Philippines Boosts Nuclear Energy with US Investments

Amid the global shift towards renewable energy, the Philippines is pursuing nuclear power as a viable option to meet its growing energy demands. The country has attracted foreign investments from the United States, signalling a significant advancement in its nuclear energy ambitions.

A report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace revealed that the United States and Japan are collaborating to boost nuclear fusion development. Japan, which is reviving its old nuclear power plants to address its energy requirements, has partnered with the U.S. to advance nuclear technology.

Following suit, the Philippines is making strides in nuclear energy development with increased investments from the U.S. On April 12, the Philippine News Agency reported progress in investments from Washington-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC).

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with USNC CEO Francesco Venneri and other top executives to discuss the company’s commitment to providing clean and reliable energy solutions for the country. Marcos expressed delight over the ongoing collaboration with USNC since their inaugural meeting in 2023, highlighting the company’s investment in Micro Modular Reactors (MMRs) as a promising clean energy source for the Philippines.

“This initiative ensures greater energy security, reduces reliance on fossil fuels, and holds the promise of substantial economic gains for the Filipino people,” Marcos stated in a Facebook post.

Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla briefed Marcos on Congress’s legislative measures to support Ultra Safe’s planned investment and operations. The House of Representatives has passed the regulatory framework, including the “Philippine National Nuclear Energy Safety Act” and the “Philippine Nuclear Liability Act.”

Marcos expressed hope that the Senate would pass the bills soon, enabling the project to commence. He reaffirmed his commitment to the nuclear energy programme, emphasising its importance for the country’s energy security and economic development.

The recent meeting between Marcos and USNC executives builds upon the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in May 2023. The MOU outlines USNC’s role in conducting a pre-feasibility study to familiarise the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) with MMRs. This study aims to pave the way for a more extensive feasibility study on adopting and developing MMR energy systems in the Philippines.