February 24, 2024

Gov’t considering nukes to address energy concerns

AN interagency task force is continuously reviewing the viability of nuclear power to address the energy requirements of the Philippines, an official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said on Saturday.

Undersecretary Sandy Sales of the DOE’s Energy Resource Development and Oil Management said there is still a lot of work to be done regarding the issue of nuclear power being tapped as an alternative source of energy in the country.

“Meron talagang inter-agency na task force to study this. In fact, nasa DOE nagre-reside ito with all the relevant government agencies,” Sales told a news forum in Quezon City, referring to the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC).

“Of course, mayroong … ginagawa na maraming pag-aaral tungkol dito and with regards sa nuclear… open ang nuclear option para sa atin – meaning to say, there are many kinds of nuclear technologies (available),” the DOE official added.

Sales pointed out the country has yet to formulate a regulatory framework since the Philippines is currently not set up to utilize nuclear energy as an alternative power source.

“We are studying it and hopefully, babalik tayo doon sa situation na charting our course depende sa situation which potentially becomes part of the energy needs of the Philippines in the future. Just saying that nuclear is one of the technologies that can react fast to the variability of renewable energy,” Sales said, stressing that going nuclear entails some risks so it has to be carefully studied.

The Steering Committee of the NEP-IAC is set to hold a meeting next week.

Earlier, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the government will work on tapping nuclear energy among other sources of power to meet the growing needs of Filipinos and avert a possible power crisis in the country.

The President had stressed the immediate need to ramp up the energy supply of the country. Even before he took office, Marcos said he had been looking at nuclear energy as an option to address the power shortage of the country.

In his recent working visit to the US, President Marcos said he is looking at a “cutting-edge” micro nuclear fuel technology as part of the administration’s efforts to solve the problems in the country’s power sector.

While in Washington, DC, Marcos met with officials of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC), a US-based firm global leader and vertical integrator of nuclear technologies and services.