Global Energy News Roundup: November 16


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

Idaho Nuclear Testing Facility Restarts

Earlier this week federal officials restarted a nuclear fuel testing facility in eastern Idaho in an effort to increase the United State’s nuclear power generation capacity. This is the first time that the facility, named the Transient Reactor Test Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory, has been in operation since 1994. The restart will begin with testing the facility’s equipment followed by nuclear fuel testing that is expected to begin next year. Researchers are hoping to test fuels that produce less waste, because nuclear waste storage has been an issue in the U.S. in recent years. The facility is the “only one in the world with its capabilities and flexibility” and “it is five times more powerful than commercial nuclear plants.”

Source: ABC News, The Washington Post

Russia Works with the Philippines to Develop Nuclear Energy Program

On November 13, Russia and the Philippines signed a memorandum of cooperation that allows Russia to help the Philippines with developing national policies for a nuclear energy program in the country. The cooperation promotes feasibility studies on small modular reactor construction. The memorandum was signed at the 12th East Asia Summit by Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Rosatom Deputy Director General Nikolay Spassky. Russia and the Philippines will now “cooperate in several areas, including carrying out nuclear infrastructure studies towards national energy policy development and nuclear energy program implementation in the Philippines.”

Source: World Nuclear News

Germany Largest Emitter of Greenhouse Gases Since Shutting Down Nuclear Plants

Since Germany began pursuing its anti-nuclear energy policy, known as Energiewende, carbon-free nuclear capacity has shut down and the country has become more dependent on burning coal for energy production.  This has led Germany to be “by far the largest emitter” of the European Union, accounting for 18% of the EU’s total greenhouse emissions, according to a report titled European Climate Leadership Report 2017, Measuring the Metrics that Matter. The report was published last week in Bonn, Germany at the Conference of Parties (COP) 23 by the NGO Energy for Humanity. Since the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Germany has taken steps to phase out electricity production from 17 nuclear reactors located throughout country. With the phase out of nuclear power, Germany became more reliant on coal for energy production, leading to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The report states that “the decision to shut down its nuclear plants prematurely means Germany has to keep its massive fleet of lignite and hard coal power plants on the grid far into the future. Germany is already failing its 2020 emission reduction targets, and there is currently no indication that it will do much better in the future.”

Source: Energy For Humanity, World Nuclear News

China Moves to Complete Another Nuclear Power Plant

On November 10 the first steam generator for China’s Fuqing 5 nuclear power plant was installed. It is the first of three steam generators to be installed at the power plant. “China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said that the installation of the first steam generator at Fuqing 5 has ‘laid a solid foundation for the start of work on the welding of the main pipe.'” Fuqing 5 is the first of two demonstration Hualong One units that are being built at the site in Fujian Province and the unite is expected to being running in 2019.

Source: World Nuclear News