Gifted with pristine white beaches and luscious green forests, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) sits at the tip of a 389 hectare protected land at Napot Point, Morong, Bataan.It is the only erected commercial nuclear power station within the ASEAN countries.
The National Power Corporation was mandated by law to preserve and maintain this nuclear plant. It has instituted procedures and programs to keep the aesthetic attributes of BNPP. The craftsmen of this law envisioned that somewhere in the future, this sleeping massive undertaking of the government may resurrect, and be able to provide safe, clean, reliable and cheap energy, while at the same time steering the nation towards economic and technological advancement.
Considered to be one among the robustly-built nuclear power station in the world, and more advance in design and younger than more than half of the operating nuclear power plants in the United States of America, the BNPP was designed to withstand the highest postulated earthquake in the Luzon island at ground acceleration value of 0.4G or Intensity 8 in the Richter Scale. At 18 meters above sea level ground elevation, the BNPP plant site is well protected against tidal waves and tsunamis. It can sustain operation even if a Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant-like tsunami incident of March 11, 2011 happened at this site.
If the plant had operated, its 623 MW electrical capacity could have provided at least 10% of the present power requirements for the Luzon grid. It could have started the nuclear regime in the country which can bring the Philippine economy at greater heights, like Korea or Taiwan, perhaps..
The plant was almost complete in 1984 and 100% of plant equipment and systems had passed the one-year long Hot Functional Tests that was conducted then. It was also during this said test that the plant was able to generate 5 MW of electricity using the heat from the Nuclear Steam Supply System but without nuclear fuel. This refutes the “statement” being circulated that this plant was completely built but has never generated a single watt of electricity.
The BNPP is a Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactor Nuclear Power Plant, the most popular reactor design in the industry. It took 10 years to construct and has been on preservation mode since 1986 at a cost of Php40 to Php50 million a year.
BNPP was about 98% complete in February 1984, and in June 1985 public hearings were set to be conducted for the Operating License of BNPP as requirement prior to initial nuclear fuel loading to the nuclear reactor. This is in preparation for the commercial operation of the plant.
The IAEA as the world’s advisory body to utilities on the safe operation of a nuclear power plants has inspected BNPP twice, the IAEA Operational Safety Analysis Review Team (OSART) I and II (July 1984 and February 1985, respectively). Although it identified issues and made recommendations, the IAEA said the plant’s construction met international standards. After the second inspection, the IAEA said that the plant was ready to receive fuel and begin start-up testing for its commercial operation.
With a very expensive, fully paid and idle asset at hand, and the country’s need to educate more the population on the benefits behind the peaceful use of atomic energy, the nuclear plant was opened to the public in 2008 as part of the government’s information, education and communication program on nuclear power.
Plant briefings and tours became a daily part of the activities of the NPC’s preservation team. The “BNPP Experience” provided visitors with the basic knowledge on nuclear energy, why do we still need this energy resource, and the history of BNPP. The briefings will be followed by a plant walk down to the major components of a nuclear power plant like the Steam Generator Building, Reactor Building, Control Room, and others.
Eversince, the BNPP has been part of the yearly destination of schools, universities, colleges, etc., for their out-of-town educational field trips and studies.
For Plant Tours and Accommodations at the West Nuk Beach Resort, please contact the following:
- Mr. Jose G. Manalo, Principal Engineer A, BNPP, 02 924 5313 (land line), 02 922 7848 (telefax), 0920 919 6378 (mobile), email:
- Ms. Ma. Corazon O. Baluyot, Environmental Management Specialist, BNPP, 02 9245313 (land line), 02 922 7848 (telefax), 0921 371 3865 (mobile), email:
- Mr. Mauro L. Marcelo, Jr., Department Manager, Asset Preservation Department, 02 922 7848 (telefax), 0928 501 9857 (mobile) email:
Published: 20 February 2014