NUCLEAR ENERGY MEET: Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi (R) discusses the nuclear energy option with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano (L). The high-level meeting included topics on human resource development, nuclear safety, legal and regulatory framework, international standards, cooperation with international community, stakeholders involvement and challenges which includes the closure on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant issue. This came as the Philippines plans to establish the option on the safe, secure and peaceful utilization of nuclear energy. Also in the photo along with Secretary Cusi and IAEA Dir. Gen. Amano are (R-L) is Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO) Chairperson and DOE Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos, Undersecretary Benito L. Ranque, NEPIO Vice Chairperson and DOE Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr and former Ambassador Maria Zenaida Angara Collinson.
(Taguig City). Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi and the officials of the Department of Energy met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headed by its Director General, Yukiya Amano, during the courtesy call on 8 February at the Department of Energy in Taguig City.
Cusi said the bilateral meeting "comes at an opportune time as the DOE will submit its recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte on the country’s position on the civilian use of nuclear technology following a series of technical cooperation with IAEA.”
“Based on the technical assessment, the use of nuclear technologies, including nuclear energy, is seen as a long-term energy option for the country. The possible inclusion of nuclear power in the current energy mix is consistent with the national policy towards a technology-neutral energy sector,” Cusi pointed out.
The DOE’s recommendations on the country’s national position included the results of the energy planning studies implemented under IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Projects, namely: PHI 2011 Assessing the Development of a Nuclear Power Program in the Philippines for 2016-2017 and PHI 2016 003 Development of Nuclear Infrastructure in the Philippines, Phase II for 2018-2019.
The meeting also discussed the scope of IAEA’s work and its role in assisting member-states in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the use of nuclear science technology for socio-economic development in the country.
Aside from the on-going technical cooperation, the DOE presented its activities concerning the crafting of a national position. The report touched on the possible cooperation in other areas, such as human resource development, nuclear safety, legal and regulatory framework, international standards, cooperation with international community, stakeholders involvement and challenges which includes the closure on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant issue.
In addressing the queries on the other uses of nuclear technology, IAEA Director General Amano discussed the wide ranging applications of nuclear science in the areas of health and medicine, agriculture, water treatment and sanitation and the environment. He categorically stated that the commitments made in COP 21 may not be achieved without the use of nuclear technology.
IAEA took the opportunity to invite the Philippines in the upcoming Nuclear Science Applications Ministerial Conference which will be held in the 3rd quarter of the year. He also announced that a Nuclear Energy and Climate Change Conference will be one of the side events in the next UNFCCC Conference.
In order to address the inclusive participation of the Filipino youth, Sec. Cusi requested the IAEA to assist the Philippines in providing nuclear courses and trainings for PH schools on nuclear science for energy, medicine, agriculture, environment and climate change.
The meeting was organized by Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO) Chairperson and Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos. Officials from the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), National Power Corporation, and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Ambassador Cleofe Natividad and former Ambassador Zenaida Collinson also took part in the meeting.