Global Energy News Roundup: May 25

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

US, Japan, Canada, UK Create Nuclear Initiative to Combat Carbon Emissions

The United States, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom together are launching the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy (NICE) Future initiative. In a post featured on the US Department of Energy’s website, the initiative is described as a “global effort” that “will make sure nuclear has a seat at the table during discussions about innovation and advanced clean energy systems of the future.” The initiative will promote the use of innovative nuclear systems when working on world-wide decarbonization. The Department of Energy will promote the use of nuclear energy in applications including desalination, industrial process heat, integrated nuclear-renewable systems, flexible electricity grids, hydrogen production, and energy storage. The initiative continues to build momentum and more than a dozen countries have shown interest in joining. For more information on the initiative, please see here.

Source: Climate Change News

Japanese Utility Works to Increase Percentage of Nuclear Power in Energy Mix

In an act to raise the share of nuclear power in its generation mix, Kansai Electric Co “will cut spot purchases of liquefied natural gas and is cautious on signing long-term LNG supply contracts.” Before the Fukushima Daiichi accident, Kansai was the Japanese utility most reliant on nuclear energy. Of the eight reactors that have resumed power generation in Japan since 2011, four have been from Kansai Electric. In 2017/18, the company “ramped up its nuclear plant utilization rate to a six-year high of 18 percent.” Kansai’s plan is to increase the ratio of nuclear, renewables, and hydro in its power generation mix to over 50% of the total, decreasing its reliance on LNG.

Source: Reuters

Japan Utility Seeks to Start Up New Reactor

Japan’s Chugoku Electric Power Company has requested permission from local Japanese governments to apply for “pre-startup inspections of unit 3 at the Shimane nuclear power plant in Japan’s Shimane prefecture.” The construction of the company’s advanced boiling water reactor is close to being completed. The construction of Shimane 3 unit started in December 2005 and was scheduled for commercial operation beginning in December 2011. The accident at Fukushima Daicchi sidelined that effort however, and construction at Shimane 3 remained idle following the accident. The President of Chugoku, Mareshige Shimizu, said that the reactor is essential for establishing a stable power supply and reducing carbon dioxide emissions while stabalizing electricity prices.

Source: World Nuclear News

Senate Approves Funding Measure That Includes Yucca Mountain 

Earlier this week the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee advanced a 2019 spending measure that does not include drastic reductions in research programs that were proposed by the Trump Administration. The Administration’s budget had slashed funding for research programs that included nuclear security. Additionally, the bill includes a funding provision for the restart of Yucca Mountain as a repository for commercial nuclear waste.

Source: Roll Call