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Russia offers floating nuclear power plant for PHL

SOCHI, Russia — The Russian State Nuclear Energy Corp. (Rosatom) is offering to put up floating nuclear power plants in the Philippines as the country explores the possibility of nuclear power generation.

“Our breakthrough solution here is a floating nuclear power plant (FNPP), which is a mobile low-capacity reactor operable in remote areas isolated from the power grid or in places hard to access by land,” Rosatom vice-president for Southeast Asia Egor Simonov told GMA News Online.

State-owned Rosatom and the Department of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2017, on cooperation covering the Philippines’ possible foray into nuclear power generation.

Under the agreement, the Philippines and Russia will cooperate in several areas that include nuclear infrastructure studies towards national energy policy development and nuclear energy program implementation in the Philippines. 

Doing feasibility studies on constructing small modular nuclear power plants— onshore or offshore—in the Philippines is another area of cooperation beyond analyzing the technical, commercial, financial and legal aspects of nuclear power.

Simonov said a floating nuclear power plant could be of particular interest for archipelagic countries due to its mobility.

“This mobile reactor was designed to supply electricity, thermal power, and even desalinated water to coastal or isolated territories, as well as to industrial offshore units,” he said.

“The construction of the 77 MWe (megawatts electric) ‘Akademik Lomonosov’, the world’s first FNPP, is now in its final stages in Russia,” he said.

Rosatom is ready to provide “full support” in establishing a nuclear program in the Philippines, from infrastructure and human resources development to supporting the project during its life cycle, which encompasses at least 80 years.

“We are ready to offer a number of ready-made solutions from our latest Generation 3+ VVER-1200 technology to the new trend in nuclear industry—small nuclear reactors, which attract the attention of government officials, regulators and energy leaders as a potential addition to the nation’s energy mix,” Simonov said.

VVER refers to “Voda Voda Energo Reactor” or water-cooled and water-moderated reactor system.

At this point, the Philippines still has a long way to go from developing nuclear infrastructure to establishing a nuclear regulatory framework and training new staff.

“In this regard, it is important to find a partner who could provide comprehensive support in setting up a large high-tech nuclear power sector in the country,” Simonov said.

Apart from constructing nuclear power plants, he said Russia’s nuclear energy firm is ready to help the Philippines in creating f and developing nuclear infrastructure, training and requalification of domestic labor force, as well as localizing manufacturing, fuel supply and nuclear power plant maintenance, operation support, and spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste treatment. —VDS, GMA News


This story is produced as part of an invitation for the Philippine media to the ATOMEXPO International Forum sponsored by ROSATOM.