Global Energy News Roundup: March 8

The Forum on Energy weekly news roundup brings together a mix of global energy stories from around the web. It is published every week. Please visit our page on Twitter via @forumonenergy

Nuclear Power Resurgence in Japan Affects LNG Imports

According to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a resurgence of nuclear power in Japan will most likely cut into its LNG imports this year. In 2018, five nuclear reactors have been restarted. The EIA estimates that these restarted nuclear reactors will replace about 5 million metric tons of LNG imports per year, which equals an average of 700 million cubic feet per day. This equals about 10% of Japan’s natural gas consumption by the power sector. Today, Japan has 9 nuclear power units operating with 8.7 GW capacity. Japan’s long-term energy policy calls for nuclear to make up 22% of the country’s total electricity generation by 2030, requiring around 30 reactors to be in operation by that time.

Source: Power Engineering

Energy Department Announces Nuclear Energy Scholarships

On Monday the Energy Department issued $5 million in scholarships for undergraduates who are aiming to pursue nuclear science degrees that are relevant to nuclear energy. Edward McGinnis, principal deputy assistant secretary of Energy for nuclear power stated that “A strong, diverse workforce is critical for us to be successful in advancing nuclear power to meet the nation’s energy, environmental, and national security needs…The Administration is dedicated to supporting future innovators who will help tackle the challenges still facing the industry today.” Last week Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the the administration is working to roll out new funding opportunities in order to advance research on nuclear energy and carbon capture for coal and natural gas.

Source: The Washington Examiner

Kansai Delays Restart of Three Nuclear Power Units

Kansai Electric Power Company has delayed the restart of 3 of its units because of stricter safety measures being enforced. Units 1 and 2 at the Takahama nuclear power plant and unit 3 of the Mihama plant have now delayed restarts because accommodating to the bolstered safety standards is taking longer than expected. At Takahama, Units 1 and 2’s containment buildings must be reinforced. These units are both 780MWe (net) pressurized water reactors. At the Mihama power plant, Unit 3’s seismic resistance must be improved. Therefore, Kansai is working to reinforce the used fuel storage pool and is replacing its fuel assembly rack. Kansai is also replacing the internal structure of the reactor core and improving the seismic resistance of the reactor containment vessel. Mihama 3 is also a 780 MWe PWR. World Nuclear News lists the nine reactors in Japan that have cleared inspections and have resumed operation. These are: Kyushu’s Sendai units 1 and 2 and Genkai units 3 and 4; Shikoku’s Ikata unit 3; and Kansai’s Takahama units 3 and 4 and Ohi units 3 and 4. Another 16 reactors have applied to restart.

Source: World Nuclear News