February 24, 2024

Twin nuclear agreements with US a significant stride towards cheaper, clean, sustainable electricity for Filipinos–Speaker

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday (US time) lauded the twin nuclear agreements sealed in the United States during the trip of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., saying they constitute a significant stride towards providing Filipinos with cheaper, cleaner, and sustainable electricity.

This developed as the President witnessed Wednesday the signing of a groundbreaking cooperative agreement between Meralco and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) to pave the way for the deployment of Micro-Modular Reactors (MMRs) in the Philippines.

Likewise, the Philippines is set to sign  with the US government on the sidelines of the President’s participation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco the 123 nuclear deal or the “peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement.” 

“The partnership between Meralco and USNC is a game-changer for the Philippines’ energy landscape. Micro-Modular Reactors represent a paradigm shift in delivering cheap, safe, reliable, and scalable nuclear energy,” Romualdez said.

“This initiative aligns with our President Marcos, Jr.’s commitment to diversify our energy sources to fuel economic growth and at the same time address the challenges of climate change,” added Romualdez, leader of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives. 

In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), Pres. Marcos said it is time to re-examine nuclear energy to attract more investors and ensure enough power supply, noting that cheap and reliable energy is a vital requirement for economic growth.

The cooperative agreement between Meralco and USNC will facilitate a comprehensive Pre-Feasibility Study to assess the potential for deploying MMRs in the Philippines. 

Scheduled for completion by the end of the second quarter of 2024, the study will evaluate environmental and social impacts, capital expenditure, and operational costs.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony, President Marcos hailed the Cooperative Agreement as a major step forward for clean energy in the Philippines.

The President said the Meralco-USNC partnership “is a testament to our commitment to building a more sustainable future for our people,” adding that the energy sector is the cornerstone of the Philippines’ industrial growth and development.

Meanwhile, Speaker Romualdez likewise noted that the parallel landmark 123 Nuclear Agreement between the Philippines and the United States marks a significant milestone in fostering a strategic partnership to enhance the Philippines’ energy capabilities.

The “123 Agreement” will provide the legal basis for civil nuclear energy cooperation and allow the export of nuclear fuel, reactors, equipment and special nuclear material from the US to the Philippines.

Speaker Romualdez expressed gratitude to all parties involved in these historic agreements, acknowledging the joint efforts of the Philippine and U.S. governments, Meralco, and USNC. 

“Today marks a significant leap forward in our journey towards a sustainable and resilient energy future. These agreements are a testament to our shared commitment to advancing technology and fostering collaborations for the greater good of our nation and the global community,” he stated.