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Philippines sounds out potential suppliers of nuclear reactors from US


THE PHILIPPINES is lining up potential US suppliers and is also studying some domestic manufacturing to support its proposed nuclear power industry, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said.

Mr. Pascual said at a briefing last week that the Philippine delegation to the US, led by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., met with two US nuclear power manufacturers to work out possible supply arrangements for the emerging industry.

“There are two things that could happen. One is we can order from them the reactor — either the small modular reactor or the micro modular reactor. They already have clients but they don’t have an actual plant that’s operating. But they have contracts,” Mr. Pascual told reporters.

“Another possibility that we are also pursuing is to have them build their manufacturing facility in the Philippines. There are two potential business models that we’re targeting,” he added.

The two companies are NuScale Power Corp. and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. to discuss potential investment during the official visit to the US between April 30 and May 4.

According to Mr. Pascual, NuScale has a preliminary list of possible Philippine locations for its small modular reactor.

 “With regard to the small modular reactor, this is sensitive to volcanic or geological movements. They already have a map of the areas in the Philippines that could be considered safe locations. But they don’t have an actual decision yet on which province or which area they will build it if they proceed to build it,” Mr. Pascual said.

Ultra Safe, which hopes to supply a micro modular reactor, is still in discussions for possible locations, depending on the reactor’s final specifications, he said.

“There are still ongoing discussions on the micro modular reactor. Based on the claim of the supplier, it is not sensitive to geological movement like earthquakes. It could be installed in areas that have volcanic activity,” Mr. Pascual said.

Mr. Pascual said investment by NuScale and Ultra Safe will depend on whether they can sign local partners, an eventuality which he described as beyond the government’s control.

He did not give an estimate on either reactor’s projected cost.

“Our government is no longer in the business of running businesses. What government officials are doing is pointing them in a certain direction and providing them incentives so they will decide one way and not the other,” Mr. Pascual said.

After his five-day trip to the US, Mr. Marcos announced on May 5 that the Philippines obtained $1.3 billion worth of investment pledges, which are expected to generate 6,700 jobs. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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