Gatchalian: Nuclear SMRs may enter PH in 2-6 years

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Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) may enter the Philippines in two to six years, Senate Committee on Energy vice chairman Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said. 

Gatchalian said that the legislative process on the country’s nuclear development would take around two years, and from then power plants can be built. 

SMRs, as defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency, are “advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300MW, which is about one-third of traditional nuclear power reactors.”

However, Gatchalian said that nuclear energy is not among the legislative priorities that the Energy Committee led by Sen. Raffy Tulfo is considering. 

Nevertheless, Gatchalian said that the first step in nuclear development is an executive-legislative coordination meeting on the laws needed, adding that Congress and Senate cannot do it alone given the technicality. He said that technical experts and international lawyers to participate in creating the law.  

The senator noted that Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wanted to follow the 19 nuclear infrastructure issues of the International Atomic Energy Agency Milestones Approach and to be careful about nuclear power. In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), Marcos Jr. stressed the need to reexamine the country’s strategy in building new power plants. 

Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Policy and Planning Bureau officer-in-charge Michael Sinocruz earlier said that if the Philippine government can come up with its own 19 milestones, SMRs can be built in far-flung areas.