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
TEPCO Shares Rise After Reports of Atomic Plant Approval
Following news reports that Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) could get approval to restart one of its atomic plants, the company’s shares rose more than 3 percent on Thursday. The Yomiuri newspaper and other media reported that two reactors at Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa station may receive an initial safety approval from Japan’s nuclear regulator as soon as next week. If Tepco does receive approval from Japan’s nuclear regulator, its biggest hurdle will then be to receive approval from the governor of Niigata prefecture where the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa station is located. Niigata is currently conducting its own security review which is not expected to be finished until 2020 at the earliest.
NuScale Proposes Working with the UK to Promote Small Modular Reactors
USA’s NuScale Power launched an action plan this week for the deployment of its small modular reactors (SMRs) in the United Kingdom. The five-point action plan aims to develop a “game-changing technology for the global energy system.” NuScale believes that the new SMR technology will help the UK combat the energy production issues it is facing with ageing coal and nuclear power plants. NuScale’s chief commercial officer, Tom Mundy, said in a statement that “our UK SMR Action Plan sets out a clear vision for NuScale’s technology to be rolling off production lines in UK factories, generating power for UK homes in the 2020s and transforming the UK into a hub for export into a lucrative global market.” It is now up to the UK’s government to decide if they will accept the action plan.
Source: World Nuclear News
Westinghouse’s AP1000 New Units Move Closer to Commissioning in China.
The second AP1000 unit under construction at China’s Sanmen site has completed a crucial step in the process of commissioning a new unit. The unit, located in China’s Zhejiang province, completed the process of cold hydrostatic testing, which entails “filling the reactor’s primary circuit with water, which is circulated at high pressure by the reactor coolant pumps to verify that the welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems meet regulatory standards.” The completion of the test brings Sanmen 2 one step closer to commissioning, which is expected to occur in 2018. Sanmen 1, the other unit at the site, completed the test in May 2016 and is expected to begin running later this year.
Source: World Nuclear News
Poland Works to Build First Nuclear Power Plant
On Wednesday, Poland’s energy minister said that the country will aim to build its first nuclear power plant by 2029 in order to help reduce carbon emissions. Poland is currently heavily dependent on coal for energy production and the country’s ruling Law and Justice party would like to change that. Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski told reports that the government would “like to build three [nuclear power plant] units in 5-year intervals, with the first one in 2029.” The energy ministry must now work to create a financing plan that will be presented to Poland’s government, which will make the final decision on whether or not to move forward with the project.