South Korea offers help to rehabilitate Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

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South Korea’s offer to rehabilitate the dormant Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) remains open, according to the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PNRI) on Monday, December 6.

Dr. Carlo Arcilla, Director of DOST-PNRI, stated that the South Korean government is still interested in restoring the Bataan facility, which has been idle since 1986.

He stated that South Korea’s proposal for BNPP restoration has been submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE).

According to the PNRI’s senior official during a virtual news conference on Monday as part of the DOST-PNRI’s Atomic Energy Week celebration, South Korea has offered to rehab our BNPP, they have an offer, it is with the DOE.

He said the BNPP may be rehabilitated in four to five years.

“There is active proposal from the South Korean government to rehabilitate and they said , can we rehabilitate it with the budget of between 1 to 1.2 billion dollars. This is the cost of one coal plant for the same output and they can do it even five years,” Arcilla explained.

“But, before you do that there will be many things, first example, you might create amendments in the EPIRA law because the EPIRA law prohibits the government from owning power generating units. How will that interact with the current EPIRA Law, that has to be studied. There will be legal things,” he further stated.

According to Arcilla, reviving the BNPP is the “quickest road to starting nuclear” in the Philippines.

Morong, Bataan, is the site of the $2.3 billion BNPP. It was finished in the 1980s under the direction of late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

The BNPP was designed to generate 623 megawatts of power.