Global Energy News Roundup: June 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 Increases Nuclear Power Consumption

According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 report, Japan had the biggest year over year increase in consumption of nuclear energy in 2017 with 64.9 percent. The report states that Japan consumed 29.1 terawatt hours (TWh) of nuclear energy in 2017, which accounts for about 1.1 percent of the world’s total nuclear consumption. North America and Europe accounted for the largest consumers of nuclear energy with 36.2% and 32.3%, respectively.  The United States was the biggest nuclear energy consumer, accounting for 32.1 percent of the world’s total consumption. In total, global nuclear energy consumption was 2,635.6 TWh which accounts for 4.41 percent of the world’s energy consumption.

Source: BP, Anadolu Agency

Senate Passes Proposal to Allow Spent Nuclear Fuel to be Used in Advanced Reactors

On Wednesday, the US Senate passed a proposal that would allow recycled spent naval nuclear fuel to be used in advanced nuclear reactors. The cost of the amendment is $15 million and was backed by Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho, as well as Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. The amendment was added to the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. In a statement, Senator Crapo said, “This bipartisan collaboration will keep Idaho and the work being done at Idaho National Lab at the forefront of new innovation and use of nuclear energy…By reusing spent fuel to power advanced reactors, we can supply the inputs necessary for critical research initiatives, such as those at the INL, and provide a cost-saving and environmental service by reducing the amount of spent waste otherwise stored or cleaned up.” Debate on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill is expected to continue next week.

Source: The Post Register

Japan Offers to Send Nuclear Experts to North Korea

Officials from Japan have told the United States government that it is prepared to send experts to North Korea in order to help the country dismantle its nuclear facilities. The plan is part of the effort to completely denuclearize the Korean peninsula and will allow Japan to be involved in the effort. On June 12, during Kim Jong-un’s meeting with President Trump, the North Korean leader pledge to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Japan plans to send experts on uranium enrichment and decontamination technology.

Source: Kyodo News

Chinese AP1000s Take Step Closer to Power Generation

This week Unit 1 of the Sanmen nuclear power plant in China’s Zhejiang province sustained a chain reaction, a crucial step towards the start of power generation for the unit. Jose Gutierrez, Westinghouse President and CEO, stated “Today we completed the final major milestone before commercial operation for Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear power plant technology. We are one step closer to delivering the world’s first AP1000 plant to our customer and the world…” Next, the unit will be synchronized to the electricity grid. Once the plant operations begin at Sanmen 1, it will be the first AP1000 nuclear power plant in operation.

Source: World Nuclear News