US and the Philippines to Collaborate on Nuclear Power Training

June 2024

The Philippines and the United States have agreed to train Filipinos in building and operating nuclear power plants to enhance the country’s electricity supply. This agreement follows a nuclear cooperation pact between Manila and Washington in November 2023, which paves the way for US investment in the Philippines’ nuclear energy sector.

Under the new agreement, the Department of Energy and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation will offer scholarships and exchange programs focused on civil nuclear power and renewable energy. US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, highlighted that this initiative will help the Philippines develop a skilled workforce for clean energy infrastructure, including the operation of advanced nuclear power plants. Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla emphasized that the advanced training will ensure the country has the necessary human resources for the nuclear sector.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has expressed a strong interest in adopting nuclear power in the Philippines, even considering the revival of a mothballed USD 2.2 billion plant built during his father’s administration. The agreement signed in November ensures safeguards against the use of nuclear material for weapons production, adhering to Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act, which is essential for attracting US nuclear company investments.

The US also plans to establish a civil nuclear industry working group for Southeast Asia, based in Manila, to connect Philippine partners with US companies and accelerate the transition to clean and safe nuclear energy. This initiative comes as the Philippines faces high energy costs and a looming power crisis, with a significant portion of its power generation relying on imported coal. The country aims to have renewable energy, excluding nuclear, constitute 50% of its power generation by 2040.

(Source: The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

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