Global Energy News Roundup: May 18


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 Supports Role of Nuclear Power in 2030 Energy Plan

On Wednesday, the Japanese government released a draft of its updated energy policy, which highlights the country’s ideal mix of power sources for the year 2030. The ideal mix maintained similar targets that were set three years ago, even with the push back received about the nuclear power included in the mix. The draft stated that nuclear power should account for 20-22% of the 2030 power supply. According to the article, “the 2030 plan also left the door open to building new nuclear plants to help meet long-term emissions targets to combat climate change.” Japan is aiming to reduce its carbon emissions by 26% from their 2013 levels and by 80% by 2050. The energy policy is expected to be approved by the Japanese government in July.

Source: Reuters

Unit 4 at Ohi Nuclear Power Plant Begins to Supply Electricity to Grid

Last week Unit 4 at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Japan’s Fukui Prefecture started to supply electricity to Japan’s grid. This marks the eighth Japanese reactor to resume power generation in Japan since the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. In May 2017, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) announced that two units at the Ohi plant were safe to begin the process of resuming operation. This was followed by the approval of Fukui’s governor in November 2017. In response to the restart, Kansai President and Director Shigeki Iwane said: “It is planned to increase the generator output in a stepwise manner while confirming the plant status at each power output. We will continuously give sincere and deliberate support to the subsequent inspections to be performed by the NRA.” Out of Japan’s 39 operable reactors, Ohi 4 is the eighth to clear inspections confirming they meet updated regulatory safety standards and to restart operation.

Source: World Nuclear News

China and Uganda to Work Together to Build Nuclear Power Plants

In a step that advances China’s international nuclear power presence, the country has agreed to help the country of Uganda build and operate nuclear power plants. According to the article, Uganda has uranium deposits that the country is working to exploit for nuclear energy development.  Uganda also signed a deal with Russia last year to work together on nuclear power.  On May 11, China National Nuclear Corporation and Uganda signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to build Uganda’s capacity “in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.” Uganda and China will work together on Uganda’s development of nuclear power infrastructure, which will include design, construction, and operation of nuclear power plants.

Source: The Economic Times

Student Works to Advance More Power Nuclear Energy Technology

An MIT student is working to advance more powerful nuclear energy technology by “fine-tuning thermal hydraulics in reactors.” The student, Guanyu Su has been experimenting techniques for “capturing the complex phenomena of fluids in boiling water reactors may enable next generation nuclear reactors to turn up the heat, while safely producing more megawatts of carbon-free electricity.” Guanyu Su says that the idea is to output an increased level of power for the same size reactor without damaging the reactor’s components.

Source: MIT