Duterte’s nuclear plan: Cusi signs pact with Russians to reopen US-made BNPP
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi signed a deal with the Russian Federation State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) to collaborate on nuclear development during the 12th East Asia Summit.
“The cooperation with Russia is part of the government’s intention to develop a variety of applications for nuclear energy that are within our policies particularly for power generation,” Cusi said.
Cusi said the Philippines would benefit from Russia’s vast experience in the safe use of nuclear and emerging technologies for the purpose of power generation.
Cusi said the deal would support the Philippines in coming up with a national position and the crafting of a nuclear energy policy that might lead to a nuclear energy program.
Under the Memorandum of Cooperation, the Philippines and Russia agree to conduct studies on nuclear infrastructure and the audit and assessment on the condition of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and possible options for its use or rehabilitation. BNPP was built in 1976 by Westinghouse Electric of the United States.
The MOC also allows both parties to conduct 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.
Both the Philippines and Russia are part of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and are parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
This cooperation will be implemented in the form of joint working groups to undertake specific projects, exchange of experts; workshops and training of personnel and sharing of technical information.
This MOC is good for 5 years with the option to be renewed for the same period unless one party notifies the other through diplomatic channels of either one’s intention to suspend or terminate the agreement. (DOE-PR)