Energy dept, Rosatom ink pact on nuclear energy development

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Russian Federation State Atomic Energy Corp.  (Rosatom) have inked a cooperation deal aimed at exploring the development of nuclear energy in the country.

“The cooperation with Russia is part of the government’s intention to develop a variety of applications of nuclear energy that are within our policies, particularly for power generation,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said.

The parties signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) on November 13 during the 12th East Asia Summit held in Manila.

“Through this MOC, we can tap the significant experience of Russia in harnessing nuclear energy and the emerging technologies related to it for peaceful purposes that are safe and secure,” Cusi said.

The cooperation will be implemented in the form of joint working groups that will undertake specific projects and tasks; exchange of experts; workshops; training and education of personnel; and sharing of technical information.

The MOC will run for five years and is renewable for the same period, unless one notifies the other in writing through diplomatic channels of its intention to suspend or terminate the same.

Cusi said the undertakings in the MOC would support the Philippines in coming up with a national position and the crafting  of a nuclear-energy policy that may lead to a nuclear-energy program.

The Philippines and Russian Federation will cooperate in several areas under the agreement.

These include the following:

• Nuclear infrastructure studies toward national energy-policy development and nuclear energy- program implementation in the Philippines; 

• Audit and assessment of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant’s technical condition, including the option of its rehabilitation; and      

• Feasibility studies on construction in the Philippines of small modular nuclear-power plants, onshore or offshore, but not limited to analysis of technical, commercial, financial and legal aspects.

Both may also carry out similar studies on nuclear power plants in general as may be deemed necessary and consistent with national energy-development plans and policies of the Philippines.

The Philippines and the Russian Federation are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency  and are parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of July 1, 1968.