Nuclear energy development needs Congress backing

Energy Undersecretary Sharon Garin said the proposal to create a new law that will govern the development and integration of nuclear energy in the country’s energy mix. However, she noted that lawmakers still have to deliberate on the best way to frame the supposed policy.

“It (the law) depends on the Congress and we will await the decision of the Congress eventually when they take it up,” Garin said.

The Congress, she added, can designate any government-owned and-controlled corporation to develop nuclear power in the country but doing such would require an amendment to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

They can also opt to tap the private sector, either through a public-private partnership or build-operate-transfer arrangement, to build a conventional nuclear power plant.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos said the country needs to increase its energy production by expanding the present power supply and building new power plants.

“Our search for new power sources should always be to improve the mix of the energy supply between traditional and renewable sources,” he said.

Marcos also cited the need to re-examine the government’s strategy for building nuclear power plants in the country.

He assured that the government will comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency regulations.

“In the area of nuclear power, there have been new technologies developed that allow smaller scale modular nuclear plants and other derivations thereof,” he added.

In February, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 164 entitled “Adopting a National Position for a Nuclear Energy Program, and Other Purposes.”

Immediately after the passage of the order, the DoE proposed to create a specialized regulatory body — to be called Commission on Nuclear Energy — to safeguard the integration of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

The government has long been exploring nuclear power as a viable energy source in line with the global push to reduce fossil fuel use due to its hazardous carbon emissions.

Nuclear energy can also potentially energize small islands by putting up small modular nuclear power plants, especially in areas not yet connected to the main grid.

Engaging in nuclear technology calls for the assistance and mentorship of countries that already have knowledge of nuclear energy such as China, Russia, Korea and France.

The government has long been exploring nuclear power as a viable energy source in line with the global push to reduce fossil fuel use due to its hazardous carbon emissions.


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