Global Energy News Roundup: July 12

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 Energy Necessary for UK to Achieve Climate Goals

National Grid, which owns and operates the electricity network in England and Wales, published a report stating that in order to achieve the UK’s new legally binding target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the electricity system would need to operate using only zero-carbon generation and the power sector would need to deliver negative emissions.  The report highlights scenarios that illustrate the pathways to reach net-zero carbon emissions and found that more nuclear would be needed to achieve this goal. The report is based on input from over 600 experts and specifically maps out “credible pathways and scenarios for the future of energy” for the next 30 years and beyond.

Source: World Nuclear News

Purdue University Creates First American Reactor to Use Only Digital Controls

Purdue University’s Reactor Number One (PUR-1) is now the first American reactor that uses only digital instruments and controls. This could mark a turning point for nuclear energy in the United States as nuclear power plants currently in the US all rely on analog controls to operate. As the fleet becomes older, these analog parts become more expensive to replace. Purdue’s reactor, which has a new license to operate digitally, could pave the way for other older reactors to follow suit. An engineer from Purdue stated that “there are no scenarios which would put the Purdue facility in an unsafe state,” even if there is a hacking or equipment failure. For more information on the PUR-1 reactor, please see here.

Source: Business Insider

U.S. Seeks to Expand Current Nuclear Reactors Lifespans to 80 Years

At an International Energy Agency conference on nuclear and hydrogen in Paris this week, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette stated that both technologies are critical for reducing carbon emissions and boosting energy security. The Deputy Secretary spoke of his department’s plans to extend the life spans of existing nuclear reactors and support new technologies. The DOE is currently working to extend the licenses for the existing nuclear fleet to 80 years.

Source: The Washington Post