The Philippine Star

Gov’t review team ready to submit nuclear policy

- By DANESSA RIVERA

The Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC) will soon submit to President Duterte a proposed national policy to include nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

In a virtual webinar hosted by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the University of San Carlos yesterday, DOE assistant secretary Gerardo Erguiza said the NEP-IAC has already completed discussion­s on nuclear energy in the power mix.

After the discussion­s, the 18-member inter-agency committee will finalize the draft of the report to the President, he said.

“We’re scheduled to submit this proposal or national policy on Dec. 20. After Dec. 20, it’s up to the President if he will consider it,” Erguiza said.

Last July, President Duterte signed Executive Order 116 which supports the Philippine nuclear energy program.

EO 116 provides for the creation of the NEP-IAC to be chaired by the DOE, with the Department of Science and Technology as vice chair.

The inter- agency body is mandated to primarily conduct a study for the adoption of a national position on a nuclear energy program (NEP).

The report would be submitted ahead of the deadline as EO 116 requires the NEPIAC to submit an initial report to the Office of the President within six months or by January 2021.

Erguiza, however, clarified, that the report to be submitted by the committee would only cover the inclusion of nuclear energy in the country’s power mix.

“But if it will be issued, we’ll now have a policy of including nuclear energy in the energy mix. It’s not putting up a nuclear power plant. It’s a first step process to go further in adopting nuclear power plants,” he said.

This means the proposed policy will not determine if operations of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant will be revived.

Since 2017, the DOE has been pushing for the inclusion of nuclear in the country’s energy mix.

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