Global Energy News Roundup: September 21

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

Nuclear Research and Development Funding For FY2019 Increased by Congress

Last week Congress approved the energy and water spending package for fiscal year 2019 which provides $1.33 billion in funding for the Department of Energy’s nuclear energy research, development and deployment programs. The spending amount is $121 million more than what was provided for 2018. Notably, “the bills include $323.5 million in funding for DOE’s Reactor Concepts Research and Development program, an increase of $86.5 million in 2019.” NEI Vice President of Governmental Affairs Beverly Marshall noted that the legislation “offers funding boosts for a number of industry priorities in research and development and will pave the wave for new breakthroughs…it also shows Congress exercising appropriate oversight over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with a focus on rightsizing the agency’s fees, budget and staffing levels.”

Source: NEI

Duke Energy Lifts Emergency Notification for Nuclear Power Plant in Hurricane’s Wake

This week Duke Energy, which had six nuclear power plants in the path of Hurricane Florence, notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to lift an emergency notification that the company had filed last Saturday when the Brunswick plant was cut off by rising waters and workers could not access the site by car. Close to 300 employees of Duke Energy spent days and nights at the facility during the storm. The company began ferrying workers by boat out of Duke’s Brunswick energy plant because of flooding, which continues to make the plant inaccessible by car.

Source: The News and Observer

Bloomberg Article Highlights China’s First AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Start

Bloomberg published an article highlighting one of China’s AP1000 nuclear reactors and how it will be ready soon to start commercial operations. The No. 1 reactor at China’s Sanmen power plant is expected to be ready for commercial operations this week, after it completed a 168-hour test run. Snowy Yao, a Hong Kong-based analyst at China Securities international Finance Holding Co. said of the AP1000 nuclear reactor start, “it’s a landmark event for China’s nuclear power industry…it’s safe to say China is now one of the leaders in the world’s civil nuclear power industry.”

Source: Bloomberg

Top Energy Senator Makes Case for Nuclear Power

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, published an op-ed in The Washington Examiner titled “The Case for Advanced Reactors.” Senator Murkowski expresses her support for nuclear as a major source of clean and reliable energy. She also highlights the fact that Russia, China, and South Korea have surpassed the US as vendors for reactor construction throughout the world. The senator states that as US “nuclear leadership declines, we are simultaneously losing our ability to influence security and nonproliferation decisions. Taking our place — but not always sharing our views — are countries that could put world security interests at risk.” Senator Murkowski believes that the US now needs to develop next generation nuclear power technologies before others seize the opportunity.

Source: The Washington Examiner