Nuclear Pinas?

The power outage that hit Metro Manila and Central Luzon on Tuesday would likely be used by the government to condition the minds of the public and justify the resurrection of plans to tap nuclear energy as the country’s alternative power source.  

The blackouts came just as the government kicked-off its extensive study on the viability of nuclear energy and the start of the training of scientists that will man the Philippines’ one and only nuclear power reactor, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). 

BNPP, the country’s biggest ‘white elephant’, has already been paid off by the government after more than 32 years. It cost the Filipino taxpayer a total of P21.2 billion though it never generated a single watt of electricity since its construction in 1976 and completion in 1984. But despite being obsolete, the Department of Energy said the BNPP is still intact, including its reactor.  

With the payment of the BNPP already complete, crooks in the Arroyo government must be mighty happy right now. Not exactly because of the billions of pesos that we are about to save in debt payments for a useless nuclear plant. Well, certainly that’s good news, but they must be smiling through their ears because of the potential billions of spoils this new development would bring in.

Why not? credit ratings are up (no thanks to Arroyo’s twisted debt servicing policy at the Filipinos expense), a version of an anti-terror law (in the guise of human security) are to take effect in July, and the Philippine economy is destined to become among the ranks of 1st world nations in 20 years (see GMA’s imaginary, enchanted kingdom); these must be ringing in the heads of Gloria and her team of economic managers.  

For them the things mentioned above though despised and not at all felt by the Filipino masa, are good selling points and bargaining chips to heartless foreign creditors and multinational financial institutions.  

The long and short of it? The Arroyo government probably is busy right now scrounging for creditors that would lend us the funds to resuscitate the plant – thus the extensive study on nuclear energy with trainings to boot and, the blackouts? maybe…   

But who will stand to benefit if we are to burry ourselves in debt (as always), revive the BNPP and use nuclear energy as an alternative power source? Definitely, not us! (see Gloria Arroyo, IMF-WB-WTO, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, core meltdown,  radiation).