Duterte wants local consultation before Bataan nuclear plant revival | Inquirer News

Duterte wants local consultation before Bataan nuclear plant revival

/ 02:21 PM October 01, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants local consultations with residents of the province of Bataan on the possible revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, this was Duterte’s directive issued during a meeting with Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi in Malacañang Wednesday night.


“Pagdating po dito sa meeting with Sec. Cusi at former Congressman Mark Cojuangco, ang sabi po ni Presidente start from the ground,” Roque said in a televised press briefing at the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) in Mariveles, Bataan.


(As for the meeting with Sec. Cusi and former Congressman Mark Cojuangco, the President said to start from the ground.)

“Pag-aralang mabuti but start from the ground. And I take that to mean na tayo pong mga taga Bataan ang dapat konsultahin muna kung gusto natin buksan ang Bataan Nuclear Power Plant,” he added.

(Study carefully but start from the ground. And I take that to mean that we the people of Bataan should be consulted first if we want to open the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.)

The $2-billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is the country’s first and only nuclear power station. It was built during the term of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the height of the 1973 oil crisis. It never became operational due to allegations of corruption and safety issues.

The meeting follows Duterte’s order in July about the conduct of a government study on the feasibility of introducing nuclear energy to the Philippines’ power generation mix.

The Philippines recently signed a memorandum of intent with Russia’s state nuclear company to look into the possibility of buying its newly launched “floating nuclear power plant” technology.


The memo was signed by Cusi and Evgeny Pakermanov of Rusatom Overseas during Duterte’s visit to Moscow last October 2019.

But days after the signing of the memo, Duterte conceded that it may not be constitutional after all.

While the Constitution does not ban the use of nuclear energy, it “pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.”

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TAGS: Bataan, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Russia

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