THE Department of Energy (DOE) said the country is not yet ready to use and build big conventional nuclear power plants because of the existing EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001) Law.
During the Laging Handa public briefing, DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza, Jr. said that based on the EPIRA Law, only the private sector is allowed to engage in the business of power generation.
Erguiza reminded that the administration of power generation was removed from government, particularly the National Power Corporation (Napocor) and instead transferred to the private sector.
Becauses of this, Erguiza said the government has no capability as of now to build big nuclear power plants, although the law can be amended for it to be provided with the power to allocate funds, together with the private sector, for the building and operation of a new nuclear power plant.
However, Erguiza said there are more modern ways in building a nuclear power plant through what he called “small modular reactors” or smaller sources of electric power generation that can be placed in a 5 x 5-meter compartment, which is the trend worldwide.
This can be done by the government, especially in what he called “missionary areas” or islands not yet connected to the grid.