DOE receives proposals for BNPP feasibility studies

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has received proposals for planned feasibility studies on the discontinued Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). 

The BNPP which was supposed to supply a capacity of 620 megawatts (MW), was the country’s only attempt in developing nuclear power. Aside from being the first nuclear power plant in Southeast Asia, it was also seen as a solution to the 1973 oil crisis that affected the global economy.

The project, however, was shelved because of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. 

However, DOE Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Director Michael Sinocruz claimed that the government was still holding on to the possibility of restoring the BNPP at a justifiable cost.

Earlier, power-generating firm Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) conducted a pre-feasibility study in partnership with the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR).

The Duterte administration issued Executive Order (EO) No. 164 or “Adopting a National Position for a Nuclear Energy Program and for Other Purposes” declaring that Nuclear Power should be considered as an option for baseload power sources in addition to alternative resources. 

This would also address the decline of coal-fired power after the DOE banned the development of new coal power projects. 

Earlier, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that SMRs are operable in case the country acknowledged it, considering their size and easy transportability. In addition to their ability to deliver continuous power supply with low carbon and probable supply cost, SMRs would be of huge help in developing the provinces. 

At the Policy and Advocacy Committee meeting of the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the DOE presented its plan to explore a “High RE + Nuclear” scenario for the energy mix by considering the integration of 8 x 150 MW small modular reactors (SMRs) by 2032 and 1,200 MW of nuclear generation capacity in Luzon by 2035.