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IAEA Delivers Report on Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development to the Philippines

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Alfonso G. Cusi, Secretary of Energy of the Philippines, receives the INIR Mission Report from Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, in Manila, 30 October 2019. (Photo: Department of Energy) 

The IAEA has delivered the final report of a mission that reviewed the Philippines’ infrastructure development for a nuclear power programme. IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, handed over the report to the Secretary of Energy of the Philippines, Alfonso G. Cusi, on 30 October in Manila.

The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission took place in December 2018 at the invitation of the Government of the Philippines. Experts from the IAEA and four Member States reviewed the status of the 19 nuclear infrastructure issues using the criteria for the first phase of the IAEA’s Milestones Approach, when a country is considering the use of nuclear power.

The Government has adopted a technology-neutral approach to electricity generation and seeks to enhance the country’s electricity supply by exploring nuclear energy and its inclusion in the existing energy mix.

“As is recognized in the INIR mission report, there is a strong commitment from the Government to a systematic approach to setting its nuclear power strategy and addressing the associated infrastructure development issues,” Chudakov said.  “I understand that a comprehensive law, addressing nuclear safety, security and safeguards, and establishing an independent regulatory body, is on the national agenda,” he added, underlining the importance of creating the necessary legal framework.

“With energy security as the cornerstone of our country’s energy agenda, we need to bring to the forefront an intelligent, informed, and comprehensive dialogue on whether we could safely utilize nuclear power as one of our alternative sources to meet our ever-growing energy requirements," Cusi said. "For the past three years, we have been working hand in hand with the International Atomic Energy Agency to find clear answers to all our longstanding questions on nuclear power, most especially its safety aspect,” he emphasized.

To assist the Philippines in making further progress in its infrastructure development, the INIR mission team made several recommendations and suggestions.  It also identified good practices that may benefit other countries considering the introduction of nuclear power, in the areas of legal framework, stakeholder involvement and site and supporting facilities.

As a next step, the Philippines is developing a national action plan to address the recommendations and suggestions. The first meeting to discuss the “Integrated Work Plan” between the IAEA and the Philippines will be held next month to identify areas where the IAEA can support national activities to implement the country’s action plan.

“This is encouraging and indicative of the commitment of the Philippines to make progress and to move the programme forward,” Chudakov said. He emphasized that embarking on a nuclear power programme is a sovereign decision. “While the IAEA can provide support, the responsibility for closing any gaps and moving the programme forward lies with the country.”

About INIR Missions

Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions enable IAEA Member State representatives to have in-depth discussions with international experts about conditions and best international practices in development of a nuclear power programme. In developing its recommendations, the INIR team considers the comments made by the relevant national organizations. Implementation of any of the team's recommendations is at the discretion of the Member State requesting the mission. The results of the INIR mission are expected to assist the Member State to develop an action plan to fill any gaps, which in turn will help the development of the national nuclear infrastructure. The IAEA publishes the INIR mission report on its website 90 days after its delivery to the Member State, unless the State requests in writing that the IAEA not do so.

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