Cojuangco insists on Nuclear Power

April 4, 2011 at 1:37 am Leave a comment

Amid the fear spawned by the effects of radiation emitted by those damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, rabid nuclear-power- plant advocate and former congressman Mark Cojuangco locked horns with Akbayan Party-list’s top honcho in Northern Luzon, Suz Salazar, on the pros and cons of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), and the two proposed nuclear reactors in Pangasinan that were backed-up by the provincial government.

One of the arguments Cojuangco unleashed before selected media men, led by Pangasinan Press Club, Inc. prexy Gonzalo Duque and former GMA-7 vice prexy Nestor Pulido, that the BNPP is 10 years younger than those 50 year-old nuclear plants in Fukushima.

He said that in case BNPP was situated in lieu of those reactors in Japan, it would not crack and eventually be damaged.

The son of the chairman of the world class and mammoth San Miguel Corporation observed that unlike the BNPP, the reactors in Japan have no design to withstand the force of a tsunami as the Japanese engineers should have known primordially that what they constructed are located near the sea.

“The plant in Japan has only 0.16 seismic-densities, “ he emphatically declared.

He stressed that the plant in Morong, Bataan is 18 meters above sea-level and it has a density of 0.46. He said that it’s more than double its durability as compared to those reactors that went awry in Fukushima.

“It (BNPP) could withstand the strongest earthquake like what happened recently in Japan,” he declared.

He said however that despite the more than magnitude 9 earthquake that struck Fukushima, those 50-years old Japanese assets did not break.

He said that the BNPP is superior to those reactors in Japan because it is a Power Water Reactor (PWR), while the latter is Body Water Reactor (BWR).

“PWR is an evolution of BWR. It was invented to withstand the backlash of wars. 70% of PWR nuclear reactors are located in the United States,” he said.

Anti-Nuke Salazar said that BNPP was decommissioned because it has problem with social and technical engineering.

He said that is “naka-upo sa bulkan” (seats on the mouth of a volcano),

Cojuangco, who loved to explain in details, retorted that if anybody can show that BNPP is located underneath a fault line, he would withdraw House Bill 1291, a bill refilled by his wife Rep. Kimi in the present 13th Congress. The bill is a validation process that would satisfy accepted nuclear power industry norms to determine whether the BNPP should be rehabilitated and operated or closed permanently.


Salazar who was austere on his observation, questioned that because of the hunger suffered by the Filipino, our leaders here in Pangasinan whimsically want to rush to host the nuclear plants.

Cojuangco answered that he discussed with renowned Dr. Carlo Arcilla, of the University of Illinois and adjunct professor of University of the Philippines’ National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS), who told him that there is no earthquake fault line underneath the mothballed BNPP.

He said that the Marikina fault lines are too far from the plant.

Mahar Lagmay of the U.P NIGS even told him that to insulate people from any volcanic harm to a nuclear plant it would be seven times farther from it based on the vertical height of that volcano.

BNPP is farther than that, he said.

“Everything has a risk. It means one should evacuate the entire population of Quezon City because underneath it is a volcano. Other examples are when one rides a jeep, one wakes up in the morning, when you cross the street, there are risks,” he declared.

He posed to us that because there is risk, we should not to do something worthy?

He said nuclear power plant is safe. He went recently to Switzerland for an ocular inspection of the two old power plants there.

He said that he even swam in the water near the boiler station, and drank its potable water. The water there that cools the reactors is being used to heat the houses of the people that live near the plants. All of these experiences were backed up with video.

He said that the resolution passed by the provincial board of Pangasinan stipulated that hosting of the two nuclear plants somewhere in Western Pangasinan would mean each household in Pangasinan would have a three-peso discount per kilowatt.

“We could not bargain like that with San Roque (in San Manuel town) and the coal power plant (in Sual town) because the power they generate is expensive,”

He said that with a probable nuclear plant we could do the bargain because the power it generates is so cheap.


I asked Mr. Salazar what the alternative of the left where he belongs for cheaper electricity for our pathetic country to draw foreign investors thus generate jobs for us:

“Ang pinalabas natin parang nuclear plant ang makaka-angat sa economiya natin. Ang isang alternatiba na less magastos iyung water, solar, and wind. Meron tayung geothermal, mas iyon pa ang pinupuntuhan namin sa usapin na mas safe. Ang punto dito (nuclear) drastic ang pag-baba ng presyo. Uunlad ang Pangasinan ni sa usapin tungkol sa risk wala pang malinaw. Kasi iyung sa Japan ngayon nila pinag-babayaran iyung nangyari. Almost P30 billion iyung mangyayari sa Japan, sa Fukushima. Sa tingin ko more than P30 billion pa. Duun kami sa mas safe like solar, wind, and geothermal” Salazar stressed.,

Mr. Salazar said that he was not privy on the technical nuances as he was only concerned with the social and environmental risks nuclear plants give us.

“So you don’t know the technical aspects. How can you convince us to believe you?” hissed by media man Ruben Rivera to Salazar.

Cojuangco answered that nobody dies in Fukushima as a result of those radiation.

He said that construction of a solar and geothermal plants are more expensive than the construction of a nuclear plant.

He said a solar needs standby power as sunlight is not a constant source.

Cojuangco said that he spent countless hours discussing with every sector of our society the advantages of nuclear powers. He even challenged members of the skeptical left to invite him and debate with him in their “Lion’s Den” but he wondered why his call up to this moment remained unanswered.

He said moreover that a person who eats spinach that was afflicted with radiation in the peripheries of Fukushima for 365 days or one year would still be less afflicted by radiation than when he submits himself for an X-Ray.


Oh, by the way I and my family are grateful to Mr. Ramon Lusong, the owner of Tong-its Bar & Restaurant near the “Red District” of Dagupan. Because of his intercession among the drivers of the downtown jeeps in Dagupan City who are his customers during day time, the brown envelop that contains the pertinent documents of my son Nico for his entrance at the University of Sto. Thomas was found through driver Joey Agboya.

My grateful wifey and kid who have sleepless nights as the interview would be on the following morning were ecstatic. May advantage din pala pag ang tatay na umiinom, ahem, pa minsan minsan sa night club

Ramon by the way is the friend of Gypsy (PR scribe of former Speaker Joe de Venecia and Rep. Gina). Gypsy, according to Ramon, used to cut the hair of his children once upon a time when Gypsy was less rich than today.

(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

Entry filed under: News.

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