Global Energy News Roundup: February 1

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

Consortium Asks For Funding to Advance Small Modular Reactor Development

A consortium led by Rolls-Royce has asked for more than about $263 million of government funding in order to allow it to continue its development of small modular reactors (SMRs). Earlier this week the Financial Times reported a story that Rolls-Royce and its partners are asking for a sum around $263 million so that they can work to develop the Rolls-Royce nuclear technology. The consortium partners would then match the government funding and use the funds to advance its nuclear licensing process and hopefully attract private investment. In a statement, a representative from Rolls-Royce said that “Our consortium is in discussions with UK government officials that we hope could result in a significant joint investment in our power plant design.” Please see here for more information on this topic.

Source: Power Magazine

IAEA Urges Japan to Take Its Time with Fukushima Decommissioning

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) urged the Japanese government this week to take its time while developing a decommissioning plan for the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The action follows a visit from an IAEA team to the plant site in November. The agency is urging the site’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) “to secure adequate space and finish plans for managing highly radioactive melted fuel before starting to remove it from the three damaged reactors.” Utility and government officials plan to start the removal of the melted fuel at the reactors in 2021, and are still studying what condition the fuel is in and therefore have not finalized waste management plans. The report also asked that the Japanese Government and TEPCO consider ways to express “the inherent uncertainties involved” in the project and develop “a credible plan” for the long term. It advised TEPCO to consider adopting contingency plans to “accommodate any schedule delays.”

Source: Japan Today

South Korea Nuclear Regulator Approves Nuclear Power Plant Start

South Korea’s nuclear regulator has approved starting the Shin Kori Number 4 nuclear reactor. An official from the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. said that it is hoping to start operating the 1,400 megawatt nuclear reactor in September. The reactor is located close to the southeastern city of Busan and is the second South Korea APR-1400 model to be designed. A state-run utility in South Korea, Korea Electric Power Corp, won a bid to construct four APR-1400 reactors in the United Arab Emirates in 2009. Currently, South Korea runs 24 nuclear reactors which supply around a third of the country’s electricity.

Source: Reuters