Global Energy News Roundup: September 1

The Forum on Energy weekly news roundup brings together a mix of global energy stories from around the web. It is published every Thursday and is available on Twitter via @forumonenergy

Fukushima Ice Wall Struggles

epa04307505 A Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s staff measures radiation dose as workers construct an ice wall to freeze highly toxic water at tsunami-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Japan, 09 July 2014. Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) conducts to build frozen ice wall around the buildings of Units 1 to 4 at the tsunami-devastated nuclear power plant to stop radiation-contaminated water from flowing to the sea. TEPCO has been struggling with massive amounts of toxic water as the operator continues to pump water into three reactors to keep them cool. The plant suffered meltdowns at three of its six reactors after a tsunami swept through the facilities in March 2011.  EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA/POOL

A Tokyo Electric Power Co. worker measures radiation dose as workers construct an ice wall at Fukushima Daiichi.

Amid reports that recent typhoons caused partial melting of the ice wall working to contain the contaminated water around Fukushima No. 1, some are expressing concern and frustration that the expensive and time-consuming plan has not been adequately successful. Though contributing to groundwater containment, the ice wall has not succeeded in fully sealing the site.

Source: Deutsche Welle, The Asahi Shimbun

China, Turkey Seal Nuclear Deal

The Turkish Parliament ratified the Sino-Turkish Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, formalizing Ankara and Beijing’s ties in nuclear energy. The process of developing this partnership began with an initial agreement in 2012, but this relationship has been seen as ramping up since the failed coup in Turkey on July 15 of this year. The agreement incorporates not only nuclear plant construction, but cooperation in R&D, supply of nuclear materials, and personnel training, among other things.

Source: Asia Times

Production of Takahama MOX Begins

Areva has started the production of 16 mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies, to be used in Takahama No. 4, according to Kansai Electric Power Co. Areva and Kansai Electric signed contracts in 2008 for a total of 48 MOX assemblies, 20 of which have been delivered to date. Sixteen are already loaded into Takahama No. 3, though both units currently remain offline due to a court injunction.

Source: World Nuclear News

New Hope For KK Restart In Japan

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s (TEPCO) plan to restart the defunct Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant has an increased chance of being implemented after the prefecture governor, who has campaigned against its reopening, decided against running for re-election.  Gov. Hirohiko Izumida had long opposed restarting the plant’s No. 6 and No. 7 units until the full causes of the March 2011 triple meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant were made clear.

Source: The Japan Times

 Gov. Hirohiko Izumida

Japanese Governor asks Kyushu Electric to Suspend Sendai Operations

Anti-nuclear advocate Satoshi Mitazono, who was elected governor of Kagoshima prefecture last month, called on Kyushu Electric to re-examine safety and safety measures at the Sendai nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan, citing concerns about a series of strong quakes that struck neighboring Kumamoto in April.

Source: Reuters

IAEA Conference Identifies Asia as Emerging Nuclear Driver

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a conference titled The Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Asia Pacific Region, assessing Asia as a driver of nuclear energy. Asia is one of the regions where nuclear energy is “high on the agenda” and could be one of the drivers for global nuclear power deployment, according to the deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The conference covered a range of issues surrounding nuclear power, and assessed the impressive numbers of operational and planned facilities in the Asia-Pacific.

Source: World Nuclear News