Entry of nuclear power into PH’s energy mix recommended to President Duterte – DOST-PNRI

Published February 27, 2021, 2:46 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The entry of nuclear power into the country’s energy mix has been recommended to President Duterte, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PNRI) has disclosed.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo Arcilla said an executive order seeking to tap nuclear energy as part of the country’s energy mix has been proposed to the Chief Executive for his consideration.

“Ang recommendation na nandun sa desk ng Pangulo ay isang executive order na pag napirmahan nya ang gagawin sa executive order, it will consider the entry of nuclear power into the energy mix, ‘yan po ang tinatawag na national position (The recommendation that has been forwarded to the desk of the President is an executive order, once signed by him, it will consider the entry of nuclear power into the energy mix, that’s we call the national position),” he said at the sidelines of DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña’s weekly report on Friday, Feb. 26, when asked on the status of the Duterte government’s review on the country’s nuclear energy policy.

Once it emanates from the President, it will become a national policy and it will start the process, the PNRI top official said.

In July 2020, President Duterte signed Executive Order 116 creating the National Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC) to look into the adoption of a national position on Nuclear Energy Program.

DOST-PNRI is the vice chair of the NEP-IAC. The Committee is led by the Department of Energy (DOE).

Arcilla said once the EO is signed, the “main implementor” of the Nuclear Energy Program will be the DOE, while PNRI will serve as the regulator.

“Kami sa PNRI kami ang magsisiguro na susudin ‘yung mga alituntunin, ‘yung safety measures na kung gagawin man ang nuclear power ay dapat safe and in accordance with international best practices so ‘wag pong mag alinlangan ang mga tao na hindi kayang imaintain…[we have] very strict rules on this and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is behind us (We in the PNRI will ensure that the guidelines, the safety measures, just in case we pursue the use of nuclear power should be safe and in accordance with the international best practices so the people should not worry that we cannot maintain, we have very strict rules on this and IAEA is behind us.),” he assured.

De la Peña also assured the public that should the country decide to implement the nuclear program, the DOST will do its part in ensuring that the safety standards are strictly followed.

“Sa madaling salita, sa DOST ay bukas tayo sa mga teknolohiya, basta kung magiging desisyon ay pupunta dyan sa direksyon na ‘yan, kami naman ang nakaassigned na ma-assure ang safety (In short, the DOST is open to technology, if the decision will go to that direction, we are assigned to ensure the safety)” he said.