During the Giga Summit in Rockwell Makati, power distributor company Meralco said that they are eyeing the use of small nuclear power plants.

As per Chairman Manny Pangilinan, they will start a feasibility study before getting into micro modular reactors (MMR), which are basically smaller nuclear plants that can help provide power to smaller and targeted areas.

“It’s anywhere between 5 to 15MW (megawatts). So if you want a big plant like 150 (MW) you need several of their reactors in one place. It’s really meant for island provinces or island cities, data centers, for desalination,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan highlighted that being modular means that they are also smaller and scalable. He assured the public that safety will be a top priority, that’s why they will be conducting studies first.

“Chernobyl doesn’t help, Fukushima didn’t help, but we have to consider that because we also are seismically active archipelago,” the chairman added.

Moreover, Meralco has already unveiled a scholarship program that will assist Filipinos in studying nuclear energy abroad. This will help the country’s push to add nuclear power to its energy portfolio.

Pangilinan said that they plan to send young engineers to universities in the United States, Canada, France, Korea, and Japan to study nuclear power and the “regulatory side of the business.”

The program also aims to entice Filipino scientists abroad to go back to the Philippines and assist the country’s nuclear program.

“Diversification of energy sources is key for energy security including openness to nuclear power, particularly the emerging small modular technologies,” said Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla.

DOE’s goal is to increase the country’s renewable energy share in the overall energy mix to 35% by the year 2030.

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