Marcos open to ‘cutting edge’ micro nuclear fuel technology

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos open to �cutting edge� micro nuclear fuel technology
NUCLEAR TECH. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. holds a meeting with officials of US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, a vertical integrator of nuclear technologies and services, in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (May 2, 2023). The firm expressed interest to bringing clean and reliable nuclear energy to the Philippines, which it is seriously considering for its first nuclear energy facility in Southeast Asia.
pna.gov.ph / Photo courtesy of PCO

WASHINGTON – President Marcos is open to adopting “cutting-edge” micro nuclear fuel technology to address a power crisis in the country that has caused blackouts in some provinces, Malacañang said yesterday.

Marcos expressed readiness to look into the technology during a meeting with officials of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC), a US-based vertical integrator of nuclear technologies and services.

Francesco Venneri, chief executive officer of USNC, said the company is interested in bringing clean and reliable nuclear energy to the Philippines, describing the move as “probably a very important way for us to enter the market.”

According to a statement by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), USNC is “seriously” considering the Philippines for its first nuclear energy facility in Southeast Asia. It also vowed to help address the series of blackouts that hit several areas of the country.

“We also note that there’s a great deal of discussion about Mindoro having blackouts and that might be an excellent… a good science (solution),” Venneri was quoted by the PCO statement as saying.

Venneri was referring to the weeks of power outages in Occidental Mindoro.

Marcos described the energy firm’s proposal as “interesting.”

“It’s certainly an interesting offer for us. It’s definitely a cutting edge technology. Put together something. It’s something new. I want to study it,” the President said.

USNC officials explained that the micro modular reactor energy system is a fourth generation nuclear energy system that aims to deliver safe, clean and cost-effective electricity to users.

It is being licensed in Canada and the US and is considered the first “fission battery” in commercialization.

The company expects eventual heavy demand for its micro modular reactor energy system and its nuclear fuel and sees the Philippines as its nuclear hub in the region, the PCO said.

Earlier, the government said it acted swiftly on the power woes in Occidental Mindoro with the operation of at least three power stations that provide 24-hour electricity service in the province.

The administration is also dealing with power outages in Negros and Panay, a problem that Marcos said originated from the distribution side. – Delon Porcalla, Paolo Romero

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