On November 17, 2023, the United States and the Philippines officially signed a landmark agreement that allows Washington to export nuclear technology and materials to Manila.
The deal comes as the Philippines is one of the countries exploring the use of nuclear power to decarbonize and increase energy independence.
“As the United States works to develop small modular reactors and other civil nuclear infrastructure, it can share equipment and supplies with the Philippines,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said at the signing ceremony at the APEC summit. San Francisco.
Nuclear power will become part of the Philippines’ energy mix by 2032, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said.
“We see that nuclear power will be part of the Philippines’ energy mix by 2032, and we are very happy to continue this path with the United States,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said in his speech.
“Nuclear energy is one area where the Philippines-US alliance and partnership can be shown to be truly successful,” he added.
What is the impact of this agreement?
The agreement, which the two countries have been pushing for, would allow for the peaceful exchange of nuclear materials, equipment and information in accordance with nuclear non-proliferation requirements.
By the end of 2022, the U.S. has 23 treaties covering 47 countries, including the International Atomic Energy Agency and democratically-ruled Taiwan.
The Philippines wants to use nuclear power as a viable alternative power source to phase out coal-fired power plants to meet climate goals and improve energy security.
Previous attempts to use nuclear power in the Philippines have been halted due to safety concerns, but Marcos has discussed the possibility of restarting defunct nuclear power plants.
Earlier, the power plant was built in response to an energy crisis during the reign of the late Philippine strongman and his eponymous father.
Completed in 1984, the Bataan nuclear power plant was imploded two years later by the elder Marcos, following the deadly Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the fallout of corruption allegations.
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