Philippine nuclear plant to become tourist attraction
The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was completed in 1984 but never brought online.
May 11th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

Philippine nuclear plant to become tourist attraction

Philippine tourism officials are turning an unused nuclear power plant into a tourist attraction, the Philippine Star reports.

The $2.3 billion Bataan Nuclear Power plant was completed in 1984 but was never put into use.

The plant was built during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos, but when Corazon Aquino became president in 1986, she refused to open it, saying its location near earthquake faults and an active volcano made it unsafe, according to an Agence-France Presse report.

Tourists will now get a look inside the plant and its intact reactor to see "how nuclear energy throughout the world menacingly threatens the quality of life of the people if handled incorrectly,” Department of Tourism regional director Ronald Tiotuico told the Philippine Star.

“Hopefully, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant would serve to warn the global community of the fallout disaster that struck people in the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima,” the Star quoted him as saying.

It won't be an all-nuclear tour, however. The plant will be a stop on a tour that includes historical sites and beach resorts, the Star reported.

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Filed under: Energy • Nuclear • Philippines • Travel
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. PraiseThLard

    I'm surprised they haven't converted it into a church...

    May 14, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Archie Bunker

    Anything Nuclear should be banned in this world.There are other alternative energy sources that are safe that need to be used. The technology needs to be un suppressed from governments!

    May 14, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • RandomGuy

      You obviously don't understand how nuclear power works. Its is a much safer and cleaner power source than coal and natural gas. The world is full of radiation, in many different forms. Nuclear radiation is simply a reaction we can use to our advantage.

      You do realize that if we were to shut down all nuclear power plants and start replacing them with "alternative energy sources" you would probably be without electricity for months?

      May 14, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • wzrd1

      Yes! I can drill a mere 30000 feet down and get geothermal energy! I can watch a windmill sit stationary, as we get a whopping 1 MPH average wind here. I can set up solar collectors to get buried in snow during the winter, collecting nothing during the winter and spring when it's cloudy! I can burn coal and collapse people's lungs from the toxic pollutants!
      Genius, if the government had access to advanced energy sources, if nothing else, the military and NASA would have those sources and use them. They don't, there isn't.
      Meanwhile, I'm tempted to take a flight there and slap Ronald Tiotuico around. I LIVE not far from TMI. We had no fallout. No massive radiation spike. Middletown is thriving, health wise. NO radiation was detected in the environment.
      Perhaps he'd like to mark the route with LARGE signs, for the Bataan death march instead.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • wzrd1

      Random, not months, but YEARS. It's not like they can slap a plant together that quickly. Concrete takes time to fully cure.
      But, there have been a whopping THREE accidents, two with significant releases, in 60 years! How HORRIBLE!
      There were 20 damn failures in the US in the 20th century, better get rid of them too!
      Tens of thousands are hospitalized from coal fly ash and combustion gas released by coal plants, around 3000 die globally from the coal supply train. Gotta get rid of that! Wars are fought over petrochemicals, gotta get rid of that too!
      We can go Amish! Just to keep that dingbat and it's companion dingbats company.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      The Sun is nuclear. You want to ban the sun?

      May 14, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Cenk

      The problem is not providing electricity to a house. You can use all those alternatives to support a house electricity; it would be a bit more expensive but yes you can do it. But it will not be a reliable source by any means to provide electricity to factories, hospitals, schools and similar palaces. You are forgetting how we live in our society where everything we do is depending on electricity and we cannot afford not to have it. You have to have a reliable source for your base load. Nuclear is one of the most reliable and cheap source for that.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • eightysix

      OMG That's a great idea! Let's set up solar panels so that we can get energy as long as it's not snowing, cloudy, or dark out! Also let's set up multi-million dollar wind turbines that produce 1/200 as much energy as a nuclear reactor when it's very windy out! And if we can drill ten miles under ground geothermal can power our heating (mildly useful)! We all know that hydro dams are so great (even though the worst energy-related accident ever was a hydro dam in china that killed some 170,000 and left 11 million homeless)! So yeah, let's cut off 30 percent of our energy and see what happens. While we're at it, lets get rid of all of our submarines. They're nuclear powered, and even though there has never been a reactor accident on an american submarine, because they're nuclear powered they must be SO DANGEROUS.

      In the mean time lets not do anything about coal and fossil fuels. Let's protest nuclear, not coal, even though coal kills 100s of thousands a year and melts the polar ice caps. It's definitely better than nuclear!

      People who know nothing about this should not scream their opinion like it's the only correct one

      May 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jc

      You are really dumb.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fat Bobby Joe

      Wzrd1, you try and sound all informed, but your ignorance shows through, anyway.

      Solar Panels, despite their name, generate electricity during cloudy weather.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      nuclear energy is far cleaner than any fossil fuel on earth

      May 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Idaho Tom

      Fat Bobby Joe@

      You're so correct, solar panel generates electricity even when there's cloud over them, similarly, they actually generate electricity when they are dark. It's just that when it's cloudy, their generating capacity drops down to a mere 10% of their average generating power because the intensity in the visible spectrum goes down. At night, there are also some fraction of visible spectrum scatting from the atmosphere from the other side of the world where the suns out, but that's a negligible amount. I think Who's uninformed is, unfortunately, you Fatty.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • AreYouSerious

      "Un suppressed from governments" What could you even mean by that? Either you speak english as a second language, or you are just plain stupid. Both of these would invalidate your point.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jade Cereno

      this is a big mistake and filipinos will pay for this mistake of Cory and her regime.. BNPP does not lie near the fault line. please have a study on this... you're misleading others

      August 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dtresh

    Nuclear energy is a great energy source. The areas we need to focus on is how to make nuclear energy safer and to contain it better. There will always be challenges with it just like anything else. If anything the safety procedures are what needs to be looked at and better plans for the event of an emergency. Plants should be forced to update the facilities especially with the advances in technology.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. UrsusRexx

    I think the operators of chernobyl, 3 mile island, the fukishima plant & the care takers of windscale, (to say NOTHING about pending eco-disasters like left-over / sunk U-boats/other submersables) should be rounded up, given a 5 minute arrignment & trial, then walled up, alive, in this unused n-power plant.
    Feed & hydrate them, cut them off from contact with, (or further damage to...), humanity, until they expire of 'natural' causes. Send them & their ecologically impossible to resolve greed to a place safe for the rest of us...

    May 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Idaho Tom

      Mmm, Chernobyl = Yes, 3 miles island = Maybe, Fukushima = absolutely no.

      Chernobyl, yes it was the director of the plants that forced to eject all control rods and making the core highly super critical and caused the core to explode without a containment vessel, hence leading to a wide range of fall out.

      3 mile island, maybe. It was a human error but it was because of active intervention of control that led to a partial core meltdown. But not a single radiation health related death occurred immediately as well as almost 30 years after the accident. Now, all reactors have been upgraded to have passive safety system that doesn't rely on unreliable humans.

      Fukushima, absolutely not. The main cause of death, ecological destruction was from the earth quake and tsunami. You don't obviously believe that the reactor operators were responsible for the natural disaster that killed 24000 people do you? It's my current assessment, but not a single person will die from Fukushima due to radiation related health concern. Just like no one died from the 3 mile island accident.

      That said, it is important to learn as much as possible from Fukushima just like we did from 3 mile island to make the new generation of reactors safer.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Ursus – you need to get a life.

      No one died from TMI radiation. Read the research. Even 30 years later there is no increase in any level of cancer or birth defects around TMI.

      58 confirmed deaths from Chernobyl. See my entry below for more or go to for peer reviewed research that has followed the Chernobyl disaster since 1986. No 900,000 deaths as the radical green websites quote.

      Fukishima – I predict same as TMI... no radiation related deaths. If you are really concerned about safety and personal health, go protest grain elevators (do a google search on grain elevator explosions), or zoning laws that allow people to live in tsunami zones, or tobaco smoking, or obesity... something that we KNOW kills people vs. trumped up charges from 1970s anti nuclear war/weapons activists who have nothing to do now.

      May 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MannyHM

    Now we can see the inside of a nuclear power plant without the concern for security & safety since it's not radioactive.
    Those who doubt the destructive forces of a nuclear disaster should visit Chernobyl in Ukraine.

    May 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Manny, yes a nuclear disaster can be destructive, but as many people here are telling you, the number of deaths caused directly or indirectly from nuclear power plants in the world is very small. Lightning kills people, but you don't scream that people should stay indoors all the time. People die in auto accidents, but you don't scream that we should get rid of cars. The only REAL downside to a nuclear power plant is cost.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Common Sense

    The fact remains that more people are killed every year in grain elevator explosions in the US than have died due to radiation from commercial nuclear power plants. Yet we all eat bread. If you have no idea what I am talking about do your research. On average, seven people are killed every year in this country in grain elevator explosions.. wheat, corn, etc are stored in large buildings. The grain dust in the right mixture with air/O2, is very explosive.

    Another fact... Chernobyl was a unique outdated design unique to the Soviets. As bad as that was, only 58 deaths are attributed to Chernobyl. True, there are 6000 cases of thyroid cancer among those that were small children at the time. 14 of those have died. The Soviets were more concerned about their image than their people and did not warn the citizens to stop drinking milk from cows in the area, or there would never be this increase in thyroid cancers. btw... the cancer rates dropped to normal levels for those children born several years later.

    TMI – no or zero increase in cancer rates 30 years after the event. Why? Very little radiation was released.

    Prediction – you will see no increase in cancer/fatality rates from Fukashima. Why are we more upset about the fact that 24,000 people died from the tsunami? Why aren't we demanding the rezoning of all land within tsunami zones and prevent humans from living there? Why? Because we are willing to assume the risks. Think about it.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • explosive grain dust

      The problem with your argument is that when a grain elevator explodes it is the people in the facility that are are killed. When a nuclear plant explodes the radiation spreads for hundreds of miles. Thousands of people are effected and in time get cancer. The radiation from Chernobyl was found in the air over Sweden. The people who are still living in Chernobyl almost all have thyroid cancer.

      May 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Say No to Drugs

      Explosive dust, What areyou smoking man?
      Your comments about thyroid cancer in in Chernobyl are a complete fiction. The 58 attributed deaths were mostly from responders and plant workers, not residents. What affected the residents was the initial mis-information and dishonesty of the authorities – which is sadly something that has repeated itself in every nuclear accident. Like most things in politics, it isn't the actual incident which gets you in so much trouble, it is the ensuing cover-up.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brad

    When one studies journalism, is there curriculum that supports the philosophies of research? If so, perhaps the author of this article was absent during those sessions. The release of radiation at TMI was insignificant. In fact, the event at TMI assisted in shaping the future of the nuclear industry. The redundant safety design of these plants produce inherently safe power production for many years. The operation of these units is performed by licensed individuals who have been screened and educated. They are under constant scrutiny to ensure that they possess the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities to ensure the health and safety of the public is always at the forefront and can be ensured. A typical licensed operator of a nuclear plant undergoes 18 – 24 months of initial training and then attends 40 hours of continuing training every 6 – 8 weeks for the rest of his / her career. The industry itself is built on invasive regulation by many outside sources to include OSHA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). It is the most regulated industry in our country. The amount of resources that go into ensuring safe operation is astounding. To speak in fear is to speak in ignorance. To speak in ignorance is dangerous...especially when the audience is ignorant as well. Seek first to understand. Only then is it appropriate to be understood. Fact overrides myth only when the listener is educated on the subject matter. Nuclear power is safe, reliable, predictable, affordable and clean. Its existence is vital in the future of emission free energy production in our country.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      The statement about fallout from TMI was a quote from the DoT representative, not from the reporter.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. someone

    Lets use solar and wind energy and quit wasting our money on destruction and wasteful resources.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. trey

    The concept of putting a power plant to provide power to Philippines is a great idea however, a couple thing with this plant:
    near an earthquake fault and volcano was not the brightest idea and Marcos was so corrupt I'm sure a lot of things were done wrong. I would say probably a good idea not to open it! In addition, the Philippines is still corrupt, does not attract the best track record on regulations and safety. Yes they need the power however, with the location and history of doing things not right, it's probably best not to be running.

    May 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Idaho Tom

      I'm a nuclear proponent, but I do agree with you. Nuclear power-plant runs great with the right safety regulation and standards. If a country is notoriously known for corruption and cutting corners, it's probably a better idea not to build them. Or else Chernobyl THEN will happen again.

      May 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walrus Punch

      What's funny on your argument is that you would keep a country from further economic development because 1.) the project is made by a corrupt president, and 2.) the country is currently under a corrupt government. Your first point is outright rubbish, an economic project must be judged by itself and not based on who's Caesar made it. In this case, the nuclear power plant is a GOOD plan by itself. Your second point would condemn all poor countries to poverty. Most third world countries are corrupt – and if you say that "they can't make big projects because they're corrupt" stumps them in limbo. What then?

      This nuclear power plant should be utilized. This international trend on nuclear power is just reasonable, and its hard to believe that there are still countries such as the Philippines that do not have a nuclear power plant. Imagine the total savings in oil import. Add to that the cheaper power rates which would make Philippine lives better and would encourage investments on manufacturing, and the sort.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kris

    Largest Wind Farm in US is rated at 781MW, and is unable to come close to actually producing that amount. It also covers over 100k acres of land. Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant in Wisconsin is rated at over 1000MW, outputs almost 90% of that, and occupies a small piece of land. Until such a difference can be made up with alternate energies, nuclear will always be better.

    May 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MannyHM

    Maybe it was in another article that commented that the Philippines get 27% of its electricity from geothermal sources. It's the top producer of geothermal energy, second only to the U.S. The Philippines never needed nuclear power source of electricity and it does not have the mitigation resources in the event of a nuclear disaster. It's densely populated country of more than 92 million people and when the land is combined it's only the size of Arizona ! Nuclear spillage into the environment means people has to abandon that place like Chernobyl, with geothermal disaster, the steam just stop flowing ! The building of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is purely political and financial gain for a few, not for the Pilipinos.

    May 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jason Quema

    No to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant for the following reasons:

    1. Why Nuclear? Philippines has the highest potential for Renewable Energy in Asia
    2. BNPP will produce 621MW – Is it worth the cost and the risk for only 621 megawatts of electricity?
    3. Too Expensive – We just finished paying for it for 30 years and now it will cost another $1-billion to rehabilitate.
    Costs for major retrofitting is needed to fix its outdated technology and the 4,000 defects found by IAEA
    Plus the cost of Uranium dependency to other countries, Uranium is not cheap!
    4. Management – BNPP will be managed by corrupt and stupid officials who know nothing about nuclear!
    5. Risk for ecological destruction – BNPP is located near the ring of fire thus earthquake prone and near the
    previously dormant Mt.Pinatubo which is now active.

    A little history about the BNPP plant. Built by corrupt Ferdinand E. Marcos 1976. BNPP cost has now reached $2.3 billion, + US$96 million spent for maintaining the Power Plant with a yearly additional cost $40 million for upkeep. Aquino then decided not to operate the plant, due to strong opposition from Bataan residents and Philippine citizens. Philippines is a densely populated 92 million people. (IAEA) also revealed over 4,000 defects in the construction of the plant, it will cost another $1-billion to rehabilitate the nuclear plant. Among other issues it was built near major earthquake fault lines and close to the then dormant Mount Pinatubo, which is now active.

    Why go Nuclear when there are alternatives:

    A study conducted by the Renewable Energy Coalition states that the Philippines has the following renewable energy potential:

    Geothermal – 4,531 MW
    Hydro electric – 13,097 MW
    Wind -76,600 MW
    Wave – 170,000 MW
    Biomass – 277 Million Barrels Fuel Oil equivalent (MBFOE)/year
    Solar Power – 5 ~ 5.1 KwH per square meter per day.

    The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) announced that they were able get about P90 billion worth of Renewable Energy contracts signed with at least 18 groups of foreign and local investors. Philippines also has Southeast Asia largest solar manufacturing hub (Sun solar).

    With this they are projecting that 40% of the country will be powered by renewable energy based power plants with a capacity of 9,147 MW by 2013. Current Renewable Energy capacity of the Philippines is at 4,449 MW.

    Finaly The Philippine Renewable Energy Bill’s has just been passed listed Benefits to approved Renewable Energy(RE) developers are:

    Income tax holiday for 6 of years
    Preferential realty tax rate
    Exemption from import duties
    Reduced government royalties

    Nuclear is not the answer! Nuclear is expensive!
    It is not future! Renewable energy is!

    May 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cossack_25A-1

    The real reason why the Bataan nuke plant is NOT used is because of Cory Aquino playing the politicking card saying that the nuke plant = martial law.

    I will not be surprised if our current president holds the same outlook.

    March 18, 2014 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
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