According to media reports, the Philippine’s Energy Secretary is seeking approval of a proposed executive order (EO) that will include nuclear power in the country’s Energy mix. This proposal is in response to the rapid growth of electricity demand in the Philippines.
President Duterte intends to first study a nuclear Energy agreement the county entered into with a Russian company during his state visit to Moscow last year. However, the Department of Energy reiterated that this Memorandum of Intent signed last year was a framework for discussion and not for a particular construction of a small modular reactor (SMR). Currently, nuclear power plants are prohibited under the Philippine Constitution and President Duterte said he will discuss the proposal with members of his Cabinet.
In November 2017, the Philippines and Russia agreed on a nuclear cooperation program under a memorandum of cooperation signed during the 12th East Asia Summit. This cooperation is part of the government’s intention to develop a variety of applications for nuclear Energy that are within policies, particularly for power generation.
The Philippines has the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant which is the country’s first and only nuclear power plant built during the term of former President Ferdinand Marcos. However, it never became operational due to alleged safety concerns and corruption issues.
(Sources: Philippine News Agency; Manila Standard)