Why the Philippines should add nuclear power to its energy portfolio

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Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

I’ve been pondering the nuclear energy issue for a few weeks, brought to the topic by President Duterte’s recent comment about finishing the Bataan nuclear power plant. I think that won’t work. The location and quality issues shout “bad idea”.

But nuclear is a good idea, in my view. That view is not defined by what the Philippines HAS BEEN, but what the Philippines CAN BE, and needs to be. That ‘looking forward’ point of view is a huge, huge element in this assessment because anyone who looks at the corrupt, dilapidated, poverty-wracked, incompetent history of the nation would say “no way”. Too risky.

How does the Philippines build a nation that is productive and competent? The first step that needs to be taken is to elect a government that will remove corruption from economic decisions so that the decisions are based on quality and result, long term, rather than commissions, short term. That short term perspective is a killer. We need to think long term, and we need to look forward, not back.

With a clean government, we easily master the crucial elements of the nuclear decision:

  1. Earthquake safety and location
  2. Operational quality and safety
  3. Waste disposal

The second step in adding nuclear power to the portfolio is to recognize the NIMBY in all of us, and get over it. NIMBY stands for “Not In My Back Yard”, or the tendency to reject anything that changes the way we live. Put it in someone else’s back yard, not mine.

Nuclear is the gorilla that no one wants in their back yard. But the Philippines needs to put it there, somewhere.

The somewhere becomes clear, and we can discuss that in a moment.

But first, let’s look forward. Consider what the Philippines represents. It is not a small nation. It is large, in terms of population, huge in potential, but small in terms of comparative economic productivity. It is not an industrialized nation. The gap between resources and output is huge and we need to consider what will happen as the potential blossoms. Under a good government.

It needs to be powered.

The economy is likely to blossom at a time when dirty fuel is no longer attractive . . .  to protect the environment, and because of oil and gas shortages and costs . . . and other forms of clean energy simply can’t keep up with demand.

What do investors consider when they choose where to put their money? Location, resources, costs, taxes, red tape, infrastructure, and energy. The Philippines is advantageous in everything but costs (corruption), red tape (corruption), and energy. Roads are a problem, but they are not a deal killer. Lack of steady, reliable, cost-efficient energy is a deal killer.

Today, the Philippines is killing deals. Brownouts, high costs, commissions, no clear development path to produce oil, spotty clean energy initiatives, and a rats nest of players and regulators. Electricity is structured to make money for the entitled, not power a nation.

The “good government” needs to put order to energy and clean up this convoluted mess.

Nuclear can help by providing large, steady steps forward to bring power to productivity.

When the gap between performance and potential is addressed and the nation is performing like a capable, modern nation, the economy will explode up as Japan and Korea did 50 years ago. Even now, the nation is an economic gem, powered by location, natural resources, people resources, and remittances.

Here’s the point, from a Rappler piece done two years ago. Even with today’s problems, the trend is clear. The only thing holding the Philippines back is the Philippines.

 

[Photo source: Rappler]

Translate the growing productivity into energy and the picture becomes even clearer. Here are energy trends by source, and you can see both the growth and the strain on clean energy:

 

[Chart source: IEA, International Energy Agency]

Consider the chart.

  • How will clean energy support growth? It won’t.
  • How will coal and oil support growth? It won’t.
  • How will natural gas and methane from Benham Rise support  growth? It won’t.

The Philippines needs all of the above and more. The more is nuclear power.

“But Joe, the earthquakes, the earthquakes!!!”

Bataan is poorly situated, I agree. And, yes, the Philippines is a huge collection of shaky islands. If you talk to nuclear energy experts, they will explain that today’s plants can handle large earthquakes safely. I’d argue that’s great, do it, but for now, let’s just look a map of the Philippines.

Here are the earthquake faults, earthquake history, and volcanoes plotted by mapmaker David, an absolute genius at presentation:

 

[Map source: MAPMAKER; @mapmakerdavid on Twitter]

Where would you site the first nuclear plant?

Yes, yes, Palawan. The NIMBYs will argue “that’s a natural paradise, we don’t want a nuke plant there”, and my response would be, I drove past the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California all my life, right there on the beach, and the surfers didn’t even notice it. The power plant would be out of sight and out of mind, if constructed properly. So would the second and third plants.

We should pull out the myths, the hobgoblins, and the fears from our assessment. Let me address three of them in short form, and let you put meat to them if you choose:

  • South Korea is stopping nuclear power because of the Fukishima disaster. Fatalities from all causes at the Fukishima nuclear plant, including cancer projections, are expected to be from a few hundred to 1,800. The earthquake and tsunami proper killed 18,500. Climate change is a bigger killer. South Korea will continue to develop and sell nuclear technology, and they are good at it with 24 plants producing one-fourth of the nation’s power. My guess, their moratorium will be short-lived.
  • Nuclear waste will kill our planet. Coal and oil are killing it now. Nuclear is a part of the solution. Today’s nuclear plants are powerful and safe. Waste management involves sorting wastes into categories of short-lived and long-lived wastes, and generally disposing of long-lived materials underground in shielded, safe locations. Many industrial processes produce dangerous waste. Nuclear waste disposal is just as routine. That’s why there are now almost 500 nuclear plants worldwide.
  • The Philippines can’t run modern plants. The Philippines has the knowledge and the skill, but not the technology. That can be purchased. South Korea. The US. Other sources. These technology pros will not allow their equipment to be operated in an unsafe location by unqualified operators.

If you study nuclear policies by country, you will discover that there are as many approaches as there are countries because needs differ. France supplies 70% of its electricity via 56 nuclear plants. Their next plant will be a 1,600 megawatt powerhouse.

Here is a current list of the world’s nuclear programs by country: Nuclear Power in the World Today

Scan the list and it quickly becomes apparent that this is a thriving business, a form of electricity that other nations recognize and use. It is also an industry improving in power production, efficiency, and safety.

The Philippines has its own circumstances and needs. In the future, energy demand will be huge. And the nation will thrive only if that demand is satisfied.

It can’t happen without nuclear.

 

Comments
76 Responses to “Why the Philippines should add nuclear power to its energy portfolio”
  1. Karl Garcia says:

    I would like our Chicago native mainstay Sonny to comment on the Nuclear power situation near Chicago.

    https://www.manilatimes.net/2017/03/28/business/columnists-business/hidden-downside-nuclear-power/319562/319562/

    “One example given by the AP story I can vouch for personally, having seen the before-and-after impact of a nuclear plant on a local economy firsthand: The town of Zion, Illinois, which lies along the shore of Lake Michigan north of Chicago was at one time a relatively upscale lakeside community thanks to its nuclear plant. Passing through again three years after the plant closed in 1997, I was struck by how rapid the change was; Zion had quickly gone from a stylish suburban village (it lies roughly midway between Chicago and Milwaukee) to a virtual ghost town, with most of its downtown storefronts empty and a significant number of its residential properties forlornly decorated with “For Sale” signs.“

    • Interesting. I suppose a plant has its own staff, plus supporting services that indeed might make or break a community. I’d not thought of the local positives. Thanks.

      • Family experience in Tiwi, Albay shows what should be avoided in the Filipino context:

        1) The Tiwi geothermal plant was built on land partly owned by my grandfather – it seems he had the bad choice of either selling it on the cheap or it being subjected to land reform. Destroying what families have built is to be avoided. Could be one reason my grandfather, who initially liked Marcos and voted for him, hated him later on. The other of course could be his favorite son, the Albay High School salutatorian, UP summa cum laude and Sorbonne Ph.D. (father of his namesake – me) being detained by Marcos’ troops. There are things I only got to know about in hints and there is much Filipino families refuse to talk about. Old Irineo died a sad old man, that is something I saw.

        2. Relatives told me that electricity in Manila was CHEAPER than in Albay inspite of the geothermal plant supplying a good share of electricity to the capital. Those who bear the burdens should get cheap electricity too, or even a discount I think.

        3. Pulling too much hot sulfuric water out of Tiwi and Malinao disrupted the ecosystem. Part of the Tiwi Hot Springs exploded, several houses were “eaten” – destroying the old spa economy. Plus sulfuric water allegedly mixed with freshwater, destroying some fields. There should be very much care taken – just like in mining to not destroy people’s livelihoods – and there should be compensation for those who lose their livelihoods or have them diminished.

        4. I saw myself how power plant guards acted thuggishly in our old village, and how arrogant power plant employees were on the (new) beach strip club in our village were during the teenage pub crawl with my drunkard uncle I mentioned in one article. Attitudes of impunity / face+ power should be held in check, “natives” respected and not bullied. Fortunately no local women in the strip club but still. Whew Irineo’s crazy stories again!

        5. Seems recently they built roads to do some mining up the mountain. Bicol has a lot of gold and Tiwi seems to be sitting on a huge gold deposit, I was told. Don’t know much more and I don’t dare ask too much as the Russian saying “where there is gold there is blood” holds true so very often. Power plants should not be used as an excuse to rape the land more via mining and logging in the same area – this stuff all should be balanced well. Don’t know what the upland Aeta in the outlying barangays of our old village are experiencing now but knowing what Lumads in Mindanao sometimes experience if their lands are “in the way” of mining, logging and plantations, I am a bit scared to think about it. People should be considered and not harrassed or even killed.

    • sonny says:

      @ “… our Chicago native mainstay Sonny to comment on the Nuclear power situation near Chicago.”

      For me, the Zion Nuclear Power Plant situation is a “fait accompli.” I came to live in Chicago in December, 1974.

      “… The plant was built in 1973, and the first unit started producing power in December 1973.[1] The second unit came online in September 1974.[1] This power generating station is located on 257 acres (104 ha)[2] of Lake Michigan shoreline, in the city of Zion, Lake County, Illinois. It is approximately 40 direct-line miles north of Chicago, Illinois and 42 miles (68 km) south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

      The Zion Nuclear Power Station was retired on February 13, 1998.[1] The plant had not been in operation since February 21, 1997, after a control-room operator inserted the control rods too far during a shut down of Reactor 1 and then withdrew the control rods without following procedures or obtaining supervisory permission.[3] Reactor 2 was already shut down for refueling at the time of the incident. ComEd concluded that the plant could not produce competitively priced power because it would have cost $435 million to order steam generators which would not pay for themselves before the plant’s operating license expired in 2013.

      All nuclear fuel was removed permanently from the reactor vessel and placed in the plant’s on-site spent fuel pool by March 9, 1998. Plans were to keep the facility in long-term safe storage (SAFSTOR) until Unit 2’s operating license expires on November 14, 2013. Decontamination and dismantlement were to begin after this date. The estimated date for closure was December 31, 2026.[1]

      On August 23, 2010, it was announced that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of Exelon’s (ComEd’s parent company) license to EnergySolutions of Salt Lake City. The company began the 10-year process of decommissioning the site and will eventually haul away pieces of the plant to its property in Utah. During the decommissioning process, the used nuclear fuel was transferred from the spent fuel pool into dry casks and placed into a newly constructed Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). The transfer procedures were completed in January 2015.[1] The total cost of decommissioning is expected to reach approximately 1 billion dollars. After this is complete

      @ “With a clean government, we easily master the crucial elements of the nuclear decision:

      1. Earthquake safety and location
      2. Operational quality and safety
      3. Waste disposal ”

      Joe, “clean government …” is huge, huge IF. Then, the 3 items are primarily STEM considerations best expounded on by the experts from those fields.

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    Here is a pro-nuclear plant article, the author is trying to hammer the human costs vis-a-vis jobs.

    https://www.nei.org/advantages/jobs

  3. Arthur Moral says:

    I wish a real patriot of the Philippine government can read your opinion.
    Unless Filipinos become selfless and patriotic
    It will just turn in circles with no improvement.
    The rich just become more rich taking advantage of the poor . They control the politicians running the govt corrupting them so they can run their business both legal and illegal without aberration.
    In the meantime the poor disadvantaged people do not know what’s going on. Whoever gives them the highest peso during election is the winner of their votes.
    There was a time when Marcos had the idea of making the Philippines like another Singapore.
    Unfortunately he got sick. Killing Ninoy was a mistake. They would have been still in power until now.
    Filipino character is so different. It is still a selfish society of different people.
    There is a dislike between people of different regions or provinces. There will be no unity at all.
    There is no cure for the Sick Man of Asia.
    I believe the Philippines need a strongman but not corrupt. The undisciplined Filipinos were orderly and quiet during Martial law.
    It was peaceful and you have the confidence walking around even at night without being robbed at knife point. Roads are empty at midnight.
    That was a great 10 years of peace to ordinary people like us.
    Of course behind all these facade and show,
    In the dark shadows those in power and Marco’s cronies slowly plundered the nation’s coffers with abandon.
    No police, they are the police. No media, they are the media. They tell only good things they do , no complain. Any bad comments will end you inside a jail. The military rules and they can just snatch you and drop you 6 feet under the ground. War in Mindanao and keeping it was a key for more US support and economic aid .
    The Nuclear energy plant was a baby of Marcos visualizing the Philippines towards Industrialization. It was a start.
    Too bad , we know what happened.
    I wish we had another brilliant man like Marcos without Imelda and his cronies.
    Controlling the Philippines is a challenge.
    You have to control the Ilocanos, Pangasinans, Tagalogs, Pampanguenos, , Visayans, Bicolanos, Taosugs. Etc. Each ethnic group have their own history and stubborn attitude and pride. They do not even understand each either if they speak their own dialect.
    Crab mentality is the dominant character of each Filipino. Jealous of the success of others. They would want to bring you down.
    After bringing you down, then they will fight among each other.
    One Japanese general said during World War 2,
    “How can we invade the Philippines without its traitors.”
    Sorry but I’m still hoping for a genuine President of the Philippines.

    I am all with you Joe. Agree with all your recommendations. Hope we can find a good, brilliant , patriotic leader of the Philippines in our lifetime.
    Please continue your love for the Philippines.
    I just love reading your opinions.
    Regards,
    Arthur

    • Thank you, Arthur. I agree with your view, too, even about strong man rule. How to get there is the problem.

      • I think Lee Kuan Yew was not just strong and intelligent (Marcos was merely cunning according to many who knew him, though he had some very smart people on his team) but had a strong team around him, his ruling party. Marcos tried to do something similar with KBL but they were of the same breed as most of todays “Representatives”, he made a major government reform (introducing Regions and Regional Office for Ministries, now again Departments, to deliver services closer to the people – his appointee Angara, the father of the politician Angara, regionalized UP which was a good thing also, Metro Manila was also Marcos’ technocrats brainchild and MM Commissioner Mel Mathay did a good job of handling growing issues of the megacity in those days, public transport was partly state-owned with Metro Manila Transit having its depot where SM North is now but that company went broke) but the government was populated by many of the same types as today, plus Makoy according to Lee Kuan Yew cared more about appearances than substance, something you can still see today with Dolomite Beach – so in the end it all fizzled.

        People used to being led might need some sort of transitional figure. Adenauer in postwar Germany was an authoritarian personality with a democratic spirit – exactly what the Germans still needed in that period. I know someone who tells me his mother was desperate when Adenauer was forced to leave by his own party in 1963 at over 90 years old – “what will we do without HIM!”, and there is the story that Adenauer’s eldest daughter was crying when he was on his deathbed and “Der Alte” (The Old Man) Adenauer yelled at her, saying “THERE IS NOTHING TO CRY ABOUT!”. Bavaria has been ruled by basically ONE party since most of the postwar period, with the controversial Franz-Josef Strauss leading it for a while. Disliked by many outside Bavaria (Green MP Fischer lambasted him for accepting a pistol from Marcos who was his erstwhile hunting buddy in the Bavarian forest) his funeral in 1988 was a parade and state ceremony similar to what only certain very respected Bavarian Kings and Cardinals have had in the history of the Kingdom and the Free State after it. Even political rivals respect him to this day. OK, Bavaria’s ruling party is balanced by Social Democrats in the state capital of Munich and elsewhere, Green ecological farmers and even some town mayors, and by well-calibrated direct democracy. Recently it has had to rule with coalition partners as the days of absolute majority are over. Think of Strauss as having Erap’s common touch, FVRs organization and PNoys technocratic sense – and good technocrats from Bavarian postwar meritocracy which he himself – a butcher’s son who made it all the way to Dr. Juris – came from. Newspaper vendors in Berlin allegedly sometimes threw the 2 Deutsche Mark coin with his head at your feet as many hated him in Berlin (old Prussian-Bavarian rivalry at work) and in more leftist states people mocked his coin as “a pig’s head” but I know – especially since one time I spent on an Oktoberfest table drinking beer with Strauss loyalists celebrating his 15th death anniversary – why he is so respected here. People and societies change only gradually. Who knows Nancy Binay might be the next President, even if I favor VP Leni? She might have the good sides of her father (technocratic professional) without the bad sides, who knows?

        • I don’t think Nancy yet has the gravitas needed. She’d need to become much more prominent. I note Singapore has no nuclear program, nor does Viet Nam.

          • True, while VP Leni has GAINED in gravitas during the hard four years of being VP under very hard circumstances. Which is why I still hope she has a fighting chance of winning.

            VP Leni is still charming and all, but she has gained a “touch of Miriam” in her bearing.

        • Chris Albert says:

          The main reason for Strauss being so popular is plainly because he built Bavaria up to be (at his time) the most successful and richest county in Germany. Even fairly conservative Bavarians didn’t like him that much and there was a fair bit of “wonky” deals that went down. I think you might be correct in your observation that the SPD lead Munich and some other “liberal” forces somewhat kept the balance. Having said that Bavaria is still today the most conservative of all German counties.
          On the Nuclear thing my take is that this would be an extreme bad idea in the Philippines and a huge step backwards. The mentioned lack of decision making skills could well lead to a Chernobyl style incident, the corruption and favoritism will stifle the built/refurb.
          The waste issue is still unaddressed and a world wide porblem. It is one for the reasons why Germany decided to get out completely of nuclear energy.
          The overall cost of a nuclear power plant (built + running cost + cost of dismantling it after usage + waste disposal cost) is just too high and was the secondd reason for Germanies decision.
          The idea that it is safe is a fallacy and the death rate of Fukushima is yet unknown and will be that for another 50+ years to come.
          While Palawan might look OK it is way to far “of the beaten track” from where energy is needed.
          6% current growth rate is laughable (sorry to say it so rudely) and looking at the current world development it is questionable if these rates are achievable anywhere except maybe with domestic growth.
          The only part where the Philippines would need a lot of energy in relation to growth is industrial sector. IT would not come close in energy needs except it turns into a dorade for Bitcopin mining…… for everything else it lacks the connection infrastructure (fiber backbone) and due to its geographic location this will always be an issue. Furthermore due to high temps running data centers will always be a loss maker due to cooling costs. (Hence why so many data centers move north nowadays like to Ireland). KLastly as can be seen with the current admin IT needs stable political situations as data needs to be “safe” (varies with original location of it) The cleaning towards China will not help other then for the PGO industry which is a really bad idea.
          Same as Europe growth and energy needs should be renewable and the Philippines is certainly able to get most of it’s needs from that. Solar alone would be enough if backed up by hydro and maybe a bit geothermal (obviously without the mess described above)
          Just for the record phil is close to the equator hence has 1000w/sqm sun energy all year round. Average sun hours are 5.6h/day/year.. Germany has 4h and 1000w in the summer and as low as 580w in the winder per sqm due to its possition so far north. (Ireland is even worse with 3.6h/d/y and 999w/sqm summer and 490w/sqm in the winter)
          Solar thermal could also be utilised to run steam powered energy generation.

          I stand by my statement on FB it is a bad bad idea and to think otherwise lacks vision and objectivity.

          • Thanks Chris! Re Joe’s idea, I do think it would be feasible IF ONE DAY the proper political and admin constellation exists to run it properly AND a submarine current cable from Palawan to Luzon can be paid for – by that time fusion power might even be there already.

            Re geothermal, I recall reading that the new Munich airport, finished in 1992, was originally planned for the 1972 Olympics but a lot of court proceedings delayed it – the poor farmers of the foggy (sometimes all the surroundings of the airport are sunny while the airport is in fog) marshlands north of Munich insisted on proper compensation, many say they are all rich now. Definitely rule of law, even if it delays things or cancels them (3rd runway referendum was a clear NO vote I remember about a decade ago) is better than what happened in Tiwi.

            Re Strauss, yes could be the loyalists I spent a nice afternoon with (as someone who never really belonged to any “tribe” anywhere, I have learned to be quite good at dealing with different “tribes” and of course know my utang na loob to those that have welcomed me as an import) are almost as much of a fringe phenomenon as the King Ludwig loyalists who troop to Lake Starnberg every year for his death anniversary and believe he was murdered by orders of the German Emperor.

            Strauss was definitely a controversial figure, including his advocating a German atom bomb, angering the USA, when he was Federal Defense Minister, often at odds with Helmut Kohl who was from the sister party CDU. That not even his own party really liked him that much was shown I think when they sidelined his daughter, who seems to have the cunning but not the charm of her father. But his burial in 1988 was nonetheless a nearly royal ceremony.

            Yes, Bavaria is conservative, very much. Even the Green ex-mayor of a Upper Bavarian Village, the late Sepp Daxenberger, was a quite conservative ecological farmer – types like Berlin’s Green Jürgen Trittin who advocated legalizing marijuana are unthinkable here. But unlike the Philippines which mostly lack liberals who can engage conservatives etc. well, there are the likes of Heribert Prantl (former judge and now newspaper editor) who quite impressed me when he engaged now-PM Markus Söder on TV once. I respect both in their own way and know the faults both have, but I didn’t see Mar Roxas give (reactionary not conservative) Duterte that much counter during the Presidential debates, which in a quite conservative to reactionary society like the Philippines is like losing a boxing match. But then again there is Trillanes who probably would be a Christian Democrat in the German setting but is liberal compared to Duterte – and I think is able to match him or more.

            • Chris Albert says:

              Well being an avid fan of King Ludwig myself ……. 🙂 However he drowned himself and the “he got killed” is pure glorification… 😉

              The thing with nuclear power is a total pipe dream in my view. Firstly you state the cost of that underwater cable…… Well never mind that as that is cheap compared to what the Nuclear Power Station would cost. Fusion technology is still a loooooong way off and even mre so for being used commercially. THe real elefant in the room is who is going to pay for it?? The West?? The Russians of China?? Japan??
              i had a chat with a banker in HK recently that is very close to the VP and we both agree that after the current admin leaves Malacanang there is nothing left in the covers. I have a bet that there will be a new entry in the Guinnes book of records and that by the looks of it it will be more then both Marcos and Erap amassed together….. So that leaves a very poor nation with not much left to invest in high price projects for a long time.
              Also as you point out looking at Germany there would be a need for a smart grid all over the Philippines that is calamity safe. Not an easy undertaking and not cheap. I think the grid quality is one of the biggest issue at the moment and needs adressing even more urgently then the production of power.
              Solar is local and somewhat cheap and with a bit smart solutions to compensate for hours of darknness and bad weather times could be way easier to work.

              On the politics issue……well I really couldn’t say what is best. Trillianes certainly has the wit and fearlessness to stand up to Duterte, but he was pretty much absent for the last year or more. The idea of Binay or Poe gives me the shivers. Good politicians are a rare breed nowadays not only in the Philippines.

              • Well, King Ludwig was certainly a great builder and patron of the arts – a male Imeldific, or some Bavarian fans of Michael Jackson and him like to say he was like Michael Jackson. His Neverland ranch was of course the original of the Disneyland castle everybody knows.

                But I have the impression that the foibles of some Bavarian Kings after the reformist Max Joseph – like the expensive affair of his son Ludwig I with the exotic dancer Lola Montez or the building spree of “Mad King Ludwig” pretty much drained the Bavarian treasury. I have read that Prince Regent Luitpold (reigning for his mentally incapacitated brother) was good, a modernizer too in the early 20th century, but if I am not mistaken Bavaria was pretty much broke after WW1, and recently I read Spanish flu also contributed to the 1918 revolution.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lola_Montez

                As for the Philippine state, that means VP Leni would have a worse legacy than Cory based on what that HK banker told you. Damn.

                Re politics, Trillanes has been working in the background helping prepare VP Leni for 2022. He already said he won’t run as her VP candidate as they are both from the Bicol region.

                Re German politics, choices are difficult, but I would still prefer Bavarian PM Markus Söder as Chancellor with his known faults than for example Friedrich Merz as Merkel’s successor. SPD has no viable candidate and is in disarray and the AfD still remains a clear danger.

              • Chris Albert says:

                Not VP Lenis fault that some parts rob the country in a style never seen before. I think she did an amazing job considering how dificult her situation is and actually manage to raise her popularity quiet a bit.
                Yes agree on the German situation.

          • Thanks for the viewpoint. See my response to pablo. The issue is not which is the best source of energy, but how to get enough of the stuff in a fast-growing large country.

  4. Felipe Buencamino says:

    Sure as soon as you can
    1.find a way to dispose of nuclear waste safely.
    2. guarantee there will never be a nuclear accident

    • Well, that guarantee is not available. But I can guarantee that if the Philippines does not solve its poverty problem, the disaster will be much worse than any nuke plant blow-up.

      Waste is an issue, yes. So is plastic in the oceans. Which is worse?

  5. Joe,

    You think just like Bill Gates! i don’t know if you ever did watched, apparently he’s perfected nuke energy, just looking for a place to build one:

    He’s gotta nuke plant all ready to go: https://www.terrapower.com/news/

    “The two winning designs deviate fundamentally from a conventional power reactor, which is essentially a boiler. Within the core of a nuclear reactor, atoms of uranium fuel split in a chain reaction, releasing energy and free-flying neutrons, which then split other uranium atoms. In a conventional power reactor, the energy heats highly pressurized “cooling” water that circulates through the core. Still under pressure, the cooling water flows to an external steam generator, where it boils water in a separate circuit, producing steam that drives turbines to generate electricity.

    Instead of water, the 345 megawatt Natrium reactor from TerraPower, Inc., and GE Hitachi would use molten sodium metal as a coolant. Because sodium has a much higher boiling temperature than water, the coolant would not have to be pressurized, reducing the plant’s complexity and cost. The sodium would transfer its heat to molten salt, which could then flow directly to a steam generator or to a storage tank, to be held to generate steam and electricity later. In contrast to a conventional nuclear power plant, the Natrium plant could quickly ratchet up or down its total output even as its reactor continues to run steadily and efficiently. That could complement renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, which produce fluctuating power levels that need to be evened out.

    In contrast, the Xe-100 design from X-Energy would use pressurized helium gas to cool its uranium-based fuel. That fuel would be packaged not in the conventional metal-clad rods, but in “pebbles”—spheres of graphite infused with countless ceramic kernels that contain the uranium. Like a giant gumball machine, the reactor would hold 220,000 pebbles, which would slowly descend through the core and, as their fuel was spent, would exit from a port at the bottom. Heated to 750°C, the helium would generate steam in a secondary circuit to produce electricity. In principle, the pebbles can’t melt, eliminating the risk of a meltdown. Each Xe-100 would generate 80 megawatts, and a plant would consist of four of the modular reactors.

    Both plants should be simpler and cheaper than conventional nuclear power plants. Because Natrium sodium coolant is unpressurized, the reactor requires a smaller containment structure than a conventional reactor. The plant also “decouples” the reactor and the electricity generating portions of the facility, which sit on opposite sides of the storage tanks. Those features should allow engineers to reduce use of expensive reinforced concrete by 80%, says Tara Neider, a TerraPower engineer and project director for the Natrium design. “Natrium is all about making a nuclear plant simpler so it can be more efficient,” she says. Both companies say they have yet to choose sites for their reactors.” END

    I volunteer Palawan so in case of another Chernobyl prevailing winds will just blow radio active dust towards South China Seas! 😉

    • Thanks for the great info, and an added reason to plop a bunch of them on Palawan. Bill Gates looks for ways to do things rather than reasons not to do things. Yes, we are cut of exactly the same cloth, give or take a few hundred billion dollars.

      • re Waste energy conversation below with Ireneo, Bill Gates has already solved that too! from same Netflix special:


        I say just give Bill Gates Filipino citizenship status like Peter Wallace (but more useful), and then vote him president, you’ll get nuke energy, and sanitation galore, so Filipinos can just focus on watching Wowowillie!!!

  6. Thanks Joe. Just two major aspects I would like to add to the mix.

    I. Germany IS turning off nuclear, but it has three dirty little secrets AND two major caveats.

    1. Respiratory diseases have gone up since the Atomausstieg (nuclear exit) was started.
    1a. Might be the German brown coal industry which strip-mines entire areas especially between Aachen and Cologne (I once strayed near one biking Bonn to Cologne, truck nearly ran me over) is of course one vested interest.
    1b. Weirdly, the same “Öko” (“tree hugger types” – in Germany the hippie and anti-Nazi era of 1968 and after eventually gave rise to the very strong German Green Party) who want nuclear to go in Germany are demonstrating against the recent Hambach Forest project for a lignite strip mine.
    1c. I am sympathetic to many Green causes but unlike the extreme Ökos I know that electricity doesn’t just come out of the electric plug. More on that later.

    2. Industrial plants have been affected by short (some seconds) voltage fluctuations and have had to secure themselves – this I just read about this morning when I googled a little.

    3. Germany is part of the European grid, which means it can buy electricity from nuclear power giant France or even from the Czech Republic. The worst Ökos BTW are the NIMBY types who chain themselves to railroad tracks and endanger nuclear waste trains to Gorleben, for instance. These hypocrite fake environmentalists won’t care if we buy from France as long as they have the feeling of a clean conscience. Pharisees.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Germany#Closures_and_phase-out

    A. Germany needs to finish FOUR “electric Autobahns” from the wind-rich North – from Hannover and Halle up to the North Sea there is a lot of wind and the landscape and sea is full of wind power generators, OK the special steel for their propellers is made in Germany and secures German jobs. The areas in the former German Rust Belt from Düsseldorf to Dortmund as well as the Swabian (think Mercedes, Porsche) and Bavarian (think Audi, MAN, BMW) areas of innovation and industry need electricity badly. Bavaria won’t go as hydro as Austria as the mountain areas will resist.

    B. The last 3 of originally 18 nuclear plants in Germany are slated to be turned off end of 2022. Two of them are in Bavaria – one is just north of Munich in “LA”, not Los Angeles but Landshut. Bavaria as a latecomer to modernity has kept its clean air mostly intact, its rivers and lakes clean. Recently a referendum forced a coal-fired power plant north of Munich to close. I wonder how the resistance in the “Free State of Bavaria” (official name) will be if the nuclear plant is closed before the electric Autobahn from the North is secured. Our PM might be the next Chancellor anyhow.

    Second aspect follows..

    • II. Europe as a (sub-)continent has the advantage that nearly the entire grid is interconnected. As I often am still the 9-year old boy in horn-rimmed glasses who likes to watch science documentaries and read science books, I do recall watching a documentary about how much foresight and coordination is needed to keep power running. Electricity has to be THERE when it is needed. A soccer game in a major city can mean that power grids have to buy power from neighboring countries or rev up a power plant. Nuclear of course is one of the stablest and cleanest power supplies – one has to manage the risk, clearly.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_the_Philippines

      1. The Philippines has a Luzon, a Visayas and a Mindanao grid. Luzon and Visayas grids have an interconnect from Naga to Ormoc. Mindoro and Palawan aren’t in the power grids yet. Mindanao grid is often subject to sabotage.

      2. Earthquakes and typhoons frequently break vital links in the power grid. How much this can affect things was shown in Munich some years ago when there was a half-hour blackout at 7 a.m. (that IS huge news over here) because a connection line in the grid supplying Munich was damaged. Power grids have a lot of redundancy, usually, and that lack of redundant capacity meant catastrophe when many are going to work and the subways are running more often and others are at least waking up, turning on the lights, the coffee machine etc. Some of the Philippine power grid is over 20 years old. Serious work has to be done on that first.

      3. Palawan is a great idea safety-wise, but a submarine cable by the shortest route would have to go via Mindoro to Batangas, I guess. Huge works in any case.

      • Used to be electricity was generated NEAR the place it was needed and when it was needed. An example were the tents of the Oktoberfest before, which used to buy electricity from different firms. One of those small electric firms was owned by Albert Einstein’s father. Part of the service was rental and installation of lightbulbs. Young Albert used to be the one who climbed in Oktoberfest tents to screw on lightbulbs. The house where young Einstein lived is not too far from the Oktoberfest.

        BTW small communities in Germany (the interests of big cities and industry are different of course) are spearheading a move back to creating energy and consuming it nearby – with solar roofs and wind farms. Big energy made it hard for people to sell, for instance, excess energy from their roofs to the grid – cooperatives and forcing malls to all have solar panels on their roofs might help a bit in the Philippines, I think – and be more resilient in case the grid is damaged or impaired by natural disasters. Big energy will still be needed for major cities and for industrial parks like the one in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. It’s all in the right mix.

        https://www.dw.com/en/energy-cooperatives-are-booming-in-germany/a-16076317

        Another aspect is energy efficiency of houses and buildings. Nipa huts BTW are highly energy-efficient with natural cooling, but of course that works only in the provinces where the air is still fresh. There are modern Philippine-designed nipa houses now. Going too much for concrete houses and air-conditioning (which heats up the surroundings as ACs are basically heat pumps, thermodynamic laws) is one reason for the energy consumption of large cities in the Philippines. Mandatory energy-efficiency which led to huge costs over here in Germany is probably a no-go in the Philippines, but tax breaks for more energy-efficient homes and offices plus more modern cooling systems (cooling ceiling systems are based on circulating cold water through pipes in the ceiling, aren’t as strong as ACs though) might help. Of course being energy-efficient means investment.

        • Ahhh! Energy efficiency! Very good. That needs to be added to the overall energy plan.

          • Especially our Marcosian friend upstairs (I acknowledge that hold-ups went down, the streets were safer but burglaries went up, I know how we had to put grilles in front of our windows as we didn’t want to build a wall around our garden) might recall Asiong Aksaya:

            Early 1970s oil crisis brought this famous cartoon figure into existence in Bulletin Today (now again Manila Bulletin) to educate Filipinos (who LOVED their big cars in the late 1960s) to save more energy – probably one of the few Marcosian propaganda works I liked. “Wasteful Asiong” has an 8-cylinder car, several TVs that run all the time and all that stuff. Palawan oil exploration and the securing of Kalayaan island (the old airstrip is from Marcos days, the rusting anti-aircraft artillery beside it as well) happened then also. Marcos was cruel and calculating, but his technocrats at times were genius, the best people. Unlike the circus clowns around the old fool ruling the Philippines nowadays. My balanced take.

      • All of the grid improvement will come as the economy blossoms. Hypothetically speaking for now. Many parts moving together.

    • Thanks for the info. I suppose the Philippines could buy power from China. That’s an idea. China is on a nuke building spree.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    I still do not see that the fossil fuel powered plants would just disappear.
    Collocating and integrating a renewable or waste to energy facility near a fossil fuel plant would reduce the reliance and usage of fossil fuels and this sill help RE and WTE to be viable.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360544219325885

      An innovative waste-to-energy system integrated with a coal-fired power plant

      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0734242X19833159

      Waste to energy efficiency improvements: Integration with solar thermal energy

      “Abstract
      Hybridisation of waste to energy with solar facility can take competing energy technologies and make them complementary. However, realising the benefits of solar integration requires careful consideration of the technical feasibility as well as the economic and environmental benefits of a proposed system. In this work, a solar-integrated waste-to-energy plant scheme is proposed and analysed from an energy, environmental and economic point of view. The new system integrates a traditional waste-to-energy plant with a concentrated solar power plant, by superheating the steam produced by the waste-to-energy flue gas boiler in the solar facility. The original waste-to-energy plant – that is, the base case before introducing the integration with concentrated solar power – has a thermal power input of 50 MW and operates with superheated steam at 40 bar and 400 °C; net power output is 10.7 MW, and the net energy efficiency is equal to 21.65%. By combining waste-to-energy plant with the solar facility, the power plant could provide higher net efficiency (from 1.4 to 3.7 p.p. higher), lower specific CO2 emissions (from 69 to 180 kg MWh-1 lower) and lower levellised cost of electricity (from 13.4 to 42.3 EUR MWh-1 lower) comparing with the standalone waste to energy case. The study shows that: (i) in the integrated case and for the increasing steam parameters energy, economic and ecological performances are improved; (ii) increasing the solar contribution could be an efficient way to improve the process and system performances. In general, we can conclude that concentrated solar-power technology holds significant promise for extending and developing the waste to energy systems.“

        • Excess solar power will be stored in the plant’s batteries and will be used to maintain a reliable system while diesel generators will produce electricity at night.

          Yes, there are powerful batteries now for AC current that can buffer solar and wind energy. Used to be that for example the Austrians pumped water up their dams and let the dams run at night to use solar, for instance – AC current has to be exactly what is needed.

          Re hydro, that is complex in the Philippines due to the ecological and humanitarian balance – Chico dam in the Mountain Province during Marcos days for instance led to a long chain of events – Chief Macli-ing Dulag insisting that tribal lands were an ancient right with no need of land titles, Macli-ing Dulag killed by Marcos forces, Father Balweg and the CPLA rebels, jungle fighters in helicopters advancing on the mountains, the “bodong” or peace pact of Marcos with some of the highland tribes, Cordillera autonomy after Marcos etc. etc.

          Now in Bavaria there is no more realistic risk of highland peasants marching on Munich like in 1705, but the villagers there insist on at least proper compensation, like when the Sylvenstein dam was built after the war to secure flood control and hydro power for Munich and an entire village was flooded and relocated uphill. Opportunity costs instead of impunity costs in a more modern setting.

          There aren’t even highland youth descending on the Oktoberfest anymore to seek fights with “softer” city kids like what happened until the 1950s, but then again the Upper Bavarians are a strong group in the ruling party. Balancing interests of different groups and tribes (in Bavaria they still unofficially call the Bavarians, Swabians and Franks the three tribes of Bavaria, with the postwar refugees from Sudetenland, East Prussia, Silesia and even Pomerania called the “fourth tribe” as they helped in postwar progress) is vital anywhere in the world to have progress that has mostly winners and few losers.

      • Waste energy is good. There is just not much of it.

        • Just imagine how much sludge there would be if Metro Manila had proper waste treatment plants. The manure of Metro Manilans would literally help make some of their electricity.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Even the Bill Gates foundation failed to make that a reality.

            Re-invent the Toilet’ Edit
            Delft University (TUD) participated in a contest by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ‘Re-invent the toilet’.[42] The solution proposed by TUD included a self-contained toilet that used microwaves to create plasma and gasify human waste. The toilet was intended for use in India [43] and other parts of the world where a reliable source of water is not available.[44] The plasma based proposal was not among the three awarded when the challenge was concluded in 2012 [45]

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_gasification_commercialization

            • Karl Garcia says:

              oops wrong, the plasma gasification entrant did not qualify, but the winners have potential.

              https://www.gatesnotes.com/Development/Reinvent-the-Toilet-Challenge-Photo-Gallery

              California Institute of Technology, USA
              A self-contained, solar-powered toilet and wastewater treatment system. A solar panel will produce enough power for an electrochemical reactor that is designed to break down water and human waste into hydrogen gas. The gas can then be stored for use in hydrogen fuel cells to provide a backup energy source for nighttime operation or use under low-sunlight conditions.

              A sanitation system that converts human waste into biological charcoal
              Participating organizations: Stanford University and the Climate Foundation, USA
              A self-contained system that pyrolyzes (decomposes at high temperatures without oxygen) human waste into biological charcoal (biochar). After the fair, the system will be shipped to Nairobi to process two tons of human waste daily, at a facility located in the slums……..

    • They will be needed, not disappear.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Thanks, but like Nuclear, WTE/incineration,etc, Coal is one those that special interest(because they think they should be the only ones who is special) pressure groups would wanted to be erased out of existense.

        • In Germany the coal strip mining industry is a powerful lobby. Some of these mines are pretty close to Bonn where I once lived – in the area between Cologne and Aachen. Over the decades entire villages have been relocated and rebuilt, then again moved as the strip mines move across the land. I have driven through some of these areas – and as I mentioned I was once foolish enough to bike through such an area, it was the 1980s and the 1970s map I used didn’t show the strip mine. The raw power of the huge excavators they use is impressive though – and the effort of moving them including removing electric power lines, fixing the roads after they pass is immense. The Green and the technophile in me want to fight each other sometimes on this matter.

          Though I can’t understand the tree huggers who are against both nuclear and coal, they have never lived in a land of brownouts, or stayed in a remote village without electricity.

          Modernity and civilization often means hard choices have to be made, for better or worse.

  8. i7sharp says:

    Philippine representative Naderev Yeb Sano made news some years ago.

    https://www.rappler.com/nation/ph-climate-action-groups-condemn-japan-australia-canada
    PH groups hit rich countries for climate change turnaround

    Nov 19, 2013 2:00 PM PHT
    Pia Ranada

    x-
    “Climate finance is the way resources can be provided for vulnerable countries like the Philippines so we can prevent disasters like this, so we are able to plan and implement measures to protect our people from the ravages of climate change. It also allows us to pursue sustainable development,” explained chief negotiator for the Philippines Naderev Saño.

    The main mechanism for climate finance is the Green Climate Fund in which developed countries give financial assistance to developing countries for climate resiliency programs. Ideally, this includes technology transfer so that vulnerable countries can take advantage of things like renewable energy or technology that can help them withstand climate-related disasters like storms.

    Unfortunately, “this fund is empty for the 4th year in a row,” Saño told Rappler CEO Maria Ressa during a Talk Thursday episode.

    -x

    • i7sharp says:

      Joe wrote:
      “… Climate change is a bigger killer….”

      What does Yeb Saño say?

      https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-02/global-catholic-climate-movement-cry-of-earth-cry-of-poor.html
      The cry of the earth is no different than the cry of the poor

      x-
      Yeb Saño, a member of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, discusses the urgency of the climate crisis, and how it is rooted in three human characteristics beginning with the letter ‘A’.

      A spiritual conversion

      But this crisis is not just an environmental one, he continues. “As both Pope Francis and Pope Saint John Paul II have articulated so eloquently”, the crisis is a spiritual one, too. He said that an aspect of the GCCM is encouraging everyone to pursue ecological conversion and to find meaning in caring for each other and for creation, knowing that the transformation needs to be a “spiritual” one.

      -x

  9. pablonasid says:

    At first, nuclear power looks attractive. A big hammer to solve all power problems. Build a few plants and we will be in good shape. Use the British example, lock-in prices for the coming decennia and there will be several interested parties. However, the cost of alternative power continues to drop, solar power has dropped below nuclear power in 2015 (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/09/30/price-of-solar-energy-in-the-united-states-has-fallen-to-5%c2%a2kwh-on-average/) and it continues to drop and drop. All the while, nuclear power becomes more and more expensive and we find lots of hidden surprises. Your example of France? They manage their 56 power stations properly, right? They are a ‘developed country’, right? Well, they dumped part of their nuclear waste in Russia where radiation levels were 1000* the max safe limits in the local village. I was there and experienced some of the problems. Nuclear plants are very capital intensive. The costs always increase during the construction and the power is always more expensive than planned (the plants would never be build if the actual costs would be correctly foretasted). Then comes the good period because nuclear plants are cheap to operate. So, money flows. Everybody happy, right? But then, the plant needs to be decommissioned and cleaned up. Because of you let it deteriorate, we get in a Russian situation where the nuclear waste is now in heavily deteriorated containers, many leaking and cleanup will be a hellishly costly exercise, so we just don’t do it and wait… and wait…. and wait…. Already in 1995, a report to US senator Bob Graham (REPORTNUM: RCED-96-4) described the undesirable situation and basically little happened after that, we just let things rot and leak because it is far away from home. Just like Palawan, right? I have seen the disaster and I would not like that to happen to Philippines. How could Philippines ever pay cleanup costs like Sellafield (way in excess of 120 billion Pounds). And THAT is happening in a country with an abundance of nuclear specialists. In the 1980’s, I had the pleasure to work in Germany with some people who were being trained as operators for nuclear plants. Dedicated people, highly motivated and studying in one of the best universities in the world. And still they were on a very long trajectory before they were accepted as qualified operators. You just cannot build a power plant in Palawan and hope that we will get qualified Filipino operators soon. Either we get Chernobyl type operators or we would continue to pay top dollar for expat operators, increasing operating costs hugely. I am not saying Filipino’s could not do the learn, but when you don’t have the universities to train and the systems to qualify, even the smartest people don’t stand a chance. So, the country would get expensive expat engineers to operate the plants, probably Chinese and they provide quality work and are highly motivated to safeguard Philippines, right (sorry for again being sarcastic, but I have seen them operating a simple coal plant and safety and environmental systems are already being bypassed within the first year of operating).
    Many other issues have already been highlighted, in particular Safety (unlikely that it goes wrong, but IF it goes wrong, it always is spectacular) and Waste, so let’s not dwell on those.

    Why do we need nuclear power? Because it sounds simple: Just build (a few) plants and all will be honky-dory. Like the English did: just let a specialist consortium build the new plants and you can enjoy the kickbacks.
    But, a I tried to describe, then the problems begin and excellent management is needed to keep everything in hand.
    Is it not better to do the engineering up-front and build sustainable systems which can live on “forever”?
    And is it not better to distribute power generation as opposed to concentrate it in a few plants?
    Solar is already cheaper, so why don’t we promote to use it effectively instead of actively sabotaging solar installations? No more corrugated iron roofs, just use solar panels, get decent pay-back and people can use their roofs as power plants. Government buildings, schools, basketball courts, factories, houses. Enormous potential. But our power plant managers don’t like that because they cannot sell/manipulate that power. And then there is the problem of night-time power consumption. But, we have solved that one already a long time ago. Philippines has many locations with significant elevation differences, it’s standard technology in several places already https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity and promote power consumption when the sun shines (not trying to pedantic, but you e.g. don’t have to run an ice-plant at night at full capacity, just make the daytime power cheaper, you can actually do your laundry when the sun shines, you can charge your electrical car when the sun shines…..).
    Why did I say that these systems can live on “forever”? My roof had to be replaced after 25 years, about the same time I had to replace my solar panels, if I would have made the roof out of panels, the additional costs would have been peanuts. Also the dams can live a very long time. Windmills, however, need to be replaced frequently and therefore can be avoided when possible.

    And yes, the issue is that it will need a ‘vision’. It starts at kicking the butts of all those who now like to keep a monopoly on electrical power because a monopoly means money, it means (political)power. Hence, also nuclear power is actively promoted in Philippines as this will enforce the existing political power structure.
    But expensive electrical power will kill any sustainable development. It is almost just as bad as having not sufficient power. And nuclear power is expensive, very expensive it we look at the total picture. But, I agree with Joe’s assessment that we need a lot of extra power and there is the power needed during ‘dark days’. But with nuclear power plants requiring huge lead-times, we have to ask ourselves if it is realistic to go the nuclear way. Just look at the Mooreside disaster, the ‘new plant’ is taking it’s time and delays follows delay and cost increases. I might sound simplistic, but I love the idea of distributed power development, it literally puts power in the hands of people. And in the 10 years that it takes to develop new nuclear power stations, you can develop your distributed power systems as well. But, if we sit on our bum, nothing will happen apart from the new coal plants which our Chinese friends are building. Oh, and we better hurry up, the gas for the Batangas power plants will not last forever and also building new subsea pipelines and wells take a bit of time (10+ years).

    I look at all this and smile my sad smile. I already live since 1994 on solar power and my lights still burn when the mainland goes on ‘brownout’. Not everybody should have to go through my learning curve, but it certainly showed what the current options are and actually, I am very excited by the increase in quality and decrease of costs of solar systems. One remark: apart from your future electrical car: avoid batteries, they are a PITA (pain in the bum).

  10. i7sharp says:

    https://www.simplemost.com/time-magazine-changed-cover-logo-vote/?utm-source=website

    “The Great Reset”

    x-
    Time Magazine Changed Its Cover Logo For The First Time Ever Ahead Of The Presidential Election
    “Few events will shape the world to come more than the result of the upcoming U.S. presidential election,” the editor-in-chief wrote.

    The cover’s style might look familiar to you. Artist Shepard Fairey, who designed the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster and the 2008 Time cover featuring Obama as Person of the Year, created the artwork for the memorable cover.

    -x

    Should we brace ourselves for something more explosive than nuclear power?
    Or, is it much ado about nothing?

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    @Joe remember your bee fleet concept.
    Same concept with SMR: Small modular reactors.
    Let us swarm the nation with SMRs.

    https://www.sustainability-times.com/low-carbon-energy/the-philippines-is-eyeing-nuclear-power-as-a-green-option/

    “The Philippines, and other nations in Southeast Asia, could especially benefit from small modular reactors (SMRs) as they are safer, more versatile and less expensive than traditional reactors.

    “SMRs are perceived as a viable alternative due to several reasons such as costs, ease of deployment etc.,” Azha says. “Nuclear power in the form of SMRs can be deployed to provide electricity in areas that are not directly connected to the main or national electricity grid,” the expert adds. “It can also be used to provide baseload capacity for the more energy intensive industries and in some instances to power water desalination plants.”

    Miniature reactors, which are seen as the future of nuclear technology, could be operated even at more remote locations around the Philippines to power hundreds of thousands of local homes. Whereas large nuclear plants can be prohibitively expensive for developing countries, SMRs are far more affordable and could be deployed in tandem with renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Still, “One obstacle is the economies of scale,” Azha cautions. “It only makes financial sense if the country decides to deploy a fleet of SMRs plants rather than just one or two units.”

  12. Karl Garcia says:

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/9/100831-can-nuclear-waste-spark-an-energy-solution/

    “A new generation of nuclear power technology seeks to transform one of the industry’s most enduring problems—its radioactive waste—into an energy solution.

    The idea is to reprocess that spent fuel to generate more power. Proponents say the know-how is available now to address the nuclear proliferation concerns that have bedeviled previous recycling plans. And they say the advanced reactors that would run on that recycled fuel would mark a new level of progress on safety.

    Nuclear critics remain skeptical, especially because the industry is calling on government to bear the large expense of building the first plants to demonstrate the technology. But given the urgency of climate change, and nuclear technology’s ability to generate large amounts of power without emitting greenhouse gases, the industry and its supporters are saying that the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), which has been studied for decades, is worth a new look.“

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    A blog tor a web site hat chronicles nuclear power issues.
    It is quite agsinst it.
    https://nuclear-news.net/category/2-world/oceania/philippines-oceania-2-world-area/page/2/

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