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Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Alternative Energy

Philippine delegation travels to Canada to foster nuclear cooperation

The Southeast Asia nation wants to set up a research and development facility next to Ontario’s McMaster University

Philippine delegation travels to Canada to discuss nuclear power collaboration
Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith meets with the Philippine delegation this month. Photo credit: Manila Bulletin

A delegation from the Philippines travelled to Canada this month for a week-long trade mission to foster cooperation on nuclear power initiatives.

The safety and success of Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors have made the nation a top choice to work with.

“It has been the reliability of the CANDU reactor that enticed the Philippine government to really look and try to study it,” Philippine Energy Undersecretary Sharon S. Garin said, “because this is already a tested and proven technology and it is well-known worldwide.”

One of the delegation’s main goals is to establish a research and development facility next to Ontario’s McMaster University. The University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering, a partnership between McMaster and four other universities, functions as a licensing entity for nuclear power units before they are commercially deployed. In addition, it serves as a research hub for the atomic energy industry in multiple regards.

“Canada’s nuclear industry is a good learning experience for us because it already has a well-developed supply chain, a robust R&D network and they have achieved successes on the commercial side of operations,” Garin said, “including the integration of safety redundancies in their fleets.”

The Philippines is considering sending some of its nuclear professionals to Canada to study the country’s nuclear capabilities for an extended period.

As of 2024, Canada and the Philippines have had diplomatic relations for 75 years.

“We think that Canada is well placed to work with the Philippines, to support the Philippines, to work together in meeting the challenges of the future,” Canada’s international trade minister Mary Ng said. She will be taking a group of Canadians to the Philippines by the end of the year to hold meetings on economic cooperation in other areas.

“Canada has been one of the most experienced for many, many decades — from resource mining, to fuel processing to technology development to manufacturing,” Ng said.

Read more: ATHA Energy closes acquisition of Latitude Uranium, obtains Nunavut and Labrador properties

Read more: ATHA Energy receives approval for TSX Venture listing; Latitude shareholders authorize acquisition

Canadian uranium becomes critical due to supply shortage

As minister Ng mentioned, Canada is highly experienced with mining the uranium needed for fuel in nuclear reactors. The country’s vast reserves in the Athabasca Basin and elsewhere have made it a world leader in that regard. It is second only to Kazakhstan.

The modern-day nuclear renaissance currently unfolding, partially inspired by several countries committing to meet climate targets through transitioning to atomic energy, has caused a major uranium supply deficit. Subsequently, the commodity’s price has risen to heights not seen since the late 2000s.

Many Canadian prospecting and exploration companies like ATHA Energy Corp. (TSX-V: SASK) (FRA: X5U) (OTCQB: SASKF) and Stallion Uranium Corp. (TSX-V: STUD) have been accelerating their activities to help fill this void.

Other more established operators like NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX: NXE) have been steadily progressing larger-scale operations that will become major contributors to the global supply. NexGen’s Rook I project in Saskatchewan is expected to be capable of supplying over 22 per cent of the world’s uranium when it is ramped up to full operating capacity.

Nonetheless, despite efforts and developments like these, the uranium industry is forecasted to have a 200-million-pound annual supply deficit by 2040.

Canada just announced plans to accelerate the approval of domestic nuclear projects. Meanwhile, other countries like the United Kingdom have committed to expanding their nuclear capacity four-fold. Furthermore, the United States has been investing billions in enhancing its nuclear power infrastructure.


ATHA Energy is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 


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