Make nuke plant a tourist spot, bishop suggests

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BALANGA, Bataan, Oct. 19, 2014—A Catholic prelate maintains that reopening the Bataan Nuclear Powerplant (BNPP) is not the solution to the problem of a looming energy shortage and its mounting cost, it should instead be converted into a tourist spot.

Talking to Church-run Radyo Veritas recently, Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos suggested transforming the mothballed power plant and the areas surrounding it into an income-generating tourist attraction.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos (Photo: CNA)

The prelate stressed the power plant, which critics of Martial Law tagged a “white elephant”, serves as an expensive lesson to Filipinos.

“It should not be repeated, and everything in the future should be studied well, not impulsively. This is also educational,” he shared.

He explained BNPP reminds people to always seek viable alternatives in order to address the energy crisis.

“It is really a threat to the environment—to the bodies of water, the air, and the land. The soil will be poisoned, the water would be contaminated, and the air will be polluted,” the prelate said.

According to Santos, the nuclear facilities put the environment and the lives of people dependent on it at risk, recommending other alternative power sources that are both safe and eco-friendly.

“I see nothing positive in the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, so I don’t believe rehabilitating it is such a good thing,” Santos stressed.

Earlier, in a pastoral letter, Santos said the Church’s position on the planned revival of BNPP had been researched on and discussed before a decision was made.

“The Diocese of Balanga is against this [move]. And this stand will not change,” the bishop pointed out.

“Because life is so much more valuable to us than profit or money to be gained from cheap electricity or for the selfish needs of the body…We believe that energy can be generated from wind or from water (hydro) or from the sun (solar) that can be studied, tested or harnessed,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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