Philippine delegation embarks on nuclear energy mission to Canada

PH looking into nuclear energy, BNPP commercial operations

A delegation of Philippine officials and industry leaders is headed for a one-week Nuclear Energy Mission to Canada next month. 

Manila Bulletin reported that the delegation, led by Energy Undersecretary Sharon S. Garin,  seeks to survey Canada’s policy frameworks and regulatory regimes, particularly its “cradle-to-grave” approach to nuclear facilities development. 

Garin said the mission will cover discussions on workforce preparation through academic links, strategies addressing the controversial “social acceptance” of nuclear power projects, and a better understanding of rates and operating profiles of nuclear power generators. 

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta noted the ERC’s study of different regulatory frameworks in jurisdictions with nuclear energy. As the Philippines explores nuclear energy in its supply mix, Dimalanta said the ERC is anticipating changes in the power system and preparing for the entry of nuclear power facilities.

Garin stated that the mission aims to address key concerns such as cost management, avoiding delays, and understanding the development landscape of nuclear power facilities to ensure efficient deployment in the Philippines.

The Energy Undersecretary emphasized the need for administrative agreements between the Philippines and Canada to facilitate nuclear power deployment, aligning with the updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) that integrates nuclear installations by 2032. 

She added that the mission is also eyeing peer-to-peer learning, strengthening relationships with Canada, and capacity building in nuclear energy.

Insights from the week-long mission are expected to inform policymakers on siting nuclear power projects, safety procedures, and enhancing safety redundancies post-nuclear accidents.

Aside from Garin and Dimalanta, the delegation also includes officials from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), and executives from Aboitiz Power Corporation, Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), and Prime Infrastructure Capital.