Friday, December 15, 2017

DOE Intensifies PH Nuclear Energy Policy Study

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INTENSIFIED DISCUSSION ON NUCLEAR ENERGY PROGRAM: NEPIO Chairperson, Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos (center) led government officials during the nuclear workshop with the ROSATOM Experts. In the photo with Usec. Marcos and ROSATOM experts are DOE Dir. Angelina V. Manga, Amelia M. de Guzman, Asst. Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr., PNRI Dir. Carlo A. Arcilla and Dir. Patrick T Aquino. The nuclear workshop is an offshoot of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the ROSATOM and the DOE as the country endeavors to draft a position on a nuclear energy program.

The Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with the Department of Science & Technology (DOST) and with the technical assistance from the Russian Federation State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM), conducted a workshop at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on 11 December 2017 on the application and development of nuclear science and technology.

The goal is to enable the Philippines the option of adopting nuclear energy. The workshop is part of the Memorandum of Cooperation between ROSATOM and the DOE signed at the sidelines of the 12th East Asia Summit last 13 November.

The workshop focused on ROSATOM’s integrated solution covering new and emerging nuclear technologies, capacity building, and inputs in the formulation of policies addressing safety, technology development, as well as other uses of nuclear technology.

Specific topics included the knowledge sharing in building, operating and maintaining a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the significance of Centers of Nuclear Science and Technologies, the introduction of Russia’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and VVER-1200 (from evolution, design, safety concerns and licensing), the development of nuclear science for medicine and irradiation and the enhancement of local industry involvement.

DOE Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos emphasized in his welcome speech delivered by Director Patrick T. Aquino that “the inclusion of nuclear as a potential long-term option for power generation will further diversify the nation’s generation mix, which currently comprises of coal, natural gas, geothermal, hydropower, oil, wind, biomass and solar.”

The energy official said “this policy direction allows for the entry of alternative energy technologies, such as nuclear.”

“The nuclear workshop supports the DOE’s aim towards a low-carbon future that is anchored on a technology-neutral policy. It is in line with the DOE’s nine-point agenda espoused by DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi,” Marcos pointed out.

Meanwhile, Director of the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Dr. Carlo A. Arcilla emphasized in his opening statement that “while nuclear energy applications have largely lifted humankind, safety concerns should not be neglected.”

According to Arcilla, “in order to promote safety, the comprehensive nuclear law, now in advanced stages in Congress, will guarantee independence of a nuclear regulatory commission separate from the promotion and research thrusts of the PNRI.”

The DOST official clarified that “while nuclear science is often equated with energy and weapon applications, the advantages of nuclear science presents a huge potential in helping the Philippines, in the fields of agriculture and medicine.”

DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi in his previous statements encouraged the public to participate in the dialogues and discussions towards decision and a national position on nuclear energy program. He consistently reminds the participants that safety is the top priority.

The seminar was attended by representatives from the DOE, National Power Corporation, DOST, PNRI, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Science and Technology Information Institute, and the technical staff of the Committee on Energy of the House of Representatives.

NUCLEAR E-DISKARTE: The nuclear energy workshop held at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on 11 December was attended by the DOE, National Power Corporation, DOST, Philippine Nuclear Institute, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Science and Technology Information Institute, and the technical staff of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy.

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