Dr. Paciente Cordero

Two US firms, at least, have expressed interest to develop small nuclear reactors for the Philippines, instead of reactivating the long time moth-balled Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Bataan Province.

The Firms, US-based NuScale Power Corp. and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp., laid their cards on the issue in a meeting during the recent state visit of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. To quote Secretary Alfredo Pascual of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), “there are two potential things that could happen. One is we can order from them (two companies) the supply of the reactor – either the small modular reactor or the micro modular reactor.” Another possibility is for the two companies to set up manufacturing facilities in the country – perceived as two business models/arrangements being targeted.
The two firms briefed the Philippine delegation, thus:

– Ultra Safe technology is not as sensitive to geological movements, meaning it can be used in areas with volcanic activity;

– NuScale technology is sensitive to volcanic or geological movements.
Of the two firms, NuScale was quoted by the Presidential Communication Office (PCO), has plans to conduct a study site to locate a potential site/s in RP.

I have no qualms about re-tapping nuclear power to solve, mitigate the energy shortage of the country, but premised on the sound management of the nuclear reactors and the presence/availability of experts (nuclear physicists, etc.) on site. Also, site selection is critical in setting up future nuclear plant reactors.
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