Nuclear power eyed in Mindanao

THE Department of Energy (DOE) said establishing a nuclear power plant in Mindanao is possible in the future in a bid to cater to the increasing demand for power.

DOE energy policy and planning bureau Michael Sinocruz said based on the assumptions of their Mindanao Power Outlook 2018-2040, there could be an entry of 1,000 megawatts (MW) coming from nuclear-fired power plants by 2035.

In 1996, the Nuclear Power Steering Committee (NPSC) identified 13 sites as possible hosts for nuclear power plants and supporting facilities. In Mindanao, it identified sites in Placan Point and Cauit Point in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte and General Santos City.

“What we are doing right now is to test again the sites. The study conducted in 1996 was very intensive, but we need to do again the tests in order to verify the sites,” Sinocruz said in an interview on Thursday, October 25, 2018 during the Mindanao Energy Plan 2018 public consultation at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Davao City.

The DOE official underscored the importance of geographical sites in operating nuclear sites.

“Syempre tinitingnan rin natin dapat ang location na malayo siya dapat sa active volcanic activities. Dapat malayo rin ito sa mga residential areas (One of the considerations for the plant's site is it should be far from active volcanic activities. It should also be far from residential areas),” Sinocruz said.

“Presently, isa sa mga sites na na-test natin ay yung nasa Bataan which can produce at around 600 MW (Presently, one of the sites that we tested already was in Bataan which can produce at around 600 mega),” he added.

Based from DOE’s forecast on the possibility of using nuclear power as source of energy, nuclear will have an eight percent share in the total generation of Mindanao by 2040. Coal share to total generation by 2040 will be at 45 percent while renewable energy and natural gas will contribute 21 percent and 25 percent to total generation, respectively.

Sinocruz said so far no interested investors are planning to operate any nuclear power plants in the country.


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