PH, Russia eye land, sea-based nuclear plants
The Philippine government may build nuclear power plants for deployment on land or sea—while simultaneously studying the revival of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP)—with the help of Russian technology, Russia’s state-owned nuclear agency said on Tuesday.
In a statement to the Inquirer, State Corporation Rosatom said the Russian and Philippine governments “intend to cooperate in the development of the national nuclear infrastructure in the Republic of the Philippines to support further implementation of the peaceful nuclear program in the country.”
The Russian agency said both governments will “explore the possibilities for the construction of land-based or floating nuclear power plants equipped with small modular reactors in the Republic of the Philippines.”
“In addition, the technical conditions of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant will be assessed to determine the possibility of its reopening and eventual commissioning,” it added.
A memorandum of understanding defining the terms of the cooperation was signed between Rosatom’s deputy director general for international relations Nikolay Spasskiy and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on the sidelines of the Asean Summit on Manila yesterday.
Cusi has earlier indicated his desire to revive the BNPP—which was completed in the early 1980s, but never commissioned due to fears of substandard workmanship, as well as allegations of corruption over its construction—in a bid to diversify the country’s so-called energy mix.
“Today we have agreed on cooperation on a wide range of issues,” Spasskiy said. “Rosatom possesses a unique experience in the field of nuclear power plant construction projects and nuclear infrastructure development in many countries around the globe and we are ready to actively share this experience with our Philippine partners.”
The partners also plan to set up joint working groups aiming to exchange specialists and technical information, to conduct seminars and personnel training.
In May 2017, Rosatom and the Department of Science and Technology of the Republic of the Philippines also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. /jpv
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