Global Energy News Roundup: November 22

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

Japan Atomic Power Looks To Extend Operating Life of Nuclear Power Plant

Japan Atomic Power is applying to extend the operating life of a reactor at its Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant, which is now 39 years old. All of Japan Atomic Power’s nuclear power plants were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi and an extension would positively impact the company.  If the request for extension is approved, it will mark the first time that this type of reactor would receive an extension. If approval is granted, it will not return to operation until 2021.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Saudi Arabia Looks to Build Nuclear Reactors

Toshiba’s Westinghouse is reportedly in talks with other U.S. companies to form a group to bid on a multi-billion dollar public offer on two nuclear reactors located in Saudi Arabia. Last month, Saudi Arabia sent a Request for Information to reactor builders. The country is looking to increase its domestic energy production through nuclear energy so that more of its crude oil can be exported.

Source: The Japan News

The New York Times Publishes Update on Fukushima 

The New York Times published an in-depth article on an update of the Fukushima Daiichi site, six years after the accident. The article highlights the robot “little sunfish” and how it was able to identify the nuclear power plant’s melted uranium fuel. The article marks the process of identification as a turning point in the clean up process at Fukushima.  In the article, a spokesman for Tepco states “We have finished the debris cleanup and gotten the plant under control…Now, we are finally preparing for decommissioning.”

Source: The New York Times

IAEA Hosts Nuclear Power Event at COP23

The International Atomic Energy lead an event at the COP23 Bonn Climate Change Conference on How Nuclear Power Can Contribute to Climate Change Mitigation which “underscored the global role that nuclear energy plays in addressing climate change and featured specific initiatives in France, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.” Experts at the conference emphasized how nuclear power can provide reliable energy, with low carbon emissions, as long as proper support is supplied to the industry. Construction rates have been lagging however, and for nuclear power to meet the Paris Agreement goals, construction rates of new reactors will need to be doubled by 2030 from the 2015-2016 rates, according to analyst Peter Janoska of the International Energy Agency.

Source: IAEA