The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant has been given several monikers since its conception – the white elephant, Morong The Bataan Nuclear Power Plantmonster and the ghost of Morong, among others.  It has also been alluded to as a glorified stove by no less than the proponent himself, Pangasinan Representative Mark Cojuangco.

Monikers aside, there really is nothing (from the Wikipedia data that the proponent has constantly been referring to for facts) that makes the BNPP worth reviving.  To revive something that has been killed over 2 decades ago is not something that is worth our time and budget.  And in this time of imminent peril, our lawmakers must not be distracted by quick fix solutions under the guise of ‘modernity’.

“Nuclear power plants are, next to nuclear warheads themselves, the most dangerous devices that man has ever created.  Their construction and proliferation is the most irresponsible, in fact the most criminal, act ever to have taken place on this planet” said Patrick Moore who was among the most vociferous members of Greenpeace strongly opposed to Nuclear power, has  sold his soul to the dark side to become a nuclear energy lobbyist.  He has been given undue importance by misrepresenting himself as an environmentalist expert.

The justification to revive the plant is an official abuse of scientific data, according to Dr. Kelvin S. Rodolfo, adjunct professor University of the Philippines – Diliman NIGS.  Scientific studies show that BNPP is unsafe.  No country has ever solved the problem of nuclear waste storage and disposal.  To operate a 20-year old plant is like playing Russian roulette.  In the event of a natural disaster, i.e. an earthquake or a volcanic eruption, the disaster knows no bounds – death, cancer, leukemia, respiratory ailments – the dismal list goes on.  Experts have spoken about the real score on BNPP.  Who will you believe and trust your future with?  A man who portrays to know the facts and who claims that you can get more radiation from a banana than from standing beside a nuclear power plant for one year or from experts who are backed with sound scientific facts and data?  The choice is yours.

Whether we admit it or not, we are the children of climate change.  It is unforgivable for us to leave behind a planet in a worse condition from when we first set foot on.  Anyone who argues to differ is a schizoid who “can feel completely secure only by imagining the world as a vast empire of inert objects ruled by the self’s unfettered will”, according to Ira Chernus, “Nuclear Madness”.

What’s worse than nuclear renaissance is the phenomenon of apathy and indifference amongst the public.  I am ashamed for those who pay a blind eye to what is obviously wrong and instead continue treading on with their lives in a nonchalant manner, not affected whatsoever.  Were they not paying attention in class during discussions on Jose Rizal, particularly when he said “The youth is the hope of our future?”

Let us bid nuclear fantasies and apathy a farewell and learn to speak, act and stand up for the planet now.

Anna Abad