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
NuScale Signs Contract for New Nuclear Manufacturing Center
NuScale Power, LLC (NuScale) and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) have announced that the two companies have signed a contract for the creation of a new Center for Advanced Nuclear Manufacturing, which will be operated by CTC. The new center has been endorsed by the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council as an “advanced manufacturing research center” and will focus on NuScale’s helical coil steam generators, which are a main component of NuScale’s design.
U.S. Report Finds Global Nuclear Capacity Expected to Grow
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its International Energy Outlook for 2017 which estimated that “global nuclear capacity will grow at an average annual rate of 1.6% from 2016 to 2040.” This growth will be provided by countries which are not part of the current Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Rather, EIA expects China to lead the world in nuclear energy growth, followed by India. The rate of growth in both these countries will offset declines in the nuclear energy industries throughout the U.S., Japan, and other countries in Europe the report finds.
Rate of Approvals for Japan’s Nuclear Reactor Restarts are Unlikely to Pick Up
During an interview earlier this week, the new head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said that the rate of approvals for nuclear reactor restarts are unlikely to pick up in the foreseeable future. The new head, Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa, also mentioned that Japan might not meet its electricity generation targets because of this slow pace. Since the accident at Fukushima in 2011, Japan’s nuclear fleet has slowly been getting back online. Currently, 12 reactors at 6 nuclear plants have passed safety requirements that are needed to be restarted, but only 4 reactors are in operation. Previously, nuclear was projected to provide Japan with a fifth of its energy generation by 2030. This time frame could be extended due to the slow pace of restarts for Japan’s nuclear fleet.
France Postpones Plan to Reduce Nuclear Energy
The government of France has postponed a plan to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the country’s power production after grid operator RTE warned that a reduction could cause supply shortages after 2020. RTE also warned that France could miss its goal to reduce its carbon emissions. The country’s Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said that ” it was not realistic to cut nuclear energy’s share of electricity production to 50 percent by 2025 from 75 percent now and that doing so in a hurry would increase France’s CO2 emissions, endanger the security of power supply and put jobs at risk.” Instead, Hulot stated that the government would work towards a 2030 to 2035 time-frame.