Apocalypse When? Liability for Damages Arising from Nuclear Incidents


Consumers in China were shown in CNN today to be emptying their grocery shelves of salt, driven by the belief that taking in salt would spare them from the ill-effects of radiation from the disabled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, damaged by the earthquake and tsunami which hit the Northeastern part of Japan last March 11, 2011. The CNN news anchor however said that one will have to take in 80 tablespoons of salt in order to get the beneficial effects of one tablet of iodine, the chemical supposed to shield the body from the ill-effects of wayward radiation from the Japanese nuclear plant.

Right now, it is far-fetched for Filipinos to worry about the ill-effects of radiation from a malfunctioning nuclear plant since we don't have any nuclear plant in the Philippines that is operating.

We do have, however, the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which figured prominently as one of the issues against former President Ferdinand Marcos during Martial Law which was about to be the subject of heated debate among environmentalists and proponents. However, the staunchest proponent of the revival of the operation of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco of Pangasinan, has shelved her House Bill 1291 calling for the reopening of the nuclear plant “indefinitely” right after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit Japan.

In spite of this, we have to be aware that, we, as a country, deals with nuclear materials, and has been actively doing nuclear-related researches, right in the heart of the National Capital Region, in Quezon City, where a government agency dealing with these issues is based.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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