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PH and USA ties up for nuclear energy project

The United States-Philippines partnership toward nuclear power project began with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) of Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation signing between Energy Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza and US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins.

The initiative aims to accomplish the country’s decarbonization goals, including the use of nuclear energy. Moreover, MOU readies the country to shift from coal-fired powered supply to a more sustainable electricity generation source.

Department of Energy (DOE) will assist the states in spreading information about nuclear energy and in enhancing the Philippine competence in building nuclear infrastructures.

PH ambassador to the states, Jose Manuel Romualdez, mentioned that the power plant proposals are part of the collaboration to safer, smaller, and cheaper energy security.

Last February 28, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order promoting nuclear energy in the country through the nuclear energy program as part of DOE’s goals for a clean energy future. The order also directs the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee to investigate the potential rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

However, there are still groups, including the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and Greenpeace Philippines, that do not agree with the environment's claim toward the benefits of nuclear energy. Instead, these groups believe that nuclear energy is worse than coal to supply the country's energy needs.

The Philippines has only one nuclear power plant, which was never used. It was built in Bataan during the late Ferdinand Marcos administration as a response to the 1973 oil crisis, but former president Corazon Aquino shut it down in 1986 due to potential hazards and issues.

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