Global Energy News Roundup: June 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

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Investment in Nuclear Energy Sector

On June 14 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will be investing close to $67 million in “nuclear energy research, facility access, crosscutting technology development, and infrastructure awards in 28 states.” 85 nuclear energy related research projects will receive funding from the investment. Ed McGinnis, DOE’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, highlighted the importance of investing in U.S. nuclear energy research and development by stating, “investing in the future of nuclear energy is an important strategic priority for the Energy Department…Nuclear energy technologies contribute to our economy, our environment, and our national security, and I look forward to seeing these projects add to those contributions in the years ahead.”

Source: The U.S. Department of Energy

Rolls-Royce Details New Reactor Design

When speaking at the European Young Nuclear Generation Forum, Rolls-Royce’s director of technology and engineering, John Molyneux, discussed details on the company’s new reactor design as well as the next steps to be taken for its development.  Mr. Molyneux highlighted that the reactor is designed as a “pressurized water reactor in a close-coupled four-loop configuration.” Notably, the reactor will have an output of 450 MWe, which is considerably higher than the typical output of a small modular reactor (SMR), normally about 300 MWe.

Source: Next Big Future

“Nimble Dragon” Set to Launch in Coming Weeks

China is planning to launch a small modular reactor named the “Nimble Dragon” in the coming weeks on the country’s southern island of Hainan. The launch is another step forward for China’s plan to increase its control over the international nuclear energy market. The small modular reactor is considered safer and easier to transport, with the ability to be used in isolated areas and on islands, ships, and possibly aircraft.

Source: Reuters

Robot Ready to Inspect Fukushima Plant

Japan has released details of its robot that was built in order to provide video footage of damage at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.  The robot is small enough to enter the access hole of the flooded primary containment vessel (PCV) of unit 3. Goro Yanase, the general manager of Toshiba’s Corporation’s nuclear energy systems and services division stated that following the deployment of the robot, he expects to “get information that will support the advance of decommissioning.”

Source: World Nuclear News

Kenya Increases Effort of Nuclear Energy Development

In order to increase its nuclear power development and production, Kenya has been reaching out to international partners. Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) Acting CEO Collins Juma stated that the country has signed agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency and with the Chinese government in order to “fast track” the country’s nuclear energy development. Kenya faces challenges with an increase of energy demand and is therefore looking expand its energy production portfolio.

Source: Xinhua