Amid the recent signing of the nuclear cooperation agreement between the Philippines and the US, experts say it is anticipated to address the country’s necessity for stable baseload power currently supplied by coal-fired plants, despite the readiness for nuclear power remaining uncertain.
In a report by BusinessWorld, President of Developers of Renewable Energy AdvanceMent, Inc. Atty. Jose M. Layug, Jr., emphasized that the accord could lead to more cost-effective baseload power, complementing the rise of renewable energy in the Philippines and balancing the intermittency issue faced by renewables.
The recently signed “123 Agreement” between the Philippines and the US aims to establish a legal framework for potential nuclear power projects, ensuring compliance with International Atomic Energy Agency standards and safeguards.
The agreement enables the direct transfer of information, nuclear materials, equipment, and components between the Philippines and the US while streamlining the licensing requirements for private entities.
While some experts advocate for nuclear power to meet rising energy demands, concerns persist about the Philippines’ lack of legal infrastructure, expertise, and safety measures necessary for nuclear energy.
Others, like Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr., President of Minimal Government Thinkers, said that the country would need nine terawatt-hours (TWh) of additional power supply for its economy to grow 6-8% annually.
Despite aspirations to increase renewable energy in the power mix to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040, debates persist regarding the practicality and safety of nuclear power versus the abundant renewable energy potential in the Philippines.