Global Energy News Roundup: June 29

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. Energy Secretary Supports Nuclear Energy and Small Modular Reactors

Earlier this week U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry expressed his support for the nuclear energy industry. Speaking at a White House press conference, the secretary stated that one of his department’s goals was to “make nuclear energy cool again.” He voiced his support for making nuclear energy part of the United States’ energy portfolio and also stated his belief that the industry has been held back due to increased government regulation. Additionally, Secretary Perry stated, “this administration believes that nuclear energy development can be a game-changer and an important player in the development of our clean-energy portfolio globally. I believe we can achieve this by focusing on the development of technology, for instance, advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors.”

Source: The Washington Examiner, Nuclear Energy Institute

Nuclear Construction Industry Sees Highest Annual Increase in 25 Years

Ten new nuclear reactors that came online in 2016 added more than 9 GWe to the nuclear global capacity, representing the highest annual increase over the past 25 years. The significant growth is being attributed to China’s push for nuclear power development. Five of the ten new reactors are located in China, and a third of the reactors currently under construction are also located in the country. Total nuclear power generated worldwide increased for the fourth year in a row in 2016, and is keeping pace with a growing electricity system.

Source: World Nuclear News

House Committee Passes Yucca Mountain Storage Legislation

On June 28 the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 3035, a bill that would formally establish Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site and create interim storage sites while Yucca Mountain is being prepared and fully licensed. The bill includes private storage initiatives and aims to move spent nuclear fuel, which currently sits idle in 39 states. The legislation passed by a vote of 49-4 and now moves to the House floor. Please see here for the bill’s fact sheet.

Source: The House Energy and Commerce Committee


United Kingdom Remains Committed to Nuclear Energy

The United Kingdom’s Energy Minister Richard Harrington confirmed on June 27 that the country remains committed to the nuclear energy industry. The Minister spoke at the Nuclear Industry Association’s Nuclear New Build 2017 in London and said that “over the next decades many of our existing plants will be coming to the end of their lives but the demand for low-carbon electricity will surely be on the increase…and that’s why new nuclear will have a key role to play in the years ahead and why there are so many opportunities to be found in this industry.” Furthermore, the minister discussed small modular reactors and his belief that they offer an opportunity for the U.K. to meet its energy and climate change challenges.

Source: World Nuclear News