Global Energy News Roundup: November 30

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

Five Nuclear Power Reactors in Japan Restart in 2018

By the end of October, five nuclear reactors had been restarted in 2018 in Japan. This is significant considering that since the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant only four reactors had been restarted before 2018. After Japan’s whole nuclear fleet was shutdown in 2013 for mandatory safety checks and upgrades, nuclear reactors are only able to come back online with approval from Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, the central government, and the local prefectures. This creates a long process for reactors wanting to come back online. Japan’s nuclear fleet shutdown is estimated to have cost the country around $30 billion more each year because of its increased reliance on natural gas and coal in the absence of nuclear power. According to the article,  there are currently 18 reactors in Japan that are in the process of review and approval to be put back online.

Source: Daily Energy Insider

60 Minutes Highlights Robots Working to Find Fuel at Fukushima Daiichi Plant

Last week the news program 60 Minutes reported on the robots being used to search for the fuel inside the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Correspondent Lesley Stahl reported that “there are four-legged robots, robots that climb stairs, and even robots that can swim into reactors flooded with water..They’re equipped with 3D scanners and cameras that map the terrain, measure radiation levels, and look for the missing fuel.” For a video of the reporting, please see here.

Source: CBS News

Argentina and Russia in Talks to Build Nuclear Power Plant

Argentina and Russia are making plans to sign an agreement on a strategic partnership in the nuclear power creation space during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Argentina. Russia’s ambassador to Buenos Aires, Dmitry Feoktistov said to reporters that “an agreement on strategic partnership in the nuclear sphere is among the documents to be signed.” This would include a provision to build a major nuclear power plant. Additionally, the ambassador stated that “Russia is ready to bring a ready-made project and its own financing to Argentina…We can build such a power plant, operate it and sell electricity to Argentine partners at a certain fixed price.” Reportedly, the agreement could include a provision allowing Argentina and Russia to build a floating nuclear power plant as well. This partnership is an example of how Russia and China are working to enhance their geopolitical strategies through international nuclear power development.

Source: TASS