Technical Expert for Incorporating Nuclear Power in the Philippine Energy Mix - #129893

RTI International

Date: 2 weeks ago
City: Manila, Metro Manila
Contract type: Full time
The proposed study seeks to determine the socio-economic viability of incorporating nuclear energy in the Philippine’s overall energy mix and identify the appropriate operational policy and regulatory framework therefore. The latter would include aspects that need to be established in order to effectively and efficiently involve the private sector. The proposed study is in line with the Philippines’ commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 75% from the business-as-usual scenario by 2030, as stipulated in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It also supports President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s pronouncement that it is “time to re-examine the strategy towards building nuclear power plants in the Philippines” during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July 2022. The study is envisioned to guide the discussions on exploring the potentials of nuclear energy, which is one of the development strategies in Chapter 12 Expand and Upgrade Infrastructure of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028
Nuclear power is the second-largest source of low carbon energy used today to produce electricity, following hydropower. At present, it accounts for around 10% of the world’s electricity and for about 33% of the global low-carbon energy electricity. It provides a vital complement to renewables such as wind and solar power, which are intermittent sources of energy. Currently, there are 440 nuclear power reactors in operation in 30 countries. There are 54 reactors under construction in 19 countries, including 4 countries that are building their first nuclear reactors. Progress on nuclear power technologies continues, with smaller, more flexible, and, in some cases, transportable reactor designs increasing becoming more feasible. In the longer term, this innovation can potentially help make nuclear power more accessible and cost-effective, especially for remote and hard-to-reach areas
The consideration of nuclear power as a viable vehicle to a low carbon path requires a sound determination of its resilience and safety, amid increasing extreme climate-change driven weather and geological events that can potentially compromise, albeit in a very rare occasion, the design capacity of nuclear energy infrastructure. This concern is of utmost importance to the Philippines as the country has the highest disaster risk among 193 countries around the world in 2022. While all types of external events that may affect a nuclear site or the safety of nuclear installations are addressed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety standards, the advance of nuclear energy in the country’s energy base must be accompanied by progress in public acceptability, safety, security, and safeguards
The adoption of a National Position for a Nuclear Energy Program (NEP), through the issuance of the Executive Order (EO) No. 164 on 28 February 2022, marked the country’s initial steps toward the development of nuclear energy. The national position accounts for nuclear energy contributions towards achieving economic growth targets, international legal and regulatory frameworks and best practices upholding the highest standards on nuclear safety, security and safeguards, the long-term human capital investments and job opportunities, and the potential for GHG emissions mitigation and decarbonization of the power generation sector
Pursuant to EO 164, the NEP shall be implemented on the precepts of continued development of a national policy for peaceful use of nuclear technology, continued energy analysis and planning for integration of nuclear energy in the mix, conduct of pre-feasibility study on viability of nuclear power, and continuous engagement with a broad range of stakeholders for enhanced public acceptance and awareness on the advantage of nuclear power

Statement of Work:

The study has three main objectives:
i) to provide an overview of the technical, socio-economic, financial, and regulatory aspects of nuclear power in the Philippine energy context;
ii) to determine the socio-economic and environmental viability of incorporating nuclear in the Philippine overall energy mix; and
iii) delineate the mechanisms by which the private sector can be effectively and efficiently involved in this process
Meanwhile, efforts will be made to examine associated risks of establishing nuclear power plants, and how to incorporate them in the overall socio-economic cost determination of including nuclear power in the energy mix
More broadly, the study should serve as a pre-feasibility study on the viability of nuclear power that will aid the Philippine government in its engagement with a broad range of stakeholders for enhanced public acceptance and evidence-based policies governing nuclear power in the country

By the end of the project, the expert is expected to produce a Research Paper/ Discussion Paper which comprises the following:

  • Preliminary assessment
  • Review of literature on nuclear power, which involves a discussion on other countries’ experience in nuclear power, issues, and challenges, and listing of key stakeholders that should be included in potential multi-stakeholder consultation, among others.
  • Identification/discussion of the potential role of nuclear power in the overall socio-economic and environmental development plans of the country.
  • Discussion of existing nuclear power technologies (e.g., nuclear power plant or small modular reactors) and the emerging trends.
  • Formulation of a selection criteria/process in determining the most appropriate technology to be implemented in select pre-identified sites, as determined by the Department of Energy (DOE).
  • Policy and regulatory framework evaluation
  • Analysis of policy and regulatory environment surrounding nuclear technology in the Philippines. This involves determining key government institutions and their commitment/responsibility in relation to the power industry in the Philippines.
  • Formulation of recommendations to update relevant legislations and regulations.
  • Formulation of financing options for the Nuclear Energy Program with consideration to existing laws.
  • Formulation of funding schemes and possible grants/incentives for the development of industries within the nuclear energy supply chain.
  • Private sector involvement
  • Legal and policy issues that should be addressed in order for nuclear power to be incorporated in the energy mix of the Philippines and for the private sector to be able to participate effectively and efficiently.
  • Determine possible sources of financing of private sector and required government guarantees and incentives to facilitate the various funding mechanisms.
  • Because of the long gestation period of nuclear projects and the long lifespan of nuclear plants and reactors, there is need to design mechanisms to ensure policy consistency over a relatively long time period.
  • Determine the feasibility of 100% foreign ownership in projects involving Micro Modular Reactors and Small Modular Reactors.
  • Socio-economic evaluation
  • Determination of technology valuation metrics for nuclear energy relative to existing energy sources in the country. This includes, but not limited to, Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), System LCOE and/or Levelized Avoided Cost of Electricity.
  • Incorporate the avoided cost of carbon and the risk-adjusted integration cost into the technology valuation metric(s) for nuclear energy and other energy sources that are in the current mix.
  • Given information above, an analysis of the socio-economic viability of incorporating nuclear power in the overall energy mix. This includes a determination of the potential effect of nuclear power integration on electricity retail price and GHG emission.
  • An economic assessment of the potential impact of the associated change in price to key economic indicators (e.g., investments, employment, inequality).

It is assumed that the project team will consist of highly qualified experts who have the knowledge and experience and with particular interest in nuclear technology and power sector in general
Given the status of nuclear science and technology in the country, it is probable that only a limited number of people can qualify as expert to participate in the study. Moreover, the project’s funding is limited to engage international experts who can augment local technical capacity during the conduct of the study
Level of Effort (LOE): 25 weeks

The technical expert should have a PhD degree in Engineering, Physics, or related technical discipline with 10 years of related experience, particularly in the nuclear technology or power sector
As a global employer of choice, RTI is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace and the communities and markets where we serve our mission. We value diversity of thought, culture, background and perspective and welcome applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, creed, citizenship status, disability, protected veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable discrimination laws or RTI policy.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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