Global Energy News Roundup: February 8

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

TEPCO Must Pay Fukushima Residents For Damages

This week a Tokyo court ruled that Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) must pay a group of Fukushima residents 10 million dollars (1.1 billion yen). The group of Fukushima residents had brought a class action suit against TEPCO for ignoring the threat of natural disasters to the Fukushima plant and also TEPCO’s handling of the crisis. The ruling marks another hit for TEPCO and the Japanese government. Last year, a group of 3,800 people also filed a class action suit, with the court ruling that TEPCO and the Japanese government were liable for damages of up to 500 million yen.

Source: Reuters

Russia and Turkey Work to Build Turkey’s First Nuclear Power Plant

Rosatum, Russia’s state nuclear company, is reportedly in talks with Turkey’s state electricity producer EUAS about making the entity a shareholder in a project to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. The project is named Akkuyu Nukleer A.S. and it is being led by Rosatum, which sold 49% of it to a group of three companies, two of which pulled out of the project. The third company, Cengiz, is currently in the project as a contractor. Rosatum is expecting new investors to join the project throughout 2018. According to the article, “during a news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in November 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the countries planned to launch the first reactor at Akkuyu in 2023 and that construction would begin in the near future.”

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

Senator Pushes for More American Uranium Production

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for the administration to “pursue policies that promote robust American uranium production.” Senator Barrasso describes the American west as rich in uranium and argues that the U.S. should stop buying cheap uranium from countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, as it has the potential to create a national security issue. Contracts with these countries are hurting U.S. producers, and the senator states that less than 5% of American nuclear fuel is supplied by American producers, and he will work to increase that percentage.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Russia Switches on Nuclear Power Unit

Russia’s President Putin has switched on the fourth power unit of Rostov Nuclear Power Plant, which will “launch the delivery of the first kilowatts of generated electric power into the national power grid.” After the power unit startup, President Putin stated “I wholeheartedly congratulate you with completion of a large-scale job – the power startup of the fourth unit of the Rostov NPP. I would like to appreciate everyone – researchers, engineers, everyone who worked at this site and achieved this impressive deliverable.” The action represents Russia’s continued effort to increase the country’s nuclear power capacity, while the industry in both the United States and Japan stalls.

Source: Tass Russian News Agency