Global Energy News Roundup: June 14


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

New Rules Could Temporarily Shut Down Nuclear Power Reactors in Japan

If certain back up safety measures are not in place by specified deadlines under new rules just approved by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), nuclear power reactors in Japan that have resumed operation post the Fukushima Daiichi accident could be forced to temporarily shut down again.  This week the NRA approved new rules that were proposed in April that would allow the NRA to ” suspend operation of units at which construction of bunkered back-up control centers has not been completed by deadlines set for individual plants.” These back up control centers are a requirement of regulations that were introduced in July 2013. In November 2015, the NRA ruled that these control centers must be completed within five years after regulatory approval of each plant’s engineering and construction work program. If a control center is not completed about a week before the deadline, the NRA can order the utility to suspend operation of the reactor. According to the article, nine of Japan’s 39 operable reactors have cleared inspections that confirm they meet the new regulatory safety standards 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

US Energy Secretary Reiterates Support for US Nuclear Energy

At Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention in Philadelphia this week, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry stated that nuclear and coal power must be part of the nation’s “all of the above” energy strategy. However, the Department of Energy does not have the regulatory or statutory ability to create incentives for either the nuclear or coal industries. These incentives must be made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the secretary said. Furthermore, he stated that ” “We’re pretty much at the same place we were 12 months ago,” but the Trump Administration talks very openly about the “all of the above strategy” which includes nuclear when discussing the nation’s energy supply.

Source: Power Magazine

Oregon State Legislators Consider Potential Use of Small Modular Reactors

Oregon has not been allowed to build nuclear reactors in the state for forty years, but now its legislators are considering whether or not to explore the potential use of small modular reactors to help the state meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals. A bill that would increase additional data collection on Oregon’s carbon dioxide emissions includes a provision that directs the state’s energy department to ” study the viability of small modular nuclear reactors to help reach greenhouse gas reduction goals.” The legislation, House Bill 3433, was brought forward in May by Rep. David Brock Smith. The bill is co-sponsored by 26 other Republicans and three Democrats and is now awaiting action from the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. Under Oregon’s existing law, no nuclear facility can be built or financed in Oregon until a permanent place to store nuclear waste is created.

Source: Street Roots News