PH still not ready for full nuclear energy program | Inquirer Business

PH still not ready for full nuclear energy program

/ 04:05 AM October 31, 2019

The Department of Energy yesterday formally received an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on the Philippines’ capability to adopt nuclear energy for electricity generation.

This was 10 months after an international team formed by the Austria-based IAEA visited the country for an assessment, officially called Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (Inir) mission.

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The Inir mission was conducted in December 2018 upon the request of the Philippine government. Since the Philippines is just intending to adopt nuclear power, the mission was considered Phase 1 in a three-phase scheme.

After this mission wrapped up, the IAEA issued a statement that “the end of Phase 1 marks the readiness of a country to make a knowledgeable commitment to a nuclear power program.”

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The IAEA’s international review team made recommendations and suggestions where the Philippines could make further progress, such as:

* Involving a broader range of stakeholders in completing the work required to enable a national commitment to introduce nuclear power

* Developing a legal and regulatory framework that ensures and demonstrates a commitment to safety, security and nonproliferation

* Further enhancing its approaches to human resource and leadership development, nuclear fuel cycle options and electrical grid impacts

* Adapting the existing national frameworks for emergency preparedness and response and nuclear security in light of a future nuclear power project

“With energy security at the cornerstone of our country’s energy agenda, we need to bring to the forefront, intelligent, informed and comprehensive dialogue on whether we could safely utilize nuclear power as one of our alternative sources to meet our ever-growing energy requirements,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said during the handover ceremony.

“For the past three years, we have been working hand in hand with the [IAEA] to find clear answers to all our longstanding questions on nuclear power, most especially its safety aspect,” Cusi said.

He noted that the Philippines would need to address and satisfy the 19 infrastructure requirements before it would be able to successfully embark on a full nuclear energy program.

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TAGS: Department of Energy, nuclear energy
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