Meralco about to complete feasibility study on micro-modular reactors

By Sheldeen Joy Talavera, Reporter

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) on Tuesday said its full feasibility study with a United States company is about to be completed as it targets to build micro-modular nuclear power plants.

“We are already wrapping up the feasibility study for the development of a micro-modular reactor with the US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp.,” Meralco Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Ronnie L. Aperocho said at the company’s annual stockholder’s meeting.

Meralco plans to build micro-nuclear power plants to energize remote areas in the Philippines in the next four years.

“As we deep dive into this safety, financial and selection parameters, our goal is to build a micro-modular reactor with a capacity of 5-15 megawatts (MW) and have some sort of proof of concept that will help us convince the Filipino people that nuclear energy is safe, reliable, cheap and a clean source of baseload power which our country badly needs,” Mr. Aperocho said.

The power distributor has said it has completed the pre-feasibility study. It is now studying the safety, financial, and selection parameters of deploying the technology.

In November, Meralco and Ultra Safe signed a deal to study the potential deployment of one or more micro-modular reactor energy systems in the country.

The nuclear initiative is part of the power distributor’s commitment to adopt next-generation clean technologies. It is also in line with the goal of the Department of Energy of incorporating at least 1,200 MW of nuclear energy in the energy mix by 2032.

Mr. Aperocho said the company would send five to seven scholars overseas this year as part of its nuclear engineering program.

“It’s important… that we are able to prepare nuclear engineers by the time that we start building or operating these micro-modular nuclear plants,” Meralco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said at the meeting.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc.

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