Studying conversion

IN A SIGNIFICANT reversal of trends, the Philippines is studying the conversion of its stalled 620 mw nuclear power plant in Bataan province into a non-nuclear one.

President Fidel Ramos announced the decision after the government lost a suit filed by former President Corazon Aquino against Westinghouse Electric Corp of the US and its engineering partner, Burns & Roe, that alleged they had bribed former President Ferdinand Marcos with $17.1 million to obtain the $2.1 billion contract.

Some private companies have also submitted studies on converting the nuclear plant into a gas turbine or a coal-fired plant. Though Westinghouse completed construction in 1985, the plant was never put into operation because it was considered unsafe.

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