THE EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental and public health watchdog, on Monday urged the Duterte administration to junk the plan to activate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong, Bataan which was mothballed during the Marcos regime due to the danger it poses on the people and environment.
“We urge our policy makers not to wake up the sleeping ‘monster of Morong’ from its 30-year slumber. It’s better to keep the plant idle rather than to create a highly toxic problem that our nation cannot handle,” said Rene Pineda, a clean air and renewable energy advocate of the coalition.
Pineda also noted that on top of the corruption and safety issues haunting the BNPP, the country lack the managerial, technical and financial capacity to handle the plant’s waste products if ever it is operated.
“How do BNPP ushers intend to manage, store and dispose of the tons of highly toxic waste that will be generated when we cannot even effectively deal with our ordinary household discards?” Pineda asked.
“Where will they store the radioactive waste that is totally secured from any seismic or volcanic damage knowing that the BNPP is sited on an earthquake fault line and near Mt. Natib, a potentially active volcano?” he further asked.
Moreover, he pointed out that “nuclear waste disposal is a huge problem even in highly industrialized countries like the USA.”
The USA based Union of Concerned Scientists based has warned that “the resulting waste disposal problem has become a major challenge for policymakers” as “nuclear fuel remains dangerously radioactive for thousands of years after it is no longer useful in a commercial reactor.”
While according to Greenpeace USA,“there is still no safe, reliable solution for dealing with the radioactive waste produced by nuclear plants. Every waste dump in the U.S. leaks radiation into the environment, and nuclear plants themselves are running out of ways to store highly radioactive waste on site.”
Reiterating its opposition against nuclear energy – dubbed as the most costly and most dangerous source of power– the EcoWaste Coalition renewed its support for clean energy sources that are safe, non-toxic, climate-friendly and sustainable.
“Instead of going nuclear, the Philippines should go all-out for clean, safe and renewable energy sources that are plentiful in our country,” it said.
Considering the Duterte government’s commitment to freedom of information, the group likewise appealed to the authorities to publicly disclose the results of a confidential study on the BNPP commissioned by the government in 1988-92. The study purportedly did not support the activation of the plant due to safety issues.