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The Governments of the Philippines and the USA signed an “Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy” also known as a Section 123 Agreement, on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in San Francisco, California. The US insists that countries seeking to trade nuclear power goods and services must sign formal cooperation agreements. Such Section 123 Agreements relate to the relevant paragraph of the US 1954 Atomic Energy Act which requires them.

Date: Wednesday, 22 November 2023
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Southeast Asian nation considering large-scale reactors and SMRs The Bataan nuclear station north of the capital Manila has never operated and has been mothballed. Courtesy Wikipedia. The Philippines is open to negotiations about the development of a commercial nuclear power project with countries other than the US, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) director Carlo Arcilla said.

Among countries the Philippines could turn to is South Korea, which has offered to revive the Bataan nuclear power station north of the capital Manila. Japan, China and France may also consider holding talks about the Bataan project.

The US and the Philippines said recently they would open talks on a deal for the Asian nation to build nuclear power plants with American technology.

“We are also open to other countries. We should not set aside, however, America’s experience. There are 450 nuclear power plants in the world, and almost 100 in the US”, Arcilla said, quoted by the Philippine News Agency.

The Philippines is also considering investing in small modular reactors. The Philippines’ largest electricity distributor said it is in talks with the US about possibly using SMRs.

Date: Saturday, 24 December 2022
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Subcritical unit to be used for training and research The operation of the facility is a step forward as the Southeast Asian country prepares for a possible nuclear new-build programme. Courtesy PNRI. After more than three decades, the Philippines is again operating a nuclear facility after commissioning began of the Philippines Research Reactor-1 Subcritical Assembly for Training, Education and Research (PRR-1 Sater), which will become the country’s sole nuclear reactor training facility.

The operation of the facility is a step forward as the Southeast Asian country prepares for a possible nuclear new-build programme that is supported by president Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The 1 MW open pool general-purpose PRR-1 research reactor reached criticality in August 1963. In 1984, PNRI decided to convert and upgrade the reactor into a 3 MW Triga Mark III reactor. It was shut down in 1988, leaving the country with no operating nuclear facility for the past 34 years.

In 2014, a proposal was accepted to use fuel rods from PRR-1 for training and education. The fuel is a uranium-zirconium hydride alloy manufactured by General Atomics of the US, which built the PRR-1. The International Atomic Energy Agency has been supporting the project through a series of technical cooperation projects.

Date: Saturday, 27 August 2022
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