The Renewal of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

Summary of Issue

Last July 3, 2008, Congress Representative Mark O. Cojuangco, together with other co-authors, initially filed House Bill No. 4631 entitled, “Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Re-Commissioning Act of 2008.” The Bill identified the cost of the revival of BNPP amounting to US$ 1 billion and that the amount would be generated from loans (either domestic or international) and electricity consumers (Section 22 provision). There are 89 Congress Representatives who listed in support of the Bill and most of them are from the Committee of Appropriations.

Naturally, the Bill reawakened new and previous debates. But this time, between the proponents of the Bill from Congress, those opposed Representatives, those groups that have been relentlessly fighting against the use of nuclear power as a source of energy and those that for 22-years have been fighting against any attempts to revive Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). These opposition groups are agreeing on the same grounds that reviving BNPP will only be at the cost of the people’s lives and the environment.

What makes the Bill even more alarming for these groups is that during the February 2, 2009 Congressional hearing of the Committee on Appropriations, Rep. Cojuangco and its co-authors clearly showed their ignorance about the issue of nuclear power and set aside the glaring truths about BNPP – its socio-economic and environmental hazards, which various groups have already spoken of and reiterated for years. Instead, Rep. Cojuangco distorted most of the scientific data he cited in his Bill, which can be blamed to the lack of an updated feasibility study before the crafting and the filing of the Bill and that he only relied on Wikipedia articles and some sound bites from Greenpeace renegade Patrick Moore to support his claims. Furthermore, in the meeting of the Committee held last February 10, Rep. Cojuangco failed to give satisfactory answers and most of the time repeated himself to important questions raised. He even brushed aside questions on disposal of nuclear wastes, where to get the uranium to fuel the nuclear power plant and how much it will cost. At this Committee hearing, there was a motion that the financial requirements for a feasibility study be generated from the Section 22 provision of the Bill rather than get the money for the study in the General Appropriations Act (Section 21). However, Rep. Edcel Lagman asked that this measure be deferred until Rep. Cojuangco can come-up with a clearer plan on the budgetary requirements of the study and the rehabilitation of the plant.  In summary, the February 10 Committee hearing on the Bill did not move forward and instead got itself a 14-day break, which can be made beneficial by the various groups lobbying against the Bill. Rep. Conjuangco also said that he will be studying on any proposed amendments to the Appropriations language in the Bill within a week’s time, which can be an opportune time to intervene or craft a possible alternative bill. The next hearing of the Committee is set on February 24, 2009.

The opposition to the Bill stemmed from the seven (7) reasons culled from the position papers presented by the Panel of Resource Speakers who participated in the February 2 Committee hearing:

1.The BNPP Bill lacks feasibility study.

2.The BNPP is structurally defective and unsafe.

3.The BNPP Site has an unacceptably high risk of serious damage from earthquakes, volcanism, or both.

4.The BNPP is an unnecessary response to faulty power shortage projections.

5.The BNPP would be costly to operate and accompanied by enormous hidden costs.

6.The BNPP is a glaring testimony to the government’s continuing wasteful debt policy at the expense of the people’s welfare.

7.The BNPP is not an answer to Climate Crisis, nor an alternative to Renewable Energy.

The Network Opposed to BNPP (or NOtoBNPP), composed of progressive organizations, social movements, scientists, academics, progressive legislators, ecologists, media, church workers, consumer groups & activists, is the one involved in stopping the passage of legislation allowing the operation of the defective Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Some members of NOtoBNPP have formed a coordinating committee to centralize the ongoing initiatives of various groups against the BNPP revival.

This ISSUE PAPER is released in support of the issue, to educate and encourage the involvement of faith-based groups. Please refer to this Paper for the faith-based involvement, other ongoing initiatives, schedule of activities, links to more information, materials available and contact details.

All illegitimate debts are immoral!

“CHOOSE LIFE OVER DEBT!”

Make a difference. Reject the Revival of BNPP!

BNPP is an illegitimate debt, a burden passed on by the former dictator, therefore it is considered an IMMORAL DEBT !

Join the actions NOW!

Faith-based Involvement

The faith-based involvement on this issue is nothing new. The Church and other faith-based groups have actually participated in the action. For the purpose of scrapping the Bill, faith-based groups in Bataan, particularly His Excellency Most Reverend Socrates Villegas has released three consecutive Pastoral Statements on the issue of the BNPP Revival. He also supports ongoing initiatives of groups in Bataan by participating and speaking during activities.

On the other hand, The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) has also released their Statement Rejecting the Re-Commissioning of BNPP.

Links to More Information

About the Author of the Bill – Representative Mark O. Cojuangco

<http://www.congress.gov.ph/members/search.php?congress=14&id=cojuangco-m#>

Summary of the Bill (BIS Online Inquiry)

<http://www.congress.gov.ph/bis/hist_show.php?save=0&journal=&switch=0&bill_no=HB04631&congress=14>

Engr. Robert Verzola WordPress Blog

<http://rverzola.wordpress.com>

Online Petition Opposing the Revival of BNPP

<http://www.petitiononline.com/no2bnppr/petition.html>

Contact Details (Who to contact?)

The Coordinating Committee

Network Opposing the BNPP (NOtoBNPP)

  • Malou Tabios-Nuera
  • Freedom from Debt Coalition
  • +63-2-9246399/+63-2-9211985/ +639209149562
  • mail@fdc.ph / mltabios@gmail.com
  • Corazon V. Fabros
  • +639178871153
  • corafabros@gmail.com
  • Francis Joseph dela Cruz
  • Public Campaigns Coordinator
  • Greenpeace Southeast Asia
  • +639178542103
  • fdlcruz@greenpeace.org

For the faith-based involvement, FCAID-CC can help coordinate these initiatives. Please refer to contact details below:

Office Address: c/o Kaalagad Office, Rm.232, St. Anthony’s Bldg. Aurora Blvd., Quezon City 1109 Philippines

Telefax No: +632 4381322

E-mail Address: fcaid@yahoo.com, fcaid101507@gmail.com

Website: http://www.fcaid.ph

IM: fcaid(YM), fcaid101507(Skype)

Sources:

1.The Real Score Inside the Appropriations Committee by Malou Tabios-Nuera (Posted February 10, 2009, 9:42a.m. at NOtoBNPP Googlegroups

2.BNPP recommissioning proponent Cojuanco has no feasibility study, only Wikipedia articles by Enrgy. Roberto Verzola, Philippine Greens <http://rverzola.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/bnpp-rehab-proponent-cojuangco-has-no-feasibility-study-only-wikipedia-articles/>

3.Seven (7) Reasons against the Revival of BNPP, The Executive Summary. These are culled from the position papers of the Panel of Resource Speakers during the Congressional Hearing of the Committee on Appropriations last February 2, 2009.

4.Notes from the FDC-led BNPP Consultative Meeting last February 11, 2009, 6-9 p.m., Penthouse, Fersal Place Hotel, Malakas St.

5.Pictures are courtesy of FDC.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: