energy,” said Tapang.
The scientist said, “…[A]s long as the Arroyo government continues to auction and privatize the country’s energy facilities and resources to private and foreign companies, like what they are doing with BNPP and other power plants, the problem on energy will remain.” (Bulatlat.com)