Global Energy News Roundup: August 16

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

DOE Establishes New National Reactor Innovation Center

The US Department of Energy announced this week that it is launching a National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC). The goal of the center is to assist with the development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by using the capabilities of the DOE’s national laboratory system. The NRIC is authorized by the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act which was signed into law in 2018. Energy Secretary Rick Perry stated that the “NRIC will enable the demonstration and deployment of advanced reactors that will define the future of nuclear energy…by bringing industry together with our national labs and university partners, we can enhance our energy independence and position the US as a global leader in advanced nuclear innovation.” Please see here for the National Reactor Innovation Center Fact Sheet.

Source: US Department of Energy

US Adds Chinese Nuclear Power Company to “Entity List”

On Tuesday the US Department of Commerce stated that it will add China General Nuclear Power (CGN) to the country’s “entity list” which ultimately means that American companies will be prohibited from selling products to the nuclear power company.  The Department of Commerce stated that the Chinese company diverts US technology to military use and this action will cut off CGN’s access to that technology. CGN and three of its affiliates were added to the list. CGN is China’s biggest company in the industry and this move could restrict its nuclear expansion plans.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Canadian and American Regulators Collaborate on SMR Regulation

Regulators from the United States and Canada have signed a “first-of-a-kind” Memorandum of Understanding (MoC) that will have the two countries collaborate on the technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor (SMR) technologies. The MoC was signed on August 15 by Canadian Nuclear Safety (CNS) Commission President Rumina Velshi and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Christine Svinicki. Rumina Velshi stated that “Globally, interest and advances in small modular and advanced reactors are growing rapidly…The CNSC and the US NRC are working together as regulatory leaders to ensure the development and deployment of these innovative technologies are done safely and efficiently. The signing of this memorandum further strengthens our long-standing history of collaboration with our US counterparts and ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of our regulatory oversight for the future.”

Christine Svinicki stated that the MoC “further shapes our commitment to open and transformative thinking” and enhanced the partners’ willingness to work together on matters of advanced nuclear power safety developments while increasing regulatory effectiveness. “Advanced technologies are emerging at a rapid pace, demanding that regulators keep in step with modernization initiatives and the technologies of the future.”

Source: World Nuclear News