After so much conflicting opinions among the people and passionate contradicting discussions among experts, after so much expenses in terms of extra building costs and huge yearly interest payments, and after so many alleged and certified defects plus so many years of a “mothball” option made thereon, the Bataan nuclear power plant is once again emerging as a point of debate, a bone of contention – a serious item of dissenting contentions and conflicting positions. And rightly so. Nuclear power is definitely not something to fool around with. A nuclear power plant is surely not anything to be taken lightly primarily on account of its vast potential to destroy anybody and anything on its way when it unleashes its destructive nuclear might due to natural cause, or human error and/or technical dysfunction – if not security breakdown in this ideological well divided Country.
In the light of the above polls-apart perceptions and convictions about the glorification and damnation of atomic energy, it is but proper to bring in the three following items for consideration and pursuant attention:
One: IAEA CHARTER in its Article 2, took upon itself the mandate “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.”
Two: POPE BENEDICT XVI in his addressed to IAEA on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary on 27 July 2007 said: “The epochal changes that have occurred in the last 40 years demonstrate how, in the crossroads in which humanity finds itself, the commitment to encourage non-proliferation of nuclear arms, to promote a progressive and agreed upon nuclear disarmament and to support the use of peaceful and safe nuclear technology for authentic development, respecting the environment and ever mindful of the most disadvantaged population, is always present and urgent.”
Three: RENATO CARDINAL MARTINO, the Justice Minister of the Vatican City State made the following statement on 1 August 2007: “With maximum safety requirements in place for people and the environment, and with a ban in place on the hostile use of nuclear technology, why should the peaceful use of nuclear technology be barred? Excluding nuclear energy because of preconceived principle or fear of disasters could be a mistake, and in some cases could have paradoxical effects.”
Less those pro-activation of the Bataan nuclear power plant immediately jump for joy and those contra thereto at once react with anger and sob for sorrow, let be said that all the above cited pronouncements are but principles in nature and general in scope. But in the concrete case of the Bataan nuclear power plant, the fundamental questions remain exactly the same: Is it safe? Is it environment friendly? It is for the best interest of the disadvantage population?
February 11, 2009