Global Energy News Roundup: July 18

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 Forum on Energy and is available on Twitter via@forumonenergy.

Ohi Reactor 4 Reactivated in Japan
For only the second time since an earthquake and tsunami caused a nuclear crisis at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan has restarted a nuclear reactor. The Kansai Electric Power Co. Reactor 4 at the Ohi plant in Fukui Prefecture was reactivated Wednesday night, according to The Japan Times. The reactor was shut down July 22, 2011 for regular maintenance and is scheduled to be fully online by July 25, which should help lower power costs during the hot summer months, according to the story.
Source: The Japan Times

Germany’’s Environment Minister Questions Feasibility of Energy Goals
Halting nuclear energy generation could make it difficult for Germany to meet its energy goals while cutting carbon emissions, according to the country’s environment minister. “It has to be questioned whether we’ll really succeed in reducing electricity use by 10 per cent by 2020,” Peter Altmaier was quoted as saying to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding “If we are going to somehow achieve this, it will take tremendous effort.” The electricity use targets are the consequence of Germany’s plans to phase out nuclear energy, which almost caused power shortages last winter. Altmaier’s comments caught many by surprise, according to Deutsche Welle. He also questioned whether the country could meet its goal for number of electric cars on the road by 2020.
Source:  Deutsche Welle

Protests in Tokyo as Japan moves ahead with nuclear restarts
What began as a series of smaller protests has swelled into anti-nuclear energy demonstrations clogging the political district of Tokyo, according to the National Geographic. They come after the Japanese government recently allowed the restart of two Kansai Electric Power Co reactors in the Fukui Prefecture. “This rare display of public discontent by the Japanese, bringing together citizens from all walks of life, shows no signs of waning, exposing how deeply the nation is divided over the form of energy that until recently powered one-third of Japan’s economy,” according to the article.
Source: National Geographic 

ATMEA reactor tech meets Argentina’’s safety standards
Argentina’s national utility has determined the design of the 1,100 MWe ATMEA1 Generation III+ reactor meets the country’s safety standards, according to Power Engineering. Nucleoeléctrica Argentina (NA-SA) is seeking a contractor to build the country’s fourth nuclear power plant. The ATMEA1 utilizes pressurized water reactor technology. ATMEA is a “50/50 joint venture created in 2007 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva,” according to the article.
Source:  Power Engineering

New Japanese nuclear regulatory agency vows transparency
Japan’s new five-member nuclear regulatory commission is vowing transparency as it prepares to replace the country’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. The goal is to make information about nuclear energy available “as much as possible without waiting for citizens to make requests for information disclosure,” according to Power Engineering. The government has identified openness as a major area of importance for the new agency. “[D]ocuments endorsed by the commission and those submitted by nuclear power plant operators will be ‘automatically’ posted on the regulatory body’s website unless it is information that is not allowed to be disclosed under the freedom of information law,” according to the story. Information about nuclear security would not be disclosed.
Source: Power Engineering