Thursday, March 05, 2009

Waking up a monster

By proposing the revival of the controversial Bataan Nuclear Plant, lawmakers have only awakened a monster of an issue that has been sleeping for almost three decades now.

For people who were too young to remember the heat of battle against the nuke plant during the Marcos era, I suggest that they familiarize themselves with its history. The issue can hog the headlines in the coming months.

Groups like Greenpeace can start educating the public not only about the perils of the plant but also its history. The group has maintained that studies conducted on the plant revealed that it is unsafe.

Among Greenpeace's assertions are:

1) Nuclear power is the most dangerous way to generate electricity, there is also no known scientific solution to safely storing plutonium, its deadly radioactive waste-product which remains radiotoxic for 240,000 years;

2) it is the most expensive source of power: aside from pricey construction costs, nuclear power involves expenses for decommissioning, as well as storage for nuclear waste, each of which can cost considerably more than new power plants;

3) Nuclear power cannot solve climate change—the contribution it can potentially make is negligible, and studies show that the entire nuclear power plant life cycle contributes significantly to climate change, and

4) it cannot give the country energy security, and will further render the Philippines dependent on the supply of uranium which is a limited resource found only in a few countries.

No discussion in Congress can reverse any of the above arguments, Greenpeace said.

Aside from political and scientific discussions, I look forward to anecdotes and stories how the Filipino people fought the operation of the plant years ago. Maybe by doing so, we can again unite and not only put the monster back to sleep but kill it once and for all.

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