Global Energy News Roundup: May 4

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


Lawmakers Expected to Vote on Yucca Mountain Licensing Process

The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation which aims to jumpstart the Yucca Mountain licensing process. The bill was approved last year by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and would allow the Department of Energy to resume its license application process to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Last year the majority of lawmakers from both parties voted 49-4 to pass the bill out of committee. However, the Senate blocked the spending needed to restart the licensing process. House and Senate negotiators then failed to reach an agreement on the legislation. The vote is expected to bring new attention to the issue and possibly provide a long-term fix for spent nuclear fuel storage.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Working Group Focuses on SMRs

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) new Technical Working Group focused on small and medium sized reactors, also known as small modular reactors (SMRs) held its first meeting, which included 34 experts from 14 Members States and 2 international organizations. The Chairman of the working group, which met in Vienna from April 23-26 stated that “this initiative is the natural evolution of a decade-long effort on SMRs…Members will provide recommendations to the Agency for developing and evaluating programs to support Member States, including both technology developers and embarking countries.” According to the article, the working group provided guidance to the IAEA on the  “challenges associated with the readiness of the technology to be deployed in the near future. Experts discussed the evaluation of local infrastructure and supplier capabilities, with a recommendation that a consultancy meeting be held in 2018, to develop the first draft of generic SMR user requirements for countries which are not technology developers.”

Source: IAEA

Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Optimistic About South Korea Being on Shortlist for Nuclear Project

This week Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih spoke with reporters while attending an industry event in Seoul and expressed his opinion that South Korea will be on the shortlist to build a nuclear reactor in his country. Specifically, the minister said that South Korea could expect a “good result” for the outcome of the bidding project. Saudi Arabi has been in talks with companies from the United States, South Korea, Russia, and China to build two nuclear plants in the country in order to diversify its energy supply. Minister Khalid al-Falih and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in order to “expand bilateral cooperation in energy and other sectors.”

Source: Reuters