By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Duterte has given his consent only to a feasibility study on the proposed revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), not to its immediate operations, Malacañang clarified.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella issued the clarification after Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi reportedly claimed getting the President’s clearance to proceed with the rehabilitation of the mothballed power plant.
“He is open to the studies and I think that studies did show that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant has — is standing on the fault line and so there is very serious concern about that,” Abella said in a Palace press briefing.
Abella said the President agreed to the feasibility study on the Bataan power plant as part of “being able to examine all factors, all possibilities regarding the provision of energy.”
“The reports are not yet in,” Abella said when asked about the prospect of reviving the power plant, which could reportedly reach $1 billion.
Early this month, the President said he was not amenable to tapping nuclear energy to augment the country’s power supply during his term. He said the country was not yet in the “danger zone” of running out of power anyway.
The country’s energy secretary later reported the President has allowed the rehabilitation of the BNPP after being assured it would not be done recklessly. Duterte supposedly sought extra precautions for the safe and secure use of nuclear power in the country.