Deal comes as Washington and Manila sign 123 Agreement on nuclear technology
US-based Generation IV reactor developer Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has signed an agreement to study the potential deployment of one or more micro-modular reactor (MMR) energy systems in the Philippines.
The agreement, signed with Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the southeast Asian country’s largest utility, builds on a partnership between the two companies announced in August.
It comes as the Philippines and the US announced they had signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement, commonly known as a “123 Agreement,” that will Manila access to US material and equipment.
USNC said the agreement paves the way for advanced nuclear technology to diversify the Philippine’s energy sources and promote energy stability and security. Work under the agreement will examine environmental and social impact, technical and siting requirements and commercial viability.
USNC will conduct a pre-feasibility study that will run for four months to familiarise Meralco with MMR systems and how they can be used in the Philippines. Depending on the results of the pre-feasibility study, Meralco has the option to conduct a more detailed feasibility study with focus on the adoption and deployment of MMR energy systems.
‘Changing The Nuclear Conversation’
Meralco chairman and chief executive officer Manuel Pangilinan said USNC is changing the nuclear safety and national energy security conversations in the Philippines with the MMR.
“This cooperative agreement moves us forward with a partner who understands these important issues alongside the essential nature of the cost and reliability of the electricity supply.”
The MMR energy system features the high temperature helium-cooled micro reactor, the MMR unit or “nuclear battery” that can safely and reliably provide up to 45 MW(th) of high-quality heat, delivered into a centralised heat storage unit.
One or more MMR nuclear batteries combine their heat in the heat storage unit, from where electric power or superheated steam can be extracted through conventional means to meet a wide range of power requirements, from tens to hundreds of MW.
USNC has developed and patented its fully ceramic micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel for the MMR.
USNC has said previously that its MMR is a Generation IV nuclear energy system that delivers cost-effective electricity and process heat to users anywhere. The MMR is being licensed in Canada and the US.