1,200-MW nuclear power capacity using SMR technologies eyed in 2032

By Kris Crismundo

February 23, 2024, 6:52 pm

<p>DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla <em>(File photo)</em></p>

DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla (File photo)

MANILA – Department of Energy (DOE) top and senior officials said the agency is targeting to get a 1,200-megawatt installed power capacity from nuclear resources using small modular reactor (SMR) technologies by 2032.

This was confirmed by DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla as well as Undersecretaries Rowena Cristina Guevara and Sharon Garin to reporters in an interview in Taguig City on Thursday.

Lotilla said the government remains open to all technologies that will supply the growing power demand of the country in the coming years.

“(T)he commercial rollout of certain nuclear technologies are going to be there... (W)e can start planning for 2032 at the earliest. From the figures, you can see these are modest figures, 1,200 (MW) by 2032,” the DOE chief.

In her speech at the B2B Matching to Support Energy Transition (B2B SET), Guevara said this potential capacity would come from eight 150-MW SMRs.

She added that under the DOE’s Clean Energy Scenario (CES) 1, the 1,200 MW potential installed capacity for nuclear by 2032 is forecast to have additional 1,200 MW capacity by 2035 and another 2,400 MW by 2050.

Manila Electric Company has partnered with American firm Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC) to explore the potential of micro-modular reactors in the country.

AboitizPower Corp. is also exploring collaborations with NuScale Power Corp. and USNC in this sector.

Aside from the latest SMR technologies, Garin said the country is studying the viability of conventional nuclear reactors like the existing Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Garin said the DOE is in talks with the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (KHNP) for a more comprehensive feasibility study for the BNPP.

She added that the feasibility study with KHNP will determine if the government should pursue BNPP as a nuclear energy source in the future.

She said around 12 sites, mostly in the western parts of the country, are being studied for future locations of nuclear power facilities.

Safety first

Meanwhile, Lotilla stressed that the government will ensure that the safety concerns on nuclear energy technologies will be addressed first before putting up nuclear power plants.

“Let’s be open to all technologies. What we want to set are standards. Like your concern, it’s standard for safety, standards for regulation. So that’s why it is important that the law that Congress has to pass on nuclear safety will be in place before all these things can come in,” the DOE chief stressed. (PNA)