The government has identified ten sites in Palawan, Cagayan, Zamboanga, and Negros have been shortlisted down from the original 15 as potential locations for nuclear plants.
Based on BusinessWorld report, the sites being considered by the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC) are Concepcion and Tagbarungis in Puerto Princesa City; Racat Rapuli, Sinuangan, and Matara Point in Sta. Ana, Cagayan; Picaon Point and Cauit in Siocon, Zamboanga Del Norte; San Carlos City and Sipalay in Negros Occidental; and Bayawan City, Negros Oriental.
The NEP-IAC also previously considered Bagac, Bataan; San Juan, Batangas; Padre Burgos, Quezon; Ternate, Cavite; and General Santos City as possible sites.
The locations were first identified in studies conducted between the 1970s and 1995. Their suitability as potential sites remains under review.
NEP-IAC Chairman and Energy Asec. Gerardo Erguiza, Jr. said that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the updating of the list of suitable sites. Erguiza said back in June that the 15 sites will be subjected to rigorous evaluation by experts, including those from the International Atomic Energy Agency and from other countries.
Meanwhile, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute Director Carlo Arcilla emphasized that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte needs to approve the NEP-IAC’s recommendations as the country’s nuclear energy policy before the government further considers the 15 sites, as well as the possible revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
Arcilla further said that years of further study will be required to make a final site selection. He particularly pointed out stakeholder agreement, or the consent of host communities, is the first study to be pursued.
Nuclear power, he added, has the potential to address baseload power demand and can back up solar and wind technologies more than coal.