Global Energy News Roundup: February 17

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

 Shinegori Shiga

Toshiba Reports Loss, Chairman Resigns…

Toshiba officially reported a $6.3 billion loss, as well as its intention to withdraw from the business of building nuclear power plants. The chairman of the company, Shinegori Shiga, also resigned, bringing an end to weeks of speculation. The unaudited financial results that have been announced thus far reportedly may change “by a wide margin.”

Source: The New York Times Japan Today

…But the Full Impact is Not Yet Clear

In spite of the major write down and ensuing uncertainty, it appears several projects are slated to move forward. India has reported that it does not expect fallout from the financial disaster to halt plans to buy six nuclear reactors from Westinghouse. South Caroline E&G and state utility Santee Cooper also reportedly received new commitments from Westinghouse and Toshiba to finish two nuclear plants under construction in Jenkinsville. Toshiba has even indicated its intent to participate in the development of the Sellafield Moorside project in the UK, though it will reportedly sell its stake before the construction phase begins.

Source: Reuters, The State, BBC

Decommissioning Plan for Shimane 1 Amended

Chugoku Electric Power Co. has submitted to the regulator an amendment to its decommissioning plan for unit 1 of the Shimane nuclear plant. After feedback from the NRA on its original plan, the company has reportedly added sections confirming decommissioning works at unit 1 will not interfere with safe operations at unit 2 of the plant. In addition, used fuel stored at the site would not be damaged in the event of a loss of cooling water in the fuel storage pools, it said.

Source: World Nuclear News

Report Notes Banner Year for New Nuclear

The Breakthrough Institute released a report asserting that 2016 was a banner year for new nuclear capacity, with ten reactors coming online around the world, adding 9.5 GW of capacity. This was the largest annual addition of nuclear power since 1990, and when added to 2015, the largest two-year addition of nuclear power since 1989-90. These new reactors also came from a greater diversity of countries, including China, Pakistan, India, Russia, and the United States.

Source: The Breakthrough Institute 

Companies Sue to Overturn Law Aiding Exelon

Four companies that own coal or natural gas electricity generating plants in Illinois filed a lawsuit to stop the Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act that Gov. Rauner signed into law in December. The suit alleges that Exelon’s nuclear plants in Cordova and Clinton could not compete in the energy market and forced the state to bail out the company by overcharging consumers. The suit states that the Illinois General Assembly enacted the law to prop up “these two uneconomic nuclear power plants and keep them in the market for at least 10 more years” via Zero Emission Credits, which, it alleges, will result in “captive ratepayers overpaying an estimated $235 million per year over 10 years to Exelon.”

Source: Quad-City Times