Statement of Concerned Faculty and Researchers of the University of the Philippines - Diliman on the Issue of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant sign now

We, the undersigned faculty and researchers of the University of the Philippines - Diliman, strongly express our concern with regard to the current effort of the Philippine government to immediately recommission and operate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) through House Bill 4631.

We believe that there is no sufficient basis, and it is extremely dangerous and economically disadvantageous to operate the BNPP. The following are points as to why we are opposed to such an effort:

1) The BNPP is not essential in addressing the looming energy crisis in 2012. The country has vast indigenous energy resources that we can tap which are more safe and reliable than nuclear power.

2) The operation of the BNPP does not necessarily assure cheap electricity for the people and energy independence for the country.

3) The BNPP is defective, almost obsolete and is not safe to operate. There are numerous and significant arguments being raised with regard to geologic hazards, plant defects, and nuclear waste storage and disposal. Its operation will pose great risks to the health and lives of the people, and the environment.

4) The fund for the BNPP, to be paid by additional people's taxes and foreign loans, would be a source of corruption and kickbacks for the corrupt officials and cronies of the current administration. Until now, no one has been held accountable for the BNPP corruption scandals of the Marcos administration.

5) The economic and environmental costs of the BNPP outweigh the benefits of reduced carbon emissions. Furthermore, the BNPP's potential contribution to climate change mitigation would be very minimal as the Philippines is not a major producer of greenhouse gases.

The proposed P100M feasibility study (introduced as an amendment to the bill) is, at this time, unnecessary. There had been several studies in the past that underscored the serious safety problems of the plant. Virtually, there are no reports that claim otherwise. The existing reports should be retrieved and reviewed, We must first assess if these reports already suffice as bases for an objective policy on the BNPP before jumping into the costly feasibility study. A small panel of technical experts can do this desk work at a significantly lower cost.

Furthermore, the P100M allocation is untimely in the context of the current global crisis. It should instead be channeled to more productive investments such as R&D in alternative and renewable energy, job generation, education, and other social services. The proposed feasibility study may even turn out to be a useless expenditure if, in the end, it arrives at the same conclusions as those of the earlier studies.

Despite the amendment serving as an apparent technical safeguard, the premise and intent of the bill remains the same: that there is an imminent power crisis in 2012, and it must be addressed by immediately recommissioning and operating the BNPP. Similarly, the intent of the primary author remains the same. Cong. Mark Cojuanco's aggressive promotion and defense of the bill and his family's economic interests in the energy industry are, as we may say, quite suspicious.

We thus emphasize that the BNPP is far from being one of the most technically, economically and politically viable options available to us in solving the said power crisis and in addressing climate change.

Coming from the Philippines' premiere state university, we believe that it is our duty to contribute our collective position on this issue of national concern. With the genuine interests of the Filipino people in mind, we issue the following calls:

JUNK HOUSE BILL 4631!

NO TO THE IMMEDIATE RECOMMISSIONING AND OPERATION OF THE BATAAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT!

DEVELOP OUR INDIGENOUS ENERGY RESOURCES AND ENSURE GENUINE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE FOR OUR COUNTRY!

UPHOLD THE WELFARE AND SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT!





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Gary HenryBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
Philippine Congress, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the general public

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