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EPIC FAIL! Bataan Nuclear Power Plant – July 23, 2011

I am often asked where I get ideas for my lakwatsas. Sometimes I hear stories from friends about a place they visit. Sometimes I read about it from someone else’s blog. Sometimes I see on television. And sometimes… I read about it in the newspaper.

A few weeks ago, I came across this article from the Inquirer News Website: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/18711/ph-launches-%e2%80%98clean%e2%80%99-nuclear-tourism (or its duplicate entry with the author’s name, Karla Malakunas, here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/18525/philippines-launches-nuclear-tourism)

[ please read the Inquirer article before proceeding ]

Note… the article was dated 4 weeks ago.


View Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in a larger map

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When we got to the plant, we were told by the guard that we needed to have made “special arrangements” before going to the plant. When we asked how we could make such “special arrangements,” we were told that… during weekdays, they could call ahead to the General Manager. But since it was a Saturday, the General Manager was not there. He then shut the gate on us.

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Before I start venting, let me say that I do not blame the guard. He was, after all, just following whatever instructions was given to him.

So there were. After a 3 hour drive not being able to see what we came to see and do what we expected to do… as described in the Inquirer article.

I am not sure who to blame.

Perhaps it is The Inquirer and the reporter for not fully explaining what the procedure was? They had written and published such a great article that it convinced me to drive 3 hours to see the place. I reread the article looking for a mention about limitations or disclaimers saying what one needed to do to get a tour of the place. Nothing was mentioned in the article. In fact, the article does not really say much about where to go, who to see, what time a tour is, or what have you. All it says about the tour itself is that it will cost P20 and a chemical engineer runs the tour. The way the article is written, one would assume that the tourism aspect was already open for business (if it was, someone forgot to tell the guard).

Perhaps I should blame The National Power Corporation (Napocor) who conducted the press event to journalists that included the Inquirer who talked about this wonderful eco-tourism launch, yet fail to inform the reporters when and if the tour was already operational. And of course they forgot to tell the guard.

Alas, I think I will just blame myself for now.

I blame myself for assuming everything I read in the paper is true and forgetting that while in marketing myself, many things I read in the newspaper could just be some government-image-enhancing marketing drivel about a humongous white elephant no Philippine administration can decide what to do with yet we spend $10,000 a day on.

I blame myself for reading Inquirer’s headine assuming when they meand “launched” actually means “is still thinking of launching… or maybe not.”

Oh yeah, the article was written almost 4 weeks ago. I actually thought the article would inspire folks to flock to the site. Apparently, ako lang pala.

Basta. Sige na nga, kasalanan ko na nga.

Maybe one day, they will get organized and actually open the place up to tourists. Sadly, I probably will not bother.

If any of you are interested in visiting the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Don’t bother. Wait to read about it from someone who has successfully been on the said tour (one open to the public not some special sponsored event for bloggers and reporters).

 

PS: Do I sound bitter? Yeah I’m bitter, How would you feel driving 3 hours just to be told to go away?

15 thoughts on “EPIC FAIL! Bataan Nuclear Power Plant – July 23, 2011”

  1. Yikes! Sorry to hear that! I’m planning to go to Bataan in early September when I’m back in the Philippines for a month. I’ll let you know if I successfully set foot inside the gates. Baka ma-entice kang bumalik ulit doon. :)

  2. Hi Lakwatsero. I also wanted to visit the BNPP during that special launch but didn’t make it. I heard from Greenpeace (the ones who organized the tour) that they invited travel agencies so they could be the ones to organize tours in the future. They were just showing the nuclear plant as a possible eco-tourism site. The Department of Energy supposedly organizes tours for big groups but you do have to make special arrangements. Too bad the article didn’t mention that walk-ins aren’t entertained yet right now.

    1. Hi Kara,

      I figured as much. I expected that the press launch was a marketing gimik at the time. And an entity like Napocor obviously does not have the competencies to do tours. But as you did note, the article did not state that, thus decieving the public. Anyway the article was written a month ago, and apparently nothing has happened since then.

      Jojo

  3. Yes, you need to have prior arrangement. I was with Greenpeace when I went there and I need not to worry about the admin arrangements. They cater to group to group tours, i think, more than individual visitors because touring around the plant is time consuming and they would rather have it in groups.

    1. I inquired with Greenpeace re: BNPP tours, and this is their reply:

      “Visits to the BNPP are facilitated by the NPC through the office of Mr. Mauro Marcelo (921-3541 extn 5613/Fax 921 2468). When we were there, they gave us a 20 minute presentation re BNPP/nuclear power and a guided tour which takes about 45 minutes. There are only a few people who serve as guides around the plant and so, pre-arranged group tours are the norm.”

      Francis Joseph Dela Cruz
      Public Outreach Coordinator
      fdlcruz@greenpeace.org

  4. Nakapag plant visit kami nung college pa kami
    mga 1994, nasayang lang yung pera ng mga magulang ko sa pagbabayad ng buwis.
    Manghihinayang kayo pagnalaman nyo ang dahilan kung bakit di tumakbo.
    taga Cataning Hermosa,Bataan ako

  5. you have every right to be bitter.. would be nice to hear that you finally made it in though because this does sound like a pretty good project.. and we’d love to hear about it from You. thanks for posting. :)

  6. I’m also interested on having a tour of BNPP . Ive contacted Mauro Marcelo via mail few months ago but I have not gotten any reply yet. Maybe they really need to organize it in group. I think we here are enough for a whole group.

  7. Ang main reactor nito ay isang metro ang kapal at continous ang buhos, isang pulgada ang itinatas nito kada oras nung ginagawa yung main reactor, cracked ice ang ginamit di tulad ng typical na tubig ang ipinanghahalo sa semento para maiwasan ang micro cracks dahil exothermic ang reaction ng paghahalo ng kongreto, sa bawat iasng piye ng kongkreto, ang radiation ay magiging 10%, may 2 pulgadang solid steel plates na fully welded at documented ang mga dugtong -radiographed. Ang biro nga ng mga engineers duon e kahit nabangahin ng 747 na eroplano ang main reactor di guguho – wala pa silang piloto na magboboluntaryong ibangga ang eroplano nya. Me fuel missle barrier ito para maiwasan ang nangyari sa chernobyl accident.
    Maraming namis-informed sa planta na ito. Masama daw ang radiation – pero pag gumait ka ng fuel feed na power plant ang daming carbon dioxide na unrecoverable na nirerelease sa atmosphere. Nabasa o narinig nyo na to
    BNPP – Bulok Na Palpak Pa..
    ang sa akin Bakit Naman Pinupulitika Pa

    CHE 0020266

    nagsinula ang research ng pagtatayo ng nuclear plant sa pilipinas nuong 1968

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