Global Energy News Roundup: August 30

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

Japanese Utilities and Companies Explore Partnership on BWRs

Japanese utilities Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) and Chubu Electric Power Company have signed an agreement with Hitachi and Toshiba to discuss a potential collaboration on boiling water reactors (BWRs). In a joint statement the firms said “The four companies have so far exchanged opinions and information on topics such as improving nuclear power operation and maintenance, and bolstering manufacturing and engineering capabilities, with the aim of improving safety and economic viability, and enhancing their business structures…The basic agreement was signed, as a result of these exchanges of opinions, etc., based on a consensus with regard to a general direction for advancing discussions for cooperation between the four companies, with the aim of creating sustainable business operations for safe and economical operation of the BWR business, and constructing and operating nuclear power plants.” Other targeted areas for collaboration between the firms include building a sustainable business framework for maintaining and developing human resources, technologies and supply chains. Future discussions between the entities will also include how to consolidate technologies and expertise, centralizing research and technology for designing safe new reactors, and the effective use of assets and human resources.

Source: World Nuclear News

California Assemblyman Works to Designate Nuclear Power as Renewable Energy Source

California Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham introduced a California constitutional amendment that would allow nuclear power to qualify as a renewable energy source under the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard. Assemblyman Cunningham stated that it would create fairness in the renewable energy market. A press release from the office of the assemblyman said that California’s climate change laws currently do not allow all types of carbon emission-free sources of power to be counted towards emission goals. It went on to state that “Instead, state law effectively picks and chooses winners and losers in the renewable energy marketplace. It does so by excluding certain types of emission-free power sources, like nuclear and large-scale hydro projects, from its Renewables Portfolio Standard.” More of the statement can be found here.

Source: KSBY News

TEPCO Considers Shutting Down Reactors at Japan’s Largest Nuclear Power Site

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has said that it may start to decommission at least one nuclear reactor at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant. The plant is the world’s biggest nuclear plant by capacity. TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa made the comments about decommissioning in a statement that outlined its response to a request for plans on the plant’s future by the government of the city of Kashiwazaki, located in the Niigata prefecture. TEPCO received approval from the Japanese government in 2017 to restart the No. 6 and 7 reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. The nuclear power plant has seven reactors with a total capacity equal to 20% of Japan’s nuclear capacity. In 2017, the mayor of Kashiwazaki Masahiro Sakurai demanded that TEPCO submit plans to shut at least one of the No. 1 – No. 5 reactors in return for approval to restart reactors No. 6 and No. 7. Mayor Sakurai will now take about a month to evaluate TEPCO’s plan. In a statement, TEPCO said it “may take steps to decommission more than one of the No. 1 to No. 5 reactors within 5 years after the restart of the No.6 and No.7 reactors if its is confident it can secure enough non-fossil fuel energy sources.”

Source: Reuters