Global Energy News Roundup: September 8

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

Ikata 3 Resumes Commercial Operation

Shikoku Electric Power Co. announced that unit 3 of the Ikata nuclear power plant resumed commercial operation, after having reached full operating capacity on August 22. The Nuclear Regulation Authority conducted a full power performance inspection, and announced the reactor commercially operational when it passed fully. Ikata 3 is the fifth Japanese reactor to resume operation under the new safety standards in the wake of the Fukushima accident, though with the Takahama units offline it is one of three currently operational.

Source: World Nuclear News

U.S., China Commit to Paris Climate Agreement

While in Hangzhou for the G-20 Summit, Pres. Obama and Pres. Xi formally committed the United States and China to the Paris climate agreement, which was finalized at the COP21 meeting in December 2015. To be brought into effect, countries accounting for 55% of the world’s emissions must present formal ratification documents; together, China and the United States comprise nearly 40% of the world’s emissions. This development therefore marks a significant step toward activating the Paris Agreement.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times

 U.S. Pres. Obama (L) and Chinese Pres. Xi (R), along with their delegations, meet on September 3, ahead of formally joining the Paris Climate Agreement


IAEA Reviews Chinese Regulatory System

At the request of Chinese authorities, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a 10-day review of the laws, regulations, guidelines, and documents related to Chinese nuclear regulation, as well as meetings with counterparts from the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) among others. The review concluded that China’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety is effective but will need to keep pace with the country’s nuclear energy program as it rapidly expands. A previous review was conducted in 2010, and the most recent team found that most recommendations made during the previous visit were implemented.

Source: World Nuclear News

Japan to Start Background Checks on Nuclear Workers

The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided Wednesday to require background checks for workers at nuclear power plants and other facilities, a measure to be introduced in late September. This change follows recommendations from the IAEA, and aims to serve as an anti-terrorism measure. Actual implementation is expected to begin in 2017 at the earliest, given the necessary regulation changes.

Source: The Japan Times

Kyushu Electric Rejects Call for Sendai Shutdown

In the wake of recent calls by Kagoshima Governor Satoshi Mitazono to take the two operational Sendai reactors offline, Kyushu Electric Power Co. rejected the notion. Following the meeting at which the utility conveyed its decision, Gov. Mitazono expressed his disappointment and underscored his intention to demand strengthening of the plant’s safety.

Source: The Japan News , Japan Today

 People protest outside the Sendai nuclear power plant