Global Energy News Roundup: November 1

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


Study Shows How Shutdowns of Japan’s Nuclear Plants Post Fukushima Accident Did More Harm than Good

A study released by Matthew Neidell, Shinsuke Uchida, and Marcella Veronesi illustrates how closing all of the nuclear power plants in Japan after the accident at Fukushima Daichii led to a significant increase in electricity prices and public mortality. The heightened electricity prices led to reduced energy consumption and increased mortality during the cold months. The burning of fossil fuels also led to more upper respiratory effects. When these two mortality rates are combined, it outnumbers the mortality from the tsunami and earthquake combined leading to the conclusion that closing all the nuclear power plants was a bad idea. Additionally, closing all of the reactors at once caused energy imports into Japan to rise to 85% of its energy requirements, increasing the use of coal, oil and gas dramatically and creating much worst health effects. Columbia University’s Professor David Weinstein stated that “if Japan had decided to keep all [unaffected] nuclear reactors open in 2012 and had met its energy needs by proportionally reducing coal, oil, LNG and other energy sources, I estimate that this policy would have saved 9,493 lives based on the air pollution of that year alone.” For more information, please see here.

Source: Forbes

Saudi Arabia in Talks with 5 Companies to Build First Nuclear Reactors

Saudi Arabia is currently in talks with 5 companies that are hoping to build the country’s first nuclear power reactors. The companies are US-based Westinghouse, France’s EDF, Russia’s Roatom, South Korea’s KEPCO, and China National Nuclear Corp. The companies were named in a presentation shown on Wednesday at the Future Investment Initiative conference occurring in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. According to the presentation, the country is pursuing a nuclear energy development program in order to free up oil burned to produce power for export. The country will be the second Persian Gulf state to build nuclear plants after the UAE, which is currently building 4 nuclear reactors. KEPCO won the $20 billion contract to build the UAE reactors.

Source: S&P Global

Report Illustrates How Nuclear Energy in Asia is Helping to Meet Growing Demand for Electricity and Tackle Air Pollution

The World Nuclear Association has published a report showing how nuclear energy in Asia is meeting the growing demand for electricity while helping to tackle air pollution and climate change. The report, titled World Nuclear Performance Report 2019 Asia Edition illustrates that last year nuclear generation in the region increased by 12%, effectively avoiding the emission of over 500 million tons of CO2 that would have been produced by coal-fired plants. The report was launched at the Singapore International Energy Week and provides information on nuclear energy developments in Asia and also an overview of the performance of nuclear reactors worldwide. The report showed that global nuclear generation totaled 2563 TWh last year, up 61 TWh on 2017, and that the capacity of the world’s 449 operable reactors has risen by 4 GWe to 397 GWe. Agneta Rising, director general of World Nuclear Association, stated that “Nuclear energy is key to Asia meeting the twin challenges of a growing demand for electricity, and an urgent need to switch to less polluting, low-carbon generation sources…More and more organisations are recognizing that nuclear energy is vital to the goal of a sustainable future for people and the planet.”

Source: World Nuclear News