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. raven

    I crapped my pants.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • me so Gary

      Which can also "threatens the quality of life of the people if handled incorrectly"

      May 14, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dave R

    I’m disappointed that they have to make a horribly biased anti-nuclear presentation of it. Why not just stick to the history and facts about such an interesting place? And tourists will agree with me. They want to see the sights, not be subjected to propaganda.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      In the Orient, they are considered a country of losers. And they are.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. cpc65

    I can just imagine the gift shop.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. The realist

    Why doesn't the tour also include a stop at their capital building and parliament to show the guests an example of a screwed up government

    May 14, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. MB

    Seems like a pretty biased tourist attraction. For every 1 nuke plant that has an accident, there are over a hundred that are safely churning out emission-free electricity for people around the world. These plants are getting safer as time goes on. Keep in mind that the Fukushima plants are very old and were not designed for a tsunami wave in excess of 30 ft. Future nuke will be made to withstand this.

    May 14, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Uruzone

      "Future nuke will be made to withstand this." And so what? A different disaster, a terrorist act (in a country with at least four major terrorist groups) or an even larger tsunami than prepared for can't occur? You really don't get it, do you? 100% OpSec is impossible. So no matter what you do with a nuclear plant to make it "safe", you're rolling dice - every minute of every day. Is it worth getting (maybe) 20 or 30 years of energy out of a plant at the eventual expense of thousands of lives and centuries of poisoning to the environment? Who gets to make that call for you? For me? For the children living nearby a generation later?

      May 14, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ash

    Every nuke plant is a potential disaster waiting to happen... Phillipines gets great sunshine... go solar Philipinos....

    May 14, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. Whatinthehell

    Why can't these bing bongs stop crying for attention? Nobody cares!

    May 14, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ian

    The very fact that since 1984 the plant has not been damaged by geological conditions proves the plant was safe, all along.

    May 14, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • WAKEUP

      Like 1984 was sooooo long ago!! Its not a matter of if a earthquake will happen in the philipppines, its when !

      May 14, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Uruzone

      You are welcome to roll those dice. I, for one, happen to believe Mother Nature always wins the game.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew

    I agree with an earlier poster, that Solar Power is the way to go. Except what does Philippines do during its "rainy season" which I've read can extend months?

    But I have perhaps a better idea: Why doesn't Philippines use "geo-thermal energy"? Since they have so many volcanos, should be able to create underground caverns near volcanos that are hot and use geo-thermal energy by pumping in water into those caverns that then will turn to steam to power electricity generating turbines. Iceland does this from its volcanos or similar geothermal I believe.

    May 14, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Don't drill baby, drill

      Because drilling in a volcanically active region isn't as safe as it sounds. Ever heard of mud volcanoes, and how they can be unleashed by drilling and spew their contents for possibly hundreds of years? Basically resulting in thousands of acres of productive land buried in a thick layer of hot mud, making it entirely useless for generations? Don't we always hear anti-nuclear groups yelling about similar risks?

      Look at this famous recent case of the unintended consequences of drilling on Java island in Indonesia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidoarjo_mud_flow

      Java is very volcanic just like this part of the Philippines where they built the nuke plant. The drilling in Java was not for geothermal power, but the risk should be the same if you're operating in a volcanic region.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dr. A. Cannara

    "fallout" from 3-Mile Island"? Really? Having lived nearby and known nothing was ever emitted, this fellow is doing a disservice.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. pizzatrap

    Actually, its a pretty cool idea – I will buy a couple of tickets for my next wedding anniversary. Wonder if my wife will shed her panties afterward? HEY and these guys should be actively parting this thing out on craigslist. Can you imagine what they could get for a like new in box reactor? Just the reactor coolant pumps themselves would be worth hundreds! If they had an M3 engine, I'd even be interested............

    May 14, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Peter E

    According to official estimates, the Chernobyl nuclear accident will ultimately cause the premature deaths of about 40,000 people over a span of 70 years, due to increased rates of cancern, mostly in the ranks of the army that was sent in originally to clean up the site.
    Each year in the US dozens of people die directly due to mining accidents, and thousands die prematurely due to black lung disease. In fact the average life expectancy of a coal miner is barely above 50. At the same time a biproduct of coal mining is the coplete destruction of vast regions of mountain tops, pollution of streams, valley fills of rubble, that make the environment completely barren.
    But I am sure it is the horrific mass death and environmental fallout due to nuclear accidents we should worry about...

    May 14, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. morpunkt

    The latest Phillipine "Hot Spot".

    May 14, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. Limbaugh is a liberal

    I got an idea: how about building an off-shore oil platform and NOT using it for oil drilling, but instead using it as a tourist destination to tell about the BP oil disaster and how unsafe offshore drilling is.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mac p

    I liked Andrews idea better than solar power geo thermal is the way to go.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
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