Global Energy News Roundup: March 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 Court Allows Nuclear Power Plant to Be Built

Earlier this week a court in northern Japan rejected a lawsuit that would have halted construction of a nuclear power plant. More than 1,100 residents in Hokkaido filed lawsuits in 2010 to prevent the Ohma nuclear power plant from being built. The power plant is about 38% complete and is expected to start operating in 2024 or 2025.

Source: Reuters

U.S. Works to Build Saudi Arabia’s First Nuclear Power Plants

As Russia and its nuclear power company, Rosatom, have finalized deals to develop nuclear power plants in Bangladesh, Argentina, Congo, and Mongolia, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is working to revive the U.S. nuclear energy industry and pursue the administration’s policy of American “energy dominance.” China is also working to expand its nuclear energy industry, making deals with the United Kingdom and Pakistan. The new target for nuclear power plants is Saudi Arabia, which has an aggressive plan to build 16 nuclear power plants over the next 25 years in order to diversify its energy sources. The U.S. was not included in initial negotiations over who would build the plants. However, Secretary Perry has been successful in gaining a place for the U.S. in the negotiations. On Tuesday, Secretary Perry met with Saudi Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman and President Trump at the White House. As of now, Saudi Arabia has not announced who will build its first nuclear power plants but the U.S. is working to win the country’s favor.

Source: Houston Chronicle

China Completes Demonstration Project for New Generation of Uranium Enrichment

China National Nuclear Corporation announced that the country has now completed a “large-scale demonstration project for a new generation of uranium enrichment centrifuges.” These centrifuges have been put into production at the Hanzhun fuel facility in Shaanxi province. The company stated that “the development and industrialization of a new generation of uranium enrichment centrifuges will further increase China’s position and competitiveness in the international uranium enrichment field.”

Source: World Nuclear News

Japan’s Nuclear Regulator Increases Staff to Help with Lawsuits

Japan’s nuclear regulator is now increasing its staff in order to deal with the nuclear lawsuits filed against the country after the Fukushima accident. The number of staff in charge of litigation will now be 22, up from 17. The move comes as the number of lawsuits faced by the state increases to a total of 45 lawsuits, which includes 29 suits that have been filed by over 10,000 plaintiffs nationwide that includes victims and evacuees of the Fukushima accident.

Source: Japan Today