Global Energy News Roundup: August 31

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


GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and ARC Nuclear Collaborate to Advance Small Modular Reactor Development Process

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Advanced Reactor Concepts LLC (ARC Nuclear) announced on August 28 plans to collaborate in order to advance the development and licensing process for the ARC-100 advanced small modular reactor (SMR). The two companies have signed a Development Agreement which licenses GEH’s intellectual property of its advanced reactor design to ARC Nuclear. Additionally, GEH will provide ARC Nuclear “access to nuclear infrastructure programs related to quality, safety culture, training, processes, procedures and tools.” A major goal of the collaboration is to accelerate the time it takes to commercialize the advance nuclear reactor technology.

Source: Business Wire

Japan’s Nuclear Regulator Approves Construction Plan for Units at Two Nuclear Power Plants

Last week, Japan’s nuclear regulator approved both Kansai Electric Power Company’s and Kyushu Electric Power Company’s construction plans which aim to strengthen units at two nuclear power plants. The approval is one of the three steps necessary in the restart process for Japanese reactors. These steps are: 1) plant operators must apply for permission to change the reactor installation; 2) plant operators must apply for approval of the construction plan to strengthen the plant; and 3) a final safety inspection that requires the plants to meet new safety requirements. Kansai Electric Power Company submitted the construction plans for units 3 and 4 of its Ohi plant in Kukui prefecture and Kyushu Electric Power Company submitted its construction plan for unit 3 at its Genkai plant in Saga prefecture. Both companies will now move to apply for “pre-operation inspections of those units.”

Source: World Nuclear News

Nuclear Fuel Removal from Fukushima Will Proceed as Planned

The Japanese government said today that the plan to remove melted nuclear fuel from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will continue on schedule. The work to remove the melted fuel will begin in 2021 and will be done by “inserting robot arms into the side of the containment structure of each reactor.” The announcement comes after an underwater camera successfully captured images of the melted fuel inside the Number 3 reactor at Fukishima. Since the location of the fuel is now known, the removal process can continue as previously scheduled.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review 

U.S. Department of Energy Official Is Optimistic about the Future of U.S. Nuclear Power

Ed McGinnis, principle deputy assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the Department of Energy, said in a recent interview that in the past 26 years, he has not seen “a time where the administration is more strongly supportive of the role of nuclear energy as a clean base-load source of energy to complement the other sources of electricity” in the United States. Mr. McGinnis believes that the U.S. nuclear power industry would benefit from increased efficiency when issuing licenses for plant operators that would decrease cost and increase revenue for both the U.S. government and the industry. In the interview, Mr. McGinnis also voiced his support for Advanced Small Modular reactors, which he said “hold great promise and great potential.”

Source: Federal News Radio