Global Energy News Roundup: September 15

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

UK Approves Hinkley Point 

Following controversy and delay, British PM Theresa May has given the green light to the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant project. The financing of the project has been controversial, between the perceived instability of France’s EDF and concerns over the involvement of China’s CGN. The final decision stipulates key factors, such as a new legal framework that will mean the UK government can intervene in the sale of the stake owned by EDF.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, BBC

Monju fast-breeder reactor

Monju fast-breeder reactor

Japan Considering Monju Shutdown

Japan is reportedly considering decommissioning of its troubled Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor, rather than forming a new entity to run the project. Ten months ago, the Japanese nuclear regulator declared the operator of Monju unfit following numerous accidents, missteps, and falsification of documents. The government hopes to make a decision before the Diet convenes on September 26.

Source: Reuters

TEPCO Begins Fukushima Wall Decommissioning

Tepco began decommissioning the outer protective wall around the Fukushima No. 1 reactor, which was constructed following the 2011 accident. The first 20-ton panel was removed, and Tepco hopes that the remaining 17 panels can be disassembled by the end of the year.

Source: RT

House Passes Nuclear Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill known as the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act (HR 4979). This bill marks a first step at attempting to bring federal reform at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to consider new frameworks for licensing advanced nuclear reactors. This is the House companion to the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, which will be considered by the full Senate in the coming weeks.

Source: PR Newswire

Japan Renewables Push Falters

Despite significant momentum behind the renewable energy movement in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima accident, Japan is falling behind its ambitious targets. Resistance from utilities and concerns about project costs have caused the initiative to fall behind, especially in the face of cheap fossil fuel imports. Even promising technologies such as geothermal face challenges from a wary populace rife with not-in-my-backyard mentality.

Source: The Wall Street Journal