Global Energy News Roundup: May 17

This week’s global energy news roundup features articles and information from a range of sources, including Reuters, Greentech Media, The Charleston Regional Business Journal, and The Hill. Headlines in this roundup include “Ohi Town Assembly Votes in Favor of Restart”; “Kurion Applies Innovative Vitrification Technology at Fukushima”; “Construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Plant Increases Business at the Port of Charleston”; “Poland Plans First Nuclear Plant”; and “Two U.S. Nuclear Plant Operators Plan to Address Seismic Safety Concerns.” The Forum on Energy weekly news roundup brings together a mix of global energy stories from around the web. It is published every Thursday morning on and is available on Twitter via @forumonenergy

Ohi Town Assembly Votes in Favor of Restart
The local assembly of Ohi voted Monday in favor of restarting reactors 3 and 4 of the Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Ohi plant. Assembly chairman Kinya Shintani said the shutdown has negatively impacted the economy, according to Reuters. High LNG prices are also a likely contributor to economic woes across Japan. The country is now importing and consuming a significant share of global LNG supplies — and LNG prices in Asia are double those in Europe, according to Reuters.
Source: Reuters

Kurion Applies Innovative Vitrification Technology at Fukushima
Kurion, a newcomer to the nuclear waste treatment industry, is quickly proving itself to be a major player with its efforts to treat contaminated seawater at Fukushima. Greentech Media reports that the start-up company — working in partnership with Pacific Northwest Laboratories — is applying its modular vitrification system technology to separate and immobilize isotopes in the water. Kurion CEO John Raymont said his company’s goal is to “help nuclear live up to its green potential.”
Source: Greentech Media 

Construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Plant Increases Business at the Port of Charleston
The Charleston Regional Business Journal reports that the first delivery of parts from Westinghouse has come through the Port of Charleston. Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority, said “This is a project that will boost port volume and maritime jobs over the course of several years.”
Source: The Charleston Regional Business Journal 

Poland Plans First Nuclear Plant
PGE, Poland’s state-owned utility, announced May 15 that it plans to issue a tender for nuclear technology. Poland does not currently have any nuclear reactors and wants to reduce its dependence on coal as it meets the energy demands of its growing economy. Reuters reports that Hitachi-GE, Areva and Westinghouse (which is owned by Toshiba) are expected to be among those bidding for the new build opportunity.
Source: Reuters 

Two U.S. Nuclear Plant Operators Plan to Address Seismic Safety Concerns (PDF)
The California Public Utilities Commission approved the San Onofre Nuclear Plant owners’ request to pass the $64 million cost of seismic studies onto ratepayers. The studies were ordered by the California State Legislature in 2006 under AB 1632, but additional tsunami studies and review of Fukushima-related lessons learned require further analyses and reporting. In other nuclear safety news, The Hill reports  the U.S. NRC issued an order to increase inspections at Dominion Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear plant, which shut down after the August 23, 2011 earthquake along the East Coast. The NRC found that plant employees did not adequately maintain the plant’s backup generators.
Source: Public Utilities Commission Of The  State Of California (PDF)  

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