Global Energy News Roundup: December 20

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.

Fukushima Conference Brings Together Countries to Discuss Nuclear Safety
Representatives from more than 100 countries attended the recent Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in Japan on Monday to discuss the lessons learned from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi and the future of nuclear energy. The main issues discussed were advancing safety and improving transparency. Mike Weightman, the United Kingdom’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations, said the gathering demonstrated the global commitment to nuclear safety. “All of this is based on a fundamental approach to nuclear safety, namely, that of continuous improvement — no matter how high the standards, the quest for improvement must never cease,” he said. The conference was organized by Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Sources: UPI, IAEA

Murkowski Looks Forward to Bipartisan Support for New Nuclear Energy Policies
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has suggested that the incoming Congress define a new clean energy standard and that nuclear energy must be included. . “Let’s figure out how we can facilitate more in the nuclear field, how we can really focus on these clean energy sources which ultimately do reduce our greenhouse gas emissions… We have now been kind of freed up because we are no longer focused on cap-and-trade as the sole policy initiative,” she said. Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She also believes that apparent support by the incoming committee chairman, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, for moving nuclear waste to interim storage sites will help the government find a bipartisan solution for addressing the issue of nuclear waste storage.
Sources: Nuclear Townhall, The Hill

India to Increase Nuclear Capacity to 20,000 MW by 2020
India will utilize domestic and foreign technologies to increase its nuclear capacity to 20,000 MW by 2020, according to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) Chairman and Managing Director KC Purohit. The country’s current capacity is 4,800 MW. In addition to its own ability to build 750-750 MW Heavy Water Reactor facilities, India plans to import nuclear technology from the United States, France and Russia.
Source: OneIndia News

Japan Burned Record High in LNG in November
Japan’s ten largest utilities burned a record amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) equivalent — 4.51 million tons in total— in November in a continuing effort to make up for the electricity shortfall caused by the shutdown of most of its nuclear facilities after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. That’s an increase of about 9.8 percent over the same month last year. Currently, only two of Japan’s 50 reactors are online and the increased fossil fuel consumption has contributed to rising greenhouse gas emissions in Japan
Sources: The Economic Times, Bloomberg

NRA to Set Strict Evacuation Standards for Nuclear Facilities
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) will establish evacuation standards that are stricter than those at the international level, according to a recent panel decision. International Atomic Energy Agency rules call for evacuation once radiation levels reach 1,000 microsieverts per hour. The NRA panel intends on a level of 500 microsieverts per hour. See the Forum on Energy’s Radiation Resource Guide to learn more.
Source: Kyodo News