Global Energy News Roundup: October 10


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 Hears Recommendations on How to Revive U.S. Uranium Mining Industry

This week Trump is scheduled to hear recommendations from a task force of national security, military and other federal officials of how to revive the U.S. uranium mining industry. The industry has been struggling to compete with international companies and low uranium ore prices. Only about 10% of uranium used for U.S. power plants, submarines, and nuclear arsenal is supplied from domestic sources, according to the Energy Information Administration. The rest comes from Canada, Australia and Russia and former Soviet republics. This summer, President Trump rejected a quota request from U.S. mining companies that would have required uranium users to receive 25% of what they use from domestic suppliers. Instead, the president gave the task force 90 days to come up with other proposals.

Those who propose using more domestic uranium include the Nuclear Energy Institute whose spokesman stated that “There are reactors out there that are financially in difficulty…We would like to see a thriving domestic uranium industry … We don’t want something that will raise the costs of domestic reactors.” Those who oppose using more domestic uranium, such as conservation groups, have said that the U.S. already has enough uranium stockpiled to support the country’s defense needs. They claim that U.S. uranium producers want “the federal government to prop up their industry through enormous subsidies and self-serving quotas” and that “it’s not a national security issue.”

Source: ABC News

GE-Hitachi Works To Construct SMR in Estonia

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has signed an agreement with an Estonia-based firm, Fermi Energia OU, that could lead to the construction of GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor design. Specifically, the agreement allows to the two companies to examine the economic feasibility of constructing a BWRX-300 in Estonia. The companies will also review siting requirements and assess nuclear regulatory requirements of building the small modular reactor. A spokesman for GE Hitachi said that most of the engineering work for the reactor has taken place at GE Hitachi headquarters in Wilmington and that “this work will continue here as we commercialize this technology.”

Source: Wilmington Biz

NuScale Looks to Provide Power for the Industrial and Transportation Sectors

A spokesman for NuScale power stated at the International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power that nuclear power can play a major role in reducing carbon emissions not just with the electricity supply but also the industrial and transportation sectors. The conference is being held this week at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s headquarters in Vienna. NuScale has been conducting studies into the use of SMRs for flexible power operations, hydrogen production, process heat and power for oil refineries, and water desalination. The spokesman, Jose Reyes, NuScale’s Chief Technology Office stated that “In order to have flexible facilities, you need to have a flexible control room and small modular reactors allow you to have multiple applications in one plant, which would be much more difficult to achieve with a large reactor…Six operators can very safely and efficiently control all 12 reactors, but we’ve also built in automation for flexible operation.” Reyes also said that as the use of renewable energy increases, the need for systems that balance and stabilize carbon-free power will become increasingly important. For more information, please see here.

Source: World Nuclear News