STATE-run National Power Corp. (Napocor) is no longer eyeing the possible revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and instead planning to construct two nuclear plants with 1,000 megawatts capacity each.

But Pio Benavidez, Napocor senior vice president, said nuclear option must be declared first in order for them to proceed with the plan building of nuclear power facility in the country.

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"First thing that we should do is declare that nuclear is an option so that officially we can study the policy of the government," he said.

"Once it’s declared, we will finalize the feasibility if it’s viable or not viable to put up nuclear plant. Remember, Bataan doesn’t want to revive BNPP, so if you have nuclear policy, we should start looking for an area that will accept the construction of nuclear plant," he added.

He said that so far, Pangasinan is the area that they are eyeing to put this nuclear plants.

The Napocor official said the government would need US$4 billion to put up the nuclear plant.

He noted that BNPP has only 600MW capacity if it would be revived, lower than the 2,000MW that Napocor intends to build.

"That's around US$4 billion because the revival of the Bataan nuclear power plant alone will cost US$800 million to US$1 billion and that's only 600 MW while this one is two- 1, 000 MW (each)," Benavidez said.

According to Benavidez, Pangasinan Representative Mark Cojuangco and representatives of the Science and Technology Department, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and Department of Energy (DOE) are set to meet Monday and discuss issues concerning BNPP and policy directions on nuclear power.

Earlier, Cojuangco said a company in South Korea is disposing parts of nuclear plant that could be easily assembled.

"The government can buy this. But if you will ask me what I will do I will talk to the Korean government to sell to us their nuclear reactors at a cheap price and if we buy the reactors, we can tell to those interested that we have a reactor, they just assemble it and we just pay for it. The objective there is for the government to purchase the reactor cheaper," Benavidez added.

For the 2,000 MW, Benavidez said they would only need 15 hectares areas to construct it.

At least 10 areas were identified by Napocor as potential site for nuclear power development across the country and this are in Padre Burgos, Quezon, Mapalan Point in Morong, Bataan; San Juan, Bttangas, Port Irene/Matara Point and Rakat Hill in Cagayan.

For Visayas the areas being considered are Tagbarungis, Inagauwan in Southwest of Puerto Prinsesa and Concecion, Tanabag in Northeast Puerto Princesa; Cansilan Point, Bayawan in Negros Oriental; Baluangan, Cawayan, Negros Oriental.

The nuclear option have been considered again after the country in particular Mindanao suffered rotating brownouts due to the prolong El Nino dry spell. (MSN/Sunnex)