The Department of Energy (DOE) expects the Office of the President to release an executive order (EO) on the possible use of nuclear power for the country’s energy security.
“We heard from the Office of the President that the policy is going to be approved soon. It’s an executive order,” DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. told reporters in a press conference yesterday.
In 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed EO 116 that created the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC) composed of 17 agencies studying the potential of nuclear power in the country.
The inter-agency committee has submitted its findings to the Chief Executive.
Partnerships with other countries on feasible studies were also done in the past years.
One of these partnerships is with Russia, as the Philippines and Russia came up with a general framework on energy cooperation, including nuclear.
Erguiza said the current situation of Russia has not affected its partnership with the country in exploring the potential of nuclear power.
“We don’t see any problem with Russia in that connection,” he said.
Through the cooperation, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) had a pre-feasibility study on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), where it found out that it is still feasible to operate the facility.
According to ROSATOM, some USD3 billion to USD4 billion is required to repair and start the operation of BNPP.
In 2019, the DOE and ROSATOM signed a memorandum of intent on the pre-feasibility study on small modular reactor technology.
Aside from Russia, Erguiza said the Philippines has partnered with South Korea and the United States to explore the country’s nuclear potential.*PNA