Global Energy News Roundup: December 22

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

Japanese Government Decides Monju Will Not be Restarted

The Japanese government has made the formal decision that the Monju prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR) will not be restarted and steps will be taken to decommission it.  The government noted the high cost of upgrading the reactor to meet new safety standards introduced following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.  However, the government ensured that the country’s development of fast reactors would continue and noted that Japan’s basic energy policy aims to promote the nuclear fuel cycle, including the promotion of fast reactor development.

Source: World Nuclear News

Nuclear Professionals Urge President-Elect Trump to Save and Grow U.S. Nuclear Sector

Professionals from academic, environmental, nuclear and other organizations have written an open letter to US President-elect Donald Trump and Rick Perry – recently named by Trump as his choice for US Energy Secretary – urging them to take action to “save and grow” the country’s nuclear sector. The letter, written by the Environmental Progress research and policy organization, was signed by more than 40 individuals including Environmental Progress President Michael Shellenberger, climate scientists James Hansen and Kerry Emmanuel, American Nuclear Society president Andrew Klein and past-president Gene Grecheck, and filmmaker Robert Stone.shutterstock_390130231

Source: World Nuclear News, Environmental Progress


President-Elect Trump’s Transition Team Suggests Changes at DOE

Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance, is leading the DOE transition team.  Another member of the team is Jack Spencer, VP of the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, who has written extensively about nuclear energy policy and energy R&D.  Spencer has advocated that the next president eliminate the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, focus federal R&D on basic research, and reform the national lab system.  He has suggested the next president “lead the way to consolidate labs and transfer others to non-federal entities, such as states, universities, or the private sector.”

Source: American Institute of Physics

Duke Energy Wins License for South Carolina Nuclear Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has awarded Duke Energy licenses to build two nuclear power reactors near Gaffney, S.C. despite the fact that the plants may never be built. The combined licenses allow Duke to build and operate two AP1000 reactors, a project first announced in 2006. Duke applied for the licenses for the William States Lee plant in 2007 but says it is undecided whether to go forward with the $11 billion plant. The decision is complicated by several factors: Whether prices for a competing fuel, natural gas, stay low; the impact of environmental regulations such as President Obama’s carbon-cutting plan, now on hold; and whether federal regulators will let Duke extend the operating licenses of its current nuclear fleet.

Source: Charlotte Observer