Bataan Nuclear Power Plant much safer than Fukushima plant, says UP Geological Sciences chief

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is much safer than the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan that suffered explosions after a magnitude-8.9 earthquake and a tsunami hit the country last week, according to Carlo Arcilla, director of the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences.

Arcilla told Headstart yesterday that the Fukushima plant is very old and uses boiling water reactor technology, which was used in the 1970s, reports ABS-CBN News.

In contrast, the Bataan plant in Morong uses pressurized water reactors, which are utilized in France and the U.S. "There’s an exact copy of the BNPP in Japan. An exact copy. It has been running since 1983 and so far, no problems," Arcilla said.

Citing his own studies, Arcilla said the Bataan plant does not stand on an active fault but it could be near one. He added that he expects the plant to survive a massive earthquake. If an earthquake hits the country, he said he wants to be inside the plant "because the walls are so thick." He also noted that the plant is located 18 meters above sea level.

Still, the unused $2.3 billion plant, which would have produced 621 megawatts, supposedly has more than 4,000 defects, reports ABS-CBN News. Built from 1976 to 1984, it was paid off in 2007.

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News.

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