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.
TEPCO Finds Radiation Leaks at Fukushima; Transferring Contaminated Water to New Tanks
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has discovered two leaks, leaving radioactive substances in the surrounding soil, from underground storage pools at Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO plans to transfer the contaminated water to above ground tanks over the next several days. By the time the contaminated water has been transferred, it is expected that total radiation leak will exceed the initial estimate of 710 billion becquerels, making it the largest leak since the reactors were shut down. (See the Forum on Energy’s “Radiation Resource Guide” for more information on radiation.)
Source: The Japan News
Japanese Consumers Could Absorb Costs of Nuclear Reprocessing Troubles in the UK
The cost of reprocessing Japan’s spent nuclear fuel is up to $1.28 million per container of vitrified high-level radioactive waste — an almost 300 percent increase since 1995. The dramatic rise is due to problems at the overseas British plant that reprocesses all Japanese nuclear fuel. Japanese consumers who already pay higher energy rates due to consumption of expensive non-nuclear energy sources, can expect an additional rate hike as a result. Japan has been exporting spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing since the 1970s.
Source: The Asahi Shimbun
CLP CEO: Nuclear Energy Key to Carbon Emission-free Future
“If you’re serious about climate change, I think you’ve got to be serious about nuclear,” said Andrew Brandler, CEO of China Light and Power (CLP), in a recent interview with CNNMoney. Brandler sat down to discuss the current role of nuclear energy throughout Asia and what he sees as the future of the energy resource. Brandler said nuclear is the only energy source capable of meeting growing global energy needs and still producing zero carbon emissions. He added that the company has no plans to construct any more coal plans in Hong Kong (CLP is the largest energy supplier in the city).
Obama’s DOE Pick Sees LNG, Small Modular Reactors in U.S.’s Future
Physicist Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s pick to head the U.S. Department of Energy,said at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing this week that his management of the federal agency would likely include the export of liquefied natural gas and the expanded utilization of small modular reactors. Both tactics would be part of a larger effort to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. His prepared remarks emphasized that the need to “mitigate climate change risks is emphatically supported by the science and by many military and religious leaders as well as the engaged scientific community.” Moniz also said he would follow through on Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on nuclear waste plan to identify one or more facilities to temporarily store nuclear waste that is currently building up at reactor sites.
Study: Nuclear Energy Saved 1.8B Lives…and Could Save Millions More
A new study indicates that reliance on nuclear energy has saved approximately 1.8 million people around the world air from pollution-related deaths — and could save millions more. The study appears in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. This gives nuclear-generated electricity a clear advantage over fossil fuel energy, which emits greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Report coauthor Pushker A. Kharecha, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said the study was done to help answer many of the questions surrounding nuclear energy after the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi. “I was very disturbed by all the negative and in many cases unfounded hysteria regarding nuclear power after the Fukushima accident.”
Source: Chemical & Engineering News