Global Energy News Roundup: November 2

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. Aims to Lift Ban on New Uranium Mining

Officials from the United States said earlier this week that they are considering ending a ban imposed by the Obama Administration on new uranium mining leases on public lands located near the Grand Canyon. Last week, the Department of Agriculture released a report that stated “adoption of this recommendation could reopen lands to mineral entry pursuant to the United States mining laws facilitating exploration for, and possibly development of, uranium resources.” There will be a public comment period on the issue but there is little clarity on when this process will begin and the decision will be finalized.

Source: Dayton Daily News

U.S. States Take Steps to Help Nuclear Power

U.S. states Connecticut, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have taken steps in order to help keep nuclear power plants operating. The steps include providing subsidies for nuclear generation throughout the states. Specifically, Connecticut’s Governor Malloy signed a bill that “allows state energy officials to modify rules and permit how Dominion Energy may sell up to 75% of output from its Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford in a competitive solicitation with other zero-carbon resources.” In Ohio, a bill was introduced that would help protect the state’s nuclear power plants. Furthermore, in Pennsylvania, the state legislature passed resolutions that urge FERC to support the Department of Energy’s Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule.

Source: Power Magazine

Construction Begins on First Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh

Next month, construction on Bangladesh’s first nuclear power reactor is planned to begin with help from Russia. Bangladesh’s minister for science and technology said on Wednesday that completion of the reactor is scheduled for 2024. Russia’s Rosatom is set to build and maintain the two nuclear reactors, both with 1,100 megawatts of capacity. Russia is also funding 90% of the project’s costs, which is estimate to be $12.5 billion. The two reactors are expected to supply Bangladesh with 10% of the country’s energy mix.

Source: Reuters

China To Finish First Offshore Nuclear Reactor

China is set to complete its first nuclear reactor located in the northern sea. This will be the country’s first offshore nuclear reactor and it is meant to bolster “Beijing’s maritime ambitions” and is also causing concerns from others over using “atomic power in disputed island territories.” The offshore reactor will provide electricity to China’s oil and gas rigs in the area and also in the South China Sea in the future. Zhang Nailiang, an engineer with the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. (CSIC) said that floating reactors such as this one will serve a “wider political goal to strengthen China’s maritime presence, an aim reiterated by President Xi Jinping during his Communist Party Congress address this month.”

Source: The Asahi Shimbun