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‘Always-on,’ weather-independent nuclear plants seen making supply more reliable

THE Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) said nuclear power will help make supply more reliable because plants will be producing electricity nearly constantly and be less influenced by weather.

Kung dadamihan mo ang share ng nuclear, makakatulong siya (If you increase the share of nuclear, it will help)” in terms of reliability, PNRI Executive Director Carlo A. Arcilla said in a televised interview on Tuesday.

“When you operate a nuclear plant, it’s available 90% of the time and not dependent on the weather,” he said.

According to a proposed roadmap, the Department of Energy aims to introduce nuclear energy, with a target capacity of 1,200 megawatts by 2032.

“They are expensive to construct but a nuclear plant can last up to 80 years,” Mr. Arcilla said.

He said that renewables are “good” but suffer from intermittency with “15-30%” availability.

The Philippines’ main grids experienced red and yellow alerts in recent weeks as the operating margin was insufficient to meet the grid’s contingency requirements.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said the Luzon grid was placed on red alert for five days and yellow alert for 11 days in April.

The grid operator raised red and yellow alerts over the Visayas grid for five and 10 days, respectively. The Mindanao grid was on yellow alert for two days.

In May so far, the NGCP declared yellow alerts on the Luzon grid for three days. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera