June 18, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

PNRI chief asks public to support PBBM admin’s nuclear technology adoption to cut power cost

A nuclear expert called on the public to support the Marcos administration’s plan to adopt nuclear technology for power generation to cut down the increasing energy costs in the Philippines.

Speaking before a media forum in Quezon City, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Director Carlos Arcilla stressed the need to lower the cost of electricity to attract more investors, boost economic activity, and reduce the burden of consumers in the country.

“Kaya kailangan nang ibaba ang presyo ng kuryente, sobrang pahirap sa masa; sana tulungan natin ang president. Ang problema kasi, may mga ayaw yata ng nuclear kasi may mga negosyo silang maaapektuhan,” Arcilla said.

Arcilla cited the Krško Nuclear Plant in Slovenia, saying the European country’s cost of power generation is one-tenth that of the Philippines.

South Korea, which operates 24 nuclear power plants, produces electricity half the cost of power generation in the Philippines, Arcilla noted.

Both South Korea and the Philippines started their nuclear programs more or less at the same time in the 1980’s, with the two countries’ GDPs almost at par with each other. South Korea today has rapidly expanded its economy, Arcilla pointed out.

Island provinces or those not connected to the grid, will particularly benefit from using small modular nuclear reactors, as envisioned by the Marcos administration, the PNRI official said.

“Kasi ang pinakamahal na kuryente sa Pilipinas ay iyong mga nasa isla na hindi naka-connect sa grid. Ako po taga-Catanduanes, sobrang mahal ang kuryente sa amin – parusa sa taumbayan. Naiyak ako one time eh, iyong isang retiradong empleyado pagkadating noong tseke niya, inintrega na lang doon sa cooperative – ganoon kamahal,” he pointed out.

President Marcos earlier eyed a “cutting-edge” micro nuclear fuel technology as part of his government’s efforts to solve the country’s power crisis particularly after he met with officials of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp., a US-based firm global leader and vertical integrator of nuclear technologies and services.

The President met the CEO of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. during his five-day official visit to the US.

USNC officials said the micro modular reactor (MMR) energy system is a fourth generation nuclear energy system that seeks to deliver safe, clean, and cost-effective electricity to users.

The MMR is being licensed in Canada and the US and considered the first “fission battery” in commercialization and the company anticipates eventual heavy demand for its MMRs and its nuclear fuel.

The company envisions the Philippines as its nuclear hub in the region.

The Marcos administration has been focusing on ensuring unhampered energy supply alongside the promotion and utilization of renewable energy sources to attain sufficient and clean energy supply in the future.