Balanga diocese will resist BNPP revival

January 17, 2023 - 3:35 PM
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The control room of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong, Bataan province. (CBCP News/File)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Balanga has vowed to continue its fight against plans to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Bishop Ruperto Santos said they stand firm against the project because “we don’t want to put life on the brink of danger, in the shadow of impending death, and in a future with no certainty of goodness, safety, and beauty”.

“We acted then and will continue to act today. We are against it. Stop it. Enough. We do not agree. We are against any ideas or plans for the rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant,” Santos said in a pastoral letter.

“The Diocese of Balanga objects and it cannot be changed. Life is more important to us than profit or money from low-cost electricity or just to satisfy someone’s personal selfish motives,” he said.

The prelate made the statement as the House Special Committee on Nuclear Energy recently began talks on the development of nuclear power, including the possible revival of the BNPP, to fix power shortage.

The diocese maintains that nuclear energy remains a high-risk technology, will be harmful to the environment, and the amount of waste it will produce “will be tremendous and so does the cost to dispose it”.

“We don’t want to put life on the brink of danger, in the shadow of impending death, and in a future with no certainty of goodness, safety, and beauty,” Santos said.

“We don’t want our sea to be uninhabitable to marine life, resulting in the disruption of our ecosystem. We don’t want our soil to be poisoned and no longer viable to be cultivated. We don’t want our livelihoods to be destroyed,” he said.

The late former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr ordered construction of the 620-megawatt nuclear facility in the 1970s.

Beset with safety concerns and corruption allegations, the project was mothballed after Marcos was ousted in 1986 and in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.