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Electricity is a very vital core component in todays technology-driven society.

Utilizing electricity has paved the way for the advancement of civilization. It allowed for
development of tools that provides greater ambience and comfort to people. For example,
long distance communications via snail mail is no longer the norm and is replaced by
gadgets such as phones or computers with internet which are powered by electricity.
There are several ways to generate electricity. There are methods that use
renewable sources such as wind turbines of hydroelectric dams while there are also those
that use non-renewable sources such as coal or oil. In the past century, people have been
looking for ways to meet the demand of the consumption of energy and in the 1950s, the
first nuclear power plant in Russia was operated.
A nuclear power plant is a non-renewable energy source that makes use of the heat
produced from the fission of radioactive atoms to heat water and produce steam used to turn
a turbine connected to a generator that generates electricity. In 2012, 12.3% of the worlds
electricity production relied on nuclear power plants. As of February 2015, the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that there are 439 nuclear power plants in operating in
30 countries.
Sadly, the Philippines is not included in the countries with operating nuclear power
plants despite having the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). Located in a 389 (356?)
hectare land in the West Coast of Morong Bataan, it is the only nuclear power

plant in the country. In 1973, late Former President Ferdinand Marcos


commissioned the building of BNPP to the Westinghouse Electric Company in
response to the 1973 oil crisis. Construction of the plant began in 1976 but
was halted in 1979 because of the Three Mile Island accidents in the United
States wherein one of the plants constructed by the Westinghouse Electric
Company had a partial meltdown.
After subsequent safety inquiries, the plant began reconstruction again in
1981 until it was finished in 1984. BNPP underwent a one-year long Hot
Functional Test wherein it was able to produce five megawatts (MW) of
electricity without nuclear fuel. As the BNPP was being prepared to be used,
the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukarine happened. In the Phillipines, the
People Power Revolution ousted the Marcos regime and the succeeding
administration of Former President Corazon Aquino decided not to operate
the plant. Until now, BNPP is under preservation mode and it was only since
2008 that it was opened to the public as "tourist" spot.
Our visit to BNPP this February was very enlightening. Ms. Cora Baluyot, a
______, provided general information to the plant and its workings. For
examplle, had the plant been operational in the 1980's, it's capacity to
generate 621 MW of electricity could have supported 33% of the electric
demand in Luzon. Now, it could handle only roughly 10% of the

Interestingly, while the employees of the plant is under the National Power
Corporation (NAPOCOR), the plant itself is not actually a property of the
government. Rather, it is a property of the Department of Finance.
The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was a focal point for anti-nuclear protests in the late 1970s
and 1980s. The project was criticised for being a potential threat to public health, especially
since the plant was located in an earthquake zone,[3] and because a volcano formation was
found near the location of the plant.

2000s[edit]
Despite never having been commissioned, the plant has remained intact, including the
nuclear reactor, and has continued to be maintained. [2] The Philippine government completed
paying off its obligations on the plant in April 2007, more than 30 years after construction
began.[2]
On January 29, 2008, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes announced that International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) 8-man team led by Akira Omoto inspected the mothballed Bataan
Nuclear power station on rehabilitation prospects. In preparing their report, the IAEA made
two primary recommendations. First, the power plant's status must be thoroughly evaluated
by technical inspections and economic evaluations conducted by a committed group of
nuclear power experts with experience in preservation management. Second, the IAEA
mission advised the Philippines Government on the general requirements for starting its
nuclear power program, stressing that the proper infrastructure, safety standards, and
knowledge be implemented.[6] The IAEA's role did not extend to assessing whether the power
plant is usable or not, or how much the plant may cost to rehabilitate. [6] On February 1, 2010,
NAPOCOR started evaluating the financial plan of Korea Electric Power
Corporation (KEPCO), assessing that it may cost $US1-billion to rehabilitate the nuclear
plant.[7]
On February 22, 2011, the Philippine government will reimburse the National Power
Corporation (NAPOCOR) 4.2 billion (US$96 million) it spent for maintaining the mothballed
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.[8] It requires an average of 40 million a year just to maintain it.
[9]

In May 2011, it was announced that the plant would be turned into a tourist attraction. [10]

Construction of the plant started in February 1976 under the administration


of late Former President Ferdinand Marcos and was only finished in 1984.
Throughout the years, it was hindered by unfortunate events. First a partial
nuclear meltdown in 1979 at Three Mile Island, United States wherein human
error exacerbated the situation. Construction resumed in 1981 and was
completed in 1984. It proceeded to undergo the Hot Functional Test. During the

test, the plant was able to generate 5 MW of electricity without nuclear fuel. By June 1984, the
uranium fuel was ordered and delivered but another nuclear disaster in 1986 in the Chernobyl
Plant put again a stop in the operation of the plant.
In the same year, the Filipinos revolted against and overthrew the Marcos Regime.
Former President Corazon Aquino succeeded him and she put a stop to all operations in the
plant. Even after several years up to the present, the plant is not yet functional. IN 2008, it was
opened as a tourist spot.
In 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan wherein the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear
Power Plant suffered major damage. Until now, hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water is
leaking from the plant to the Pacific Ocean. This lead to a larger awareness of the dangers that
nuclear power plants pose and as such, even in the Philippines, many people are wary of using
nuclear power plants. In this case, the BNPP operations were again halted even if it was
inspected for a few years.
However, the tour coordinators in BNPP told us not to worry. They outlined the key
differences of the BNPP and FDNPP.
First is that the design of the two plants are completely different. The BNPP is a