The use of nuclear power can be a viable long-term energy option for the country based on the results of a technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
“Based on the technical assessment, the use of nuclear technologies, including nuclear energy, is seen as a long-term energy option for the country. The possible inclusion of nuclear power in the current energy mix is consistent with the national policy towards a technology-neutral energy sector,” Cusi said.
The energy department met for a bilateral meeting with officials of the IAEA headed by its director general Yukiya Amano.
The meeting, according to Cusi, “comes at an opportune time as the DOE will submit its recommendations to President Duterte on the country’s position on the civilian use of nuclear technology following a series of technical cooperation with IAEA.”
A part of DOE’s recommendations on the country’s national position included the results of the energy planning studies under IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Projects; PHI 2011 Assessing the Development of a Nuclear Power Program in the Philippines for 2016 – 2017 and PHI 2016 003 Development of Nuclear Infrastructure in the Philippines, Phase II for 2018 – 2019.
The meeting also discussed IAEA’s work and role in assisting member-states in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the use of nuclear science technology for socio-economic development in the country.
The DOE also presented its activities on the crafting of a national position.
The report touched on possible cooperation in different areas, like human resource development, nuclear safety, legal and regulatory framework, international standards, cooperation with the international community, stakeholders’ involvement and challenges that include the closure on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant ((BNPP) issue.
Meanwhile, Amano discussed the applications of nuclear science in the areas of health and medicine, agriculture water treatment and sanitation, and the environment.
The IAEA official said that the commitments made in the Paris Agreement may not be achieved without the use of nuclear technology.
Cusi also asked the international agency for assistance in giving nuclear courses and training for Philippine schools on nuclear science for energy, medicine, agriculture, environment, and climate change to address the inclusive participation of the Filipino Youth.