14 sites eyed for MERALCO, DOE nuclear study


MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) and the Department of Energy (DoE) are considering 14 regions across the Philippines as potential locations for a trial run of a compact nuclear power plant. 

To solve the increasing energy demand in the Philippines, Meralco recently forged an agreement with Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC), a U.S.-based company, to investigate the deployment of small-scale nuclear reactors, termed fission or nuclear “batteries.”

As part of the deal with USNC, the company will conduct a preliminary four-month feasibility study to acquaint MERALCO with their Micro-Modular Reactor (MMR) Energy Systems — modular units that can be interconnected to provide required power levels, resembling batteries.

This technology, yet to be commercialized, is under the licensing procedures in the United States and Canada. USNC anticipates deploying demonstration units by 2026.

Aperocho expressed the firm’s readiness to progress beyond the preliminary feasibility study,

In a report by the Manila Times, MERALCO Chairman and CEO Manny Pangilinan mentioned the next steps which include procuring a modular plant proof of concept to be deployed, around 1 or 2 megawatts (MW).

In light of escalated energy costs due to geopolitical factors, the government is advocating for the revival of a nuclear power program, potentially involving the rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

USNC, reportedly established following Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, claims that their modular nuclear reactors prioritize safety.