Global Energy News Roundup: March 22

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

Trump Administration Adds $3.7 Billion in Support to Finish Nuclear Reactors

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced today that the Trump Administration will provide a $3.7 billion loan guarantee to finish the two reactors currently being built at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia. During the announcement Secretary Perry called the expansion of nuclear “the real” Green New Deal. The Green New Deal is a reference to legislation proposed by members of Congress that promotes wind and solar power. The Secretary said the administration is determined to see the nuclear reactors finished despite the project falling behind schedule and costing more than originally planned. He stated “the message that gets sent on this plant: America is back in the nuclear energy industry, folks…We are back. We’re going to be leading the world.” President Obama approved the original loan guarantee for the Vogtle Plant during his time in office, but the plant had a setback when the project’s main contractor Westinghouse Electric Co. filed for bankruptcy. Georgia Power, a partner in the plant expansion insists that finishing the plant makes more sense than abandoning the project altogether. The first reactor is expected to be able to load nuclear fuel in 2020.

Source: The New York Times

China Set to Start Building First Floating Nuclear Power Plant

Chinese newspapers have quoted a China National Nuclear Corp official insisting that the country will start building its first floating nuclear power plant this year and another official told Xinhua that there were no technical issues standing in the way.  China is most likely building this floating reactor in order to power its man-made islands in the South China Sea in its efforts to colonize the area. A Chinese news outlet , Qilu Evening News, reported last November that the first floating nuclear power platform is estimated to cost up to $2.1 billion and would be commissioned in 2021. Observers have estimated that it will take as many as 20 floating nuclear stations across the South China Sea to power the new islands. This area is subject to conflicting territorial claims by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Source: Asia Times

United States and Romania Work Together to Develop Small Modular Reactor

Romanian energy company Societata Nationala Nuclearelectrica SA (SNN SA) and a United States small modular reactor (SMR) developer NuScale Power have reached an agreement that will allow the companies to explore the use of SMRs in Romania. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering the exchange of business and technical information of NuScale’s nuclear technology. The end goal is to develop, license, and construct a NuScale SMR in Romania. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry stated “The Department of Energy (DOE) applauds this important agreement to evaluate how small modular reactor technology could be utilized in Romania…DOE has been working to support many innovative approaches to power generation, including this groundbreaking technology. We are enthusiastic about the possibilities for the future and being on the cutting edge of nuclear generation technology.” NuScale also has signed MOUs to explore the deployment of its SMR technology in Canada and Jordan.

Source: World Nuclear News