Look into viability of BNPP: finance dep’t

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    The Department of Finance (DOF) said there is a need to look into the existing Bataan nuclear power plant and see if it can be operated “safely and economically.”

    Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, said this is his position on nuclear power, after he was asked about the agreements signed in Russia specifically those on “peaceful uses of energy” which includes nuclear power plants.

    According to previous reports, ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said the Philippines and Russia are in the early stages of discussions for a nuclear energy arrangement amid the growing demand for power in the country.

    “I wasn’t in the discussions there on the nuclear power, although we spoke with a company… and they were saying they want to operate here. In our discussion, they wanted to operate a wind farm, just like they have in Siberia, they want to operate a coal fire plant, but nobody mentioned to me, the committee where I was, about nuclear plant,” Dominguez told reporters in a press briefing at the DOF office in Manila last week.

    “My position is about our current nuclear power plant. We spent $2 billion on that thing. It’s never generated a single watt of power. That plant has a sister plant, exactly the same, in Slovenia, which has been operating since the 1970s. So it must be a good plant. So I think we should take a look at this plant and see if we can operate it safely and economically. It’s been sitting there since the ‘70s,” he added.

    Dominguez noted the need to examine the existing plant and make a rational decision about it.

    “We spent $2 billion on that, hard-earned money. I think we should really seriously look at it, and say, can we operate it, safely, economically? You know that’s my position, I mean we have an asset, let’s take a look at it if we can do it. But the primary standard of course is if it is safe,” Dominguez said.

    During the press briefing, officials said the power plant already cost the government $10 billion.