Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bataan nuke plant viable—expert

Bataan nuke plant viable—expert
A French expert on nuclear waste yesterday said the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant would produce 17 tons of nuclear waste for 18 months of operation.

The nuclear waste would cost $20,000 per ton but it could be made safe with the installation of high-technology nuclear waste disposal system, said Dr. Ian McKinley.

“Technologies are available to make the nuclear waste disposal system foolproof, safe, earthquake-free and radiation leak-free,” McKinley said. “The waste disposal system can store and contain the nuclear waste for the next 1,000 to one million years.”

McKinley was invited by Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco to brief the lawmakers and on the revival of the 24-year-old Bataan nuclear plant

Cojuangco, who hosted lunch for McKinley, lawmakers and the press, was joined by Reps. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales, Abet Garcia of Bataan, Eduardo Nonato of Nueva Ecija, and Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro at the NPC clubhouse on Balete Drive, New Manila.

McKinley said the BNPP, as it stands now, is safe from any nuclear radiation leak risk since it has never operated and is not churning out nuclear waste .

“It can be made even safer if a proper nuclear waste disposal system is installed,” McKinley said. “The radiation leaks come from defective disposal waste system. But with the technologies available now, these problems have been remedied.”

Cojuangco said the government, through his proposed measure, would allot P250 million a year for nuclear waste disposal.

The budget, he said, will come from the collection of charges to consumers, at five centavos per kilowatt.

“The five centavos would yield a total of P250 million a year. That would be more than enough to cover the cost of proper waste disposal system,” Cojuangco said.

The cost of waste disposal, at $20,000 per ton times 17 tons, is around $340,000 a year or P16.66 million annually at P49 to a dollar.

Cojuangco said the BNPP would generate 630 megawatt of power at only P2.50 a kilowatt hour as against the present cost of P4.50 a kwh.

“Even if the consumers are charged five centavos a kwh or even 10 centavos to ensure the funding for the waste disposal system, it would still be manageable because the charges are cut by P2,” Cojuangco said. “Every household can save P2 a kwh.”

McKinley said the nuclear waste would come in the form of uranium dioxide fume that could turn into liquid waste but a proper storage and disposal systems are available to ensure the plant’s safety.

The nuclear waste disposal system can be stored underground or in a mine-like setting within the BNPP facility or elsewhere, he said. By Christine F. Herrera - Manila Standard Today

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