Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, together with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, conducted an ocular inspection of the mothballed 620-megawatt (MW) Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) yesterday on Thursday (01 September) in line with the Philippines’ hosting of the International Conference on the Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Asia Pacific Region.
The visit is a milestone as Secretary Cusi is the first Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary in a long line of DOE chiefs to inspect the integrity of the BNPP after it was set to preservation mode in 1986 or after 30 years. Records from the National Power Corporation (NPC) showed that Energy Minister Geronimo Velasco was the only head of the agency to set foot in the BNPP as it was constructed during his term.
Along with Secretary Cusi and Director Chudakov during the technical tour were NPC President Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita, who hosted the event, NPC Vice-President for Administrative and Finance Lorna Dy, NPC Resource Management Services Manager Atty. Manuel Luis B. Plofino, Sr., Program Director from Argonne National Laboratory of Illinois, USA Dr. Daniel Fraser and Energy Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos. The technical tour was led by NPC Asset Preservation Manager Engr. Mauro Marcelo Jr. together with other NPC-BNPP staff.
The 3-day International Nuclear Conference, which is the biggest of its kind in the ASEAN Region, concluded September 1 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila. There were about 200 participating energy experts and stakeholders from various industries, including the three branches of the government (i.e., executive, legislative and judiciary), the academe and scientific community, energy sector participants, professional organizations and non-governmental organizations.
The DOE remains committed to ensure reliable, stable, sustainable, secure and reasonably priced energy by exploring the right energy mix and resources for the country.
Title Photo caption:
SHOULD WE GO NUCLEAR? Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi (3rd from right) led an ocular inspection of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant on September 1 to find out whether it can still be made operational. With him were (L-R) Program Director from Argonne National Laboratory of Illinois, USA Dr. Daniel Fraser, NPC Vice-President for Administrative and Finance Lorna Dy, Energy Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos, IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, NPC President Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita, NPC Resource Management Services Manager Atty. Manuel Luis B. Plofino, Sr. and NPC Asset Preservation Manager Engr. Mauro Marcelo Jr. The facility was completed in 1984 at a cost of US$2 billion, but never produced a single watt of electricity as it was mothballed. The DOE is now exploring the possibility of reviving the plant to augment the country's power supply.