Global Energy News Roundup: July 20

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

House Committee Passes Bill that Includes Yucca Mountain Budget Request

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has passed a 2018 energy and water development spending bill that includes a budget request of $150 million for Yucca Mountain development. Specifically, the bill provides “$90 million for the nuclear waste disposal program, $30 million for defense nuclear waste disposal and $30 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume the adjudication of the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain license application.” Additionally, the bill includes $969 million for nuclear energy research, which is $266 million above President Trump’s request. Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) stated that the bill “includes funding for research and development that ensures a safe, efficient and reliable nuclear fleet and lays the foundation for the next generation of nuclear reactors.” The bill now moves to the House floor for additional consideration.

Source: The Nuclear Energy Institute

TEPCO Deploys Robot Into Fukushima Reactor

Earlier this week, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) deployed a new robot named “Little Sunfish” into a Fukushima reactor in order to locate fuel debris. The robot is allowing engineers and technicians to see the full extent of the damage inside of the structure. A TEPCO spokesperson said that “this was the first time that a robot has entered the containment vessel of reactor 3…we think this is a big step.” TEPCO is hoping that the robot will be able to travel to deeper levels during the next phase of exploration, expected to take place tomorrow.

Source: The Japan Times

Westinghouse Electric Co. and Partners Receive $7.5M from U.S. Department of Energy

Last week it was reported that the U.S. Department of Energy selected Westinghouse Electric Co., along with university research partners, as recipients of $7.5 million to be used to advance nuclear innovation in various areas. Areas in which the funding will go to include “radiation effects on fiber optic sensors, silicon carbide composite degradation in a helium environment, two critical heat flux projects, and a behavior model for spent fuel cladding storage and transportation.”

Source: Electric Light and Power

Holtec and SNC-Lavalin Collaborate on SMR Development 

Holtec International has agreed to collaborate with Canada’s SNC-Lavalin to develop Holtec’s SMR-160 small modular reactor (SMR). The agreement will allow Holtec to receive numerous nuclear engineering services from SNC-Lavalin, which includes the support of licensing the SMR-160 reactor. In a statement, Holtec said that “the partnership aims to vigorously accelerate the reactor system’s ongoing development and international licensing efforts by linking SNC-Lavalin’s world-class nuclear team with Holtec’s SMR team.”

Source: World Nuclear News