The Claim: President Cory Aquino failed to operate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant which was President Marcos’ long-time dream to end the power crisis.
The Facts: On February 25, Discover Asean published:
“The First Nucleat (sic) Power plant in Southeast Asia (https://www.facebook.com/discoverasean10/posts/1875975165920982)”
It said that the Bataac Nuclear Power Plant in Morong, Bataan was started by then-President Ferdinand Marcos in 1973.
“A presidential committee was set up to secure funding for two 620 megawatt nuclear reactors for the energy needs of Luzon,” it said.
It was designed to produce 621 megawatts of power.
“After 1986, the succeeding administration of President Corazon Aquino decided not to operate the plant. Among other considerations taken were the strong opposition from Bataan residents and Philippine citizens as well as concern over the integrity of the construction. The Philippines experienced 8- to 12-hour rolling blackouts and power rationing from 1989 to 1993.”
A Netizen noted that it was not President Aquino who decided not to operate the BNPP.
Darryl Mutya said that it was President Marcos who stopped his own project in 1979 (https://www.facebook.com/daryll2156/posts/10220414354540259).
He cited Marcos’ own Letter of Instruction (https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/…/letter-of…/…) where the later president said:
“Among other things, the Commission has come to the conclusion that, as designed, the Bataan Nuclear Plant is not safe, and therefore is a potential hazard to the health and safety of the public.”
“In view of these findings, it will not be possible to continue with the construction of the Bataan Nuclear Plant unless the contractor, Westinghouse, introduces fundamental changes in design and adapts additional, adequate and acceptable safeguards to ensure its safety and protect the health of the public.”
The problem is, it took the Philippines more than 30 years to pay the debt incurred in constructing the nuclear plant.
“Nearly 32 years since the BNPP was completed, the Filipinos finished paying the loans and interests in 2007. The government has paid a total of P64.7 billion (P43.5 billion for principal amortization and P21.2 billion in interest) for the nuclear power plant that never generated a single watt of electricity,” wrote Vera Files.
For Discover Asean to blame President Aquino for the non-operation of the plant despite the “8- to 12-hour rolling blackouts and power rationing from 1989 to 1993” is unfair.