Global Energy News Roundup: February 14

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 Advanced Reactor Company CEOs Meet with President Trump

The Chief Executive Officers of several US advanced reactor companies met this week with President Donald Trump in order to ask for help winning contracts to build power plants abroad.  Chris Crane, CEO of Exelon Corp. stated after the meeting that “there is competition around the globe, and we want to be part of it.” The advanced reactor companies are looking for US government approval of next-generation advanced reactors and the administration’s help to sell their products internationally.  Companies represented at the meeting included NuScale Power LLC, TerraPower LLC, Westinghouse Eletric Co. LLC and General Electric Co. Suppliers present included Centrus Energy Corp. and Lightbridge Corp. Crane went on to say that “the United States needs to maintain a leadership position…there’s a huge economic upside for jobs – manufacturing jobs, operating jobs, engineering jobs – that can be created in us playing a more stronger role in the international economy.” As we have argued before, if the United States does not take an active role in exporting its advanced reactor technology, we believe China and Russia will seize the opportunity to dominate the international nuclear power markets.

Source: Bloomberg

Robot Touches Melted Fuel At Fukushima Plant

A robot was able to touch some of the melted fuel located inside one of the three wrecked nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. This was a positive step forward in the process to remove the melted nuclear fuel inside the Fukushima plant. The plant is owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc (TEPCO) and a spokesman for the company, Katsuyoshi Oyama, told reporters that “we confirmed that it’s possible to extract some of this debris from the reactor.” TEPCO is aiming to start defueling the reactors by 2021 by either vacuuming or scooping hardened reactor fuel and dust with a remote-controlled robot.

Source: Bloomberg

Canadian Nuclear Reactor Company Works to Commercialize Integral Molten Salt Reactor Design

Terrestrial Energy Inc (TEI) is a Canadian advanced nuclear reactor company that is working to make a molten salt reactor a reality. Last year, TEI successfully completed the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) pre-licensing vendor design review for the company’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor design. TEI is hoping to deploy its design in the next ten years. A key component of the design is that it uses molten salt to not only cool the system, but to carry the fuel as well. This allows the reactor to operate at a low-pressure and no chemical or mechanical driving forces are necessary. It can be maintained and operated simply, and it cannot melt down. Other advantages include less waste, fuel can be recycled easily, it is small enough to allow for fast and easy construction, and it can last for many decades. For more information on the technology, please see here.

Source: Forbes

US-Japan Roundtable Director Writes Letter to Members Outlining 2019 Focus

Scott Campbell, Director of the US-Japan Roundtable, has written a note to members about plans for the year ahead. Please see here to view the letter.