Global Energy News Roundup: March 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

US Department of Energy Reinforces Support for Nuclear Power Production

United States Energy Secretary Rick Perry continues to support nuclear power in the US. Earlier this week while speaking at a press conference in Washington, DC along with International Energy Agency (IEA) Director Faith Birol, Perry announced the launch of the new Versatile Test Reactor which will help the industry test new advance reactor designs and support the new generation of nuclear power plants. Secretary Perry stated that “the Versatile Test Reactor is a key step to implementing President Trump’s direction to revitalize and expand the US nuclear industry…this cutting-edge advanced reactor will give American companies the ability they currently lack to conduct advanced technology and fuels tests without having to go to our competitors in Russia and China.” At the press conference, the Secretary also stated that “we believe that you can’t have a serious conversation about reducing emissions without including nuclear energy and carbon capture technologies.” Additionally, at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week, Birol stated that “we are not in a position to pick up our favored technology today. We need all those: renewables, nuclear, CCUS [carbon capture, utilization, and storage] and efficiency.”

Source: Power Magazine

South Korea and UAE Collaborate on Nuclear Energy

Leaders of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates stated that both countries will seek opportunities to cooperate in the field of nuclear energy. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with South Korea’s President Moon-Jae-in in Seoul from February 26-27. In December 2009, the UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation placed a $20 billion order with South Korean companies for the construction of four APR1400 reactors in Abu Dhabi. Last March, Barakah unit 1 was completed and all 4 units are expected to be completed by next year. In a joint statement this week, the two leaders said that “recognizing the Barakah nuclear power plant project as a valuable foundation for the further deepening of bilateral cooperation, the leaders agreed that the two countries would continue to work closely in finalizing the project” and that “the two leaders recognized the importance of expanding the strategic nuclear partnership and seeking opportunities for potential cooperation in third countries.”

Source: World Nuclear Power

Russia Sets New Record for Nuclear Generation

Signaling an increase in Russia’s reliance on nuclear, the country’s stated-owned nuclear plant owner and operator, Rosenergoatom, has set another nuclear power production record in 2018. The company has generated 204 TWh from its 35 reactors, which is 1.4 TWh more than in 2017.  This supplies 18.7% of the Russian Federation’s total electricity. A representative from Rosenergoatom stated that “thus, each fifth electric bulb in the Russian Federation is lit owing to energy produced at nuclear power plants.” Russia continues to build out its nuclear power sector. In January, Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation stated that “the first Russian-made experimental nuclear fuel assemblies based on accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) had been loaded for testing into the water loops of the MIR research reactor at the State Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in the Ulyanovsk Region.” Rosatom is expected to use this increase of Russia nuclear energy power to promote itself to other countries in order to expand its nuclear energy portfolio.

Source: Power Magazine