Travel and Tourism

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant conversion into data center pushed

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant conversion into data center pushed
The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was constructed in 1976 as an answer to then energy crisis. It was completed but was never operated due to safety concerns and corruption allegations.
The STAR/File photo


MANILA, Philippines — A Bataan local tourism officer revealed that the local government of the province wanted to convert the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) into a data center.

In an interview with Philstar.com during the NLEX Lakbay Norte media familiarization tour on September 8, senior tourism officer Danica Tigas said that Bataan Gov. Jose Enrique S. Garcia III suggested to President Bongbong Marcos to convert the 40-year-old nuclear power plant into a cloud computing facility that will serve as the country’s biggest data center.

"The provincial government of Bataan actually suggested to PBBM the possibilities of making Bataan Nuclear Power Plant productive by converting it to a data center," Tigas said.

"Lahat po tayo ngayon, we are using internet at ang nagiging storage natin ay cloud. Ang requirements po ng data center is same with the requirements of nuclear power plant," she added.

According to an article on the web site of American data-driven marketing services Tech Target, a data center requires sufficient floor space, fluctuation-free power supply, cooling technology, reliable building management system, Information Technology infrastructure, and 24/7 security. 

When asked if they heard anything about reviving the nuclear plant, Tigas said, "Locally, wala po kaming naririnig."

As a resident of Bataan, the senior tourism officer said that she wanted the nuclear power plant to be converted into a data center.

"We see 'yung bina-banner ng governor namin na maging productive po 'yung property," she said.

Construction on the 620-megawatt Bataan Nuclear Power Plant began in 1976 during the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. as a response to the energy crisis.

It was completed in 1984 but was never operated due to safety concerns given its proximity to a geological fault line and issues of alleged corruption. 

 At the ongoing 19th Congress, Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. authored House Bill No. 2921 or the Philippine Nuclear Act of 2022. 

Under HB 2921, the National Power Corp., Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), and the Departments of Energy, of Environment and Natural Resources, and of Science and Technology should conduct an initial validation on the feasibility of operating the BNPP. These agencies will be tasked with making sure that if it is operated, the facility will meet the internationally accepted nuclear power industry standards.

RELATED: Lawmaker seeks revival of Bataan nuclear plant





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