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
IEA Emphasizes Importance of Japanese Reactor Restarts
The restart of Japan’s nuclear power reactors is “critical” to the success of the country’s energy policy, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). In the IEA’s Japan 2016 Review, the IEA stated, “The most cost-effective way to begin implementing the Strategic Energy Plan is to restart nuclear power generation at plants that the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approves to be safe.” The IEA said the most cost-effective way to “decarbonize” and “diversify” its energy mix is by increasing the amount of generation from nuclear and renewable sources. To date, five Japanese reactors have been given final approval to restart and another 20 reactors are moving through the restart process.
China, Canada Form Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR) Joint Venture
Canada’s SNC-Lavalin, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), and Shanghai Electric have agreed to form a new joint venture to develop, market and construct the Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR). The reactor reuses spent fuel from light water reactors. The joint venture company is expected to be registered in mid-2017. This would be followed by the formation of two design centres – one in Canada and the other in China – to complete the AFCR technology. SNC-Lavalin said this could lead to the construction of the world’s first two ACFR units in China and “possible subsequent builds in China and around the world.”
Source: World Nuclear News
U.S. House of Representatives Panel Votes to Extend Nuclear Power Tax Credit
The House Ways and Means Committee voted to remove a key deadline for a nuclear power plant tax credit. The legislation from Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would remove the requirement that newly-built nuclear power plants be in service by 2020 in order to receive a tax credit for producing power. The credit was first enacted in 2005 to spur construction of new nuclear plants, but it has gone completely unused because no new plants have come online since then.
Source: The Hill
Cuba, Russia Sign Nuclear Energy Cooperation Deal
Cuba and Russia relaunched their relations with a nuclear energy deal signed in Vienna alongside the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) General Conference. Cuban vice Minister of Science, Environment and Technology José Fidel Santana said that, after two years of negotiations, the deal would give both countries a framework to immediately begin developing bilateral projects, especially related to the medical and agricultural uses of nuclear energy.
Source: Fox News Latino
SMRs May Lead to Nuclear Standardization
Vanessa Jakovich, who chairs the World Nuclear Association’s Licensing and Permitting Task Force, said traditional licensing frameworks and standards “pose lots of challenges” in terms of standardization and cooperation. But, noting that 19 of the current reactor designs being considered by regulators are SMRs, she said that licensing small modular reactors (SMRs) “presents a new opportunity for standardization” in the nuclear power industry. All existing nuclear countries have developed their own licensing processes to comply with IAEA requirements, with different phases and hold-points, which has made standardizing the process difficult.
Source: World Nuclear News