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
Abe’s Party Win Is Positive Sign for Nuclear Energy
The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) believes that Shinzo Abe’s government win is a positive sign that Japan can meet its target for nuclear energy to provide about 1/5 of the country’s electricity by 2030. Earlier this week, Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party scored a major victory in Japan’s national elections and returned his ruling coalition to power. Abe and his party have stated that they will keep nuclear power as a key energy source in Japan.
Report Published on How China Has Become World’s Fastest Expanding Nuclear Power Producer
The International Atomic Energy Agency published a report on October 25 examining how China has become the world’s fastest expanding nuclear power producer. According to the report, China currently has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation and 19 under construction. Furthermore, “it has increased its number of operating reactors by more than ten times since 2000 and plans to bring five units into commercial operation this year alone.” These numbers make China the fastest expanding nuclear power generator, followed by Russia with 7 reactors currently under construction, and India with six. The report states that China is increasing its nuclear power production in order to reduce its reliance on coal, increase its energy security, and keep up with the country’s economic growth.
Toshiba Helps Ukraine Modernize its Nuclear Fleet
Toshiba and the Ukraine’s Energoatom signed a memorandum of understanding on “cooperation in the modernization of the turbine island equipment of Ukrainian nuclear power plants.” Ukraine currently has four nuclear power plants, which are operated by Energoatom. The memorandum of understanding aims to increase power output, efficiency and safety by updating the turbine island equipment. Toshiba and Energoatom will also work to expand long-term cooperation between the two entities and introduce “the latest technical and financial solutions.”
South Korea Restarts Nuclear Energy Industry
Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in provided support for his country’s nuclear power industry by accepting “the findings of a government panel that recommended restarting the country’s stalled nuclear power program.” The president had previously stated that he would “pull the plug” on new reactors and work to cancel extensions for South Korea’s older power plants. However, an official survey recently found that nearly 60% of people polled were in favor of restarting the construction of two nuclear reactors, which seems to have led the president to reverse his previous stance.