PH eyes creation of regulatory body for nuclear safety

Written by Philippine News Agency

The government is expected to create a regulatory commission for nuclear safety in accordance with the nuclear bill, which is now in its advanced stages in Congress.

In a statement from Russian state-owned State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) Wednesday, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Director, Dr. Carlo Arcilla, said the nuclear law "will guarantee the independence of a nuclear regulatory commission separate from the promotion and research thrusts of the PNRI."

Arcilla said the agricultural and medicinal fields will also benefit from nuclear energy. But he also pointed out the need to address safety concerns.

"While nuclear energy applications have largely lifted humankind, safety concerns should not be neglected," he said, adding the creation of a commission independent of PNRI would promote nuclear safety.

Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Donato Marcos, who is also chairperson of the Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization, said: "The inclusion of nuclear as a potential long-term option for power generation will further diversify the nation's generation mix."

The country's energy mix is currently composed of coal, natural gas, geothermal, hydropower, oil, wind, solar, and biomass.

ROSATOM, meanwhile, held a workshop last Monday to present its capability "to support the development of a nuclear power program," which includes raising public acceptance, human resource development solution, local industry involvement, complex fuel supply solution and nuclear power plant operation and maintenance.

The Energy Department and ROSATOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding of Cooperation at the sidelines of the 12th East Asia Summit last November. (Juzel Danganan/PNA)