MANILA (AFP) — An eight-man team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has arrived in the Philippines to examine whether or not the mothballed Bataan Nuclear power station can be rehabilitated, it was reported Tuesday.
According to the BusinessWorld newspaper the IAEA team has already started its inspection of the power station to "settle the question of whether to rehabilitate the plant, or to build a new one."
The Philippine government paid off the Bataan power plant last year almost 32 years after work began on what became the country's biggest white elephant that never produced a single watt of electricity.
According to BusinessWorld the IAEA team will tell the Philippine government if it is economically feasible to restart the plant or abandon it altogether.
"The Philippine government has also asked the team to recommend a policy framework that will support nuclear energy in the long-run," the paper quotes Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes saying.
Reyes is a strong supporter of nuclear power for the Philippines.
According to BusinessWorld the IAEA team is led by Akira Omoto, director of the agency?s nuclear division.
"Other team members are Zhang Jing, IAEA section head for Asia and the Pacific; Ki Sig Tang, technical officer at the nuclear division; David Greaves and Eric Weinstein both technical officers at the nuclear safety and security division," the paper said.
"Three independent experts were also flown in: John Rames, an expert on legal infrastructure from Australia; Jose E. Brayner Costa Mattos, a nuclear power expert from Brazil; and Ioan Rotaru, a nuclear power expert from Romania," the paper added.
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