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  1. Default Nuclear or Geothermal? 
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    Which would you prefer, rehabilitate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant or develop and eventually build and operate a Geothermal Power Plant in Biliran island? Why?
     

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    Hi there M1911a2,

    Allow me to post my few cents of opinion regarding this thread. It is but relevant to discuss this issue especially that Congressman Conjuangco is seeking to rehabilitate the long dead Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to the tune of $1 billion!

    The arguments against the nuclear plant were well presented in a newspaper editorial. The most often mentioned by the local people who have taken to the streets is that the site of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin (Biliran island lies on this “Ring of Fire” thus it has Geothermal potential), and is therefore prone to seismic upheaval. Although nuclear plants can be built to withstand temblors, the public remains unconvinced. Can we imagine what would have happened if such a disaster occurred here, where the concern for public safety is plainly lacking? That in itself is a strong argument for opposing the nuclear plant. With corruption extant in almost all sectors, what if the money intended for safety measures is stolen or reduced for “kickbacks”? It is very unfortunate to note that ang mga katiwaliang nangyayari noon ay nangyayari rin ngayon.

    If what happened in Chernobyl were to happen here, do we have the resources, the knowledge and the technology to prevent a major disaster? The cost of Chernobyl disaster was 8 billion and still rising when reported!

    Contrary to some claims, nuclear energy is not clean. Nuclear waste is deadly and cannot just be dumped. The process of creating nuclear fuel doesn’t work in reverse. Uranium cannot be dispersed back into ore and buried. Newsweek has reported that “so potent is the fear of nuclear material that the US government has not yet found a State to accept it.

    What was unsafe 20 years ago cannot be made safe by a congressional action.

    Have you heard or read any in-depth study made that Geothermal Energy is unsafe, unclean, or that it can be a threat to a mountain? Another point i'd like to point out here is that contrary to the caption i saw in one of the posted picture/photo in the frontpage of BiliranIsland, Geothermal exploration, development and operation will not threaten any mountain. Let it be known that the mountains and surrounding of the Biliran Geothermal will be preserved for these will play a great part in a succesful Geothermal development/operation.
     

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    Technically speaking, both are okay besides we are not the only asian even in Japan known to in the ring of fire, who have this kind of power source. However, choosing the right design for example in Geothermal must be taken into consideration. The most important there is how to keep and manage the waste and toxic bi-products.

    In the case of nuclear rehab of our un-use yet delapidated nuclear power plants, as a Deputy Design Manager in Babcock Hitachi power boilers, with the modern design aspect of nuclear plants yet very costly must be taken into consideration. Few among nuclear fall-outs happened now because of stringent safety measures we consider in our design.


    Quote Originally Posted by m1911a2 View Post
    Which would you prefer, rehabilitate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant or develop and eventually build and operate a Geothermal Power Plant in Biliran island? Why?
    Last edited by Jeff; 02-10-2009 at 10:01 AM.
     

  4. Default bataan nuclear power plant or geothermal in biliran 
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    Both nuclear and geothermal are alternative sources of energy in order for our country to achieve energy independence. The basic difference between the two however, is that nuclear energy is not renewable while geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy. Greenpeace has continually warned the government of the health hazards, environmental impact, and high cost of a nuclear power plant, while on the other hand, geothermal energy is the safest renewable energy source, since it reduces the greenhouse effect or helps to avert the adverse effects of climate change.
    At present government and congress are mulling over the idea of tapping the Bataan Nuclear Power plant. The House of Representatives website (www.congress.gov.ph) said the "Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Commissioning Act of 2008," calls for the immediate rehabilitation and operation of the BNPP to prevent an expected power shortage by the year 2012.
    The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was paid for and built by the government with the people's taxes to the tune of US$ 2.3 billion. In addition, as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "The Department of Budget and Management and the Bureau of the Treasury confirmed that the $50-million allocation (over P2.5 billion) in the 2007 budget represented the last of the BNPP debt to be paid by the government. (A small part of the BNPP borrowings was converted in 1992 to longer-term low-interest Brady Bonds due in 2017 and 2018)." Thus, the government is at quandary as to what to do with this asset that has been totally paid for by the government and the Filipino people. (Please see attachment, a speech of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile outlining the history of our energy problems, the why's)
    And I totally agree with killerqueen that there is a misconception that mountains will be destroyed. Geothermal energy development and exploration calls for an integrated approach towards sustainable environmental management of the surrounding area. Geothermal energy is safe, clean and renewable.
    The main difference between the two, the nuclear power plant was built by Filipino sweat, tears and blood through our taxes, while the Biliran Geothermal will be developed and built by a private investor without using any government funds.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by madlangbayan; 02-10-2009 at 02:44 PM. Reason: typographical error
     

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    The Senate and the Office of the President have in their possession an explosive study whose disclosure could very well result in the permanent shuttering of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and end the moves in Congress to reopen the facility.

    According to environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, it is important that the four-year study be made public as Congress has now begun debates on a bill filed by Rep. Mark Cojuangco seeking to rehabilitate the BNPP at a cost of $1 billion.

    He said the study, conducted in 1991 by local and foreign experts, showed that the plant’s most serious defect concerned its Quality Assurance Program, which the experts found to be sloppy and below regulation standards. This meant that there was no way to determine if the strict, precise procedures in the construction of a nuclear plant were followed which would have ensured that the plant was safe and the design specifications of Westinghouse Electric Corp., which sold the plant to the Philippine government, were met.

    Even if $1 billion is spent to rehabilitate the plant, this would not be enough to cure the defects because in the first place, there is no way of pinpointing where all these problems are. There was no implementation of the Quality Assurance Program because there was no independent regulatory agency that oversaw the construction. With the absence of a Quality Assurance Program, i wonder how could someone say that this particular power plant is "okay"? I wonder if the world class certification body, ISO 9001, will certify this particular power plant.

    We cannot afford to waste another billion dollars on a project that is rightfully dead. With so much to be spent for its rehabilitation, is this the time to revive this folly of Marcos corruption? Could the money not be used for more urgent needs of the poor like schools and hospitals? I hope Cong. Chong will take action to avert this move of his colleague in Congress in rehabilitating the BNPP.

    In the know…
    The 630 megawatt plant was built in 1976 at a cost of $500 million amid allegations that Westinghouse had paid bribes to Marcos to get the contract. The Aquino administration closed down the plant because of safety concerns, and sued Westinghouse in the US for the return of money paid for the plant. It lost the case in 1993. In 2007, the Philippine finally paid off the cost of the plant at a final price tag of $ 2.3 billion! CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? THE PHILIPPINES PAID $2.3 BILLION FOR THAT USELESS PROJECT !!!
    Last edited by m1911a2; 02-14-2009 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Typo error
     

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    Contruction of any kind of power plants either using fossil fuels, nuclear, geothermal...etc. must qualify or follow known regulations, such as ASME, EN, or METI code and standards. There will be third party inspectors (AI or NOBO) who will undergo series of verifications and evaluations like HSB, TUV and many known power plant auditors which our Government should employ to verify the capacity such as workmanship, design and technology, including the disposal and environmental concerns which being considered by the Turnkey contractors and allied technical consultants. Those contractors who can't comply will be disqualified to handle the project or refurbishment works.

    Everything from start to finish shall be regulated and controlled.
     

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    I agree that the construction of any power plant must conform, qualify, follow known regulations from ASME, etc. but in the case of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, i must reiterate that "There was no implementation of the Quality Assurance Program because there was no independent regulatory agency that oversaw the construction." With this fact, how could the BNPP be "okay"?

    How could our Government employ the HSB, TUV or any other power plant auditors when in the very first place there's no way to determine and verify if the strict procedure of constructing a nuclear power plant was followed?

    Again, i will ask, "if what happen to Chernobyl were to happen here, do we have the facilities, the knowledge, the technology and the financial resources to prevent a major disaster?"







    Last edited by KillerQueen; 02-22-2009 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Punctuations
     

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    If that is true that our government that act as the buyer didn't have any consultant or a third party who will check the over all aspect of the project if it conformed to the prevailing standard then that is a very big blunder to us. So strange, it should not our government must chose technically but other party is more capable to award it to Westinghouse with out any verification and evaluation. However, if our Government is really serious of resurrecting this beleaguered, unpresidented nuclear power plant, the government must at first hire power plant designer and consultant like MHI, Babcock Hitachi, Foster Wheeler...to check and verify of the test records, Basic Design calculations, qualifications, material specifications (MTR or material test reports), commissioning and so on so forth. It's not only the quality assurance but the Design itself most important is the residual disposal and all pollution control system, water treatment and other by-products. There are always blue prints to check and verify and no way our Government can't find them.


    Quote Originally Posted by KillerQueen View Post
    I agree that the construction of any power plant must conform, qualify, follow known regulations from ASME, etc. but in the case of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, i must reiterate that "There was no implementation of the Quality Assurance Program because there was no independent regulatory agency that oversaw the construction." With this fact, how could the BNPP be "okay"?

    How could our Government employ the HSB, TUV or any other power plant auditors when in the very first place there's no way to determine and verify if the strict procedure of constructing a nuclear power plant was followed?

    Again, i will ask, "if what happen to Chernobyl were to happen here, do we have the facilities, the knowledge, the technology and the financial resources to prevent a major disaster?"







    Last edited by Jeff; 02-23-2009 at 01:50 PM.
     

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    Well all your comments hold water. I think the government is in big bind right now. It's a damn if you do, damn if you don't kind of proposition. The problem is if they don't make use of it, why the hell did we pay for it. And if we decide to use it, is it really safe. I guess that should have been decided after Marcos left the country, in that way, we would not have wasted our precious dollars just to pay off that debt. Sometimes, government really misses on some important decisions and planning.
    Now we are left with a power plant, unsure of what to do with the thing.
     

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    Verifying from the drawing board will take time and huge amount to do so, added the amortization of debt that we have to pay until now. Bottom line there is no assurance if that power plant is really safe, viable and worthy to resurrect.
     

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