Global Energy News Roundup: December 23

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

Democratic Presidential Candidate Warren Eases Her View on Nuclear Plants

In a shift from her previous view on nuclear power, democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) stated in last week’s debate that she would keep existing nuclear plants online to combat climate change. Senator Warren stated “We have to stop putting more carbon in the air. That means we need to keep some of our nuclear in place.” She did say at the debate that she would not “build more nuclear” plants. In September the Senator said that she opposed both the building of new nuclear plants and would also work to phase out existing power plants from the US energy mix. Specifically she stated at a CNN climate town hall “In my administration, we won’t be building new nuclear plants…We will start weaning ourselves off nuclear and replace it with renewables.” Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) remains the democratic candidate most opposed to nuclear energy and so far has maintained his stance that all nuclear plants in the US must be closed.

Source: Washington Examiner

2020 Fiscal Budget Deal Increases Funding for Advanced Nuclear Power

In the 2020 fiscal budget deal released on December 16, clean energy, advanced nuclear power, and fossil fuel research would receive an increase in funding. Specifically, nuclear energy research and development would receive a $167 million increase to $1.49 billion total. Additionally, the 2020 fiscal energy and water spending would also include $230 million to start an advance nuclear reactor demonstration program. $160 million of this funding would go towards building two advanced reactors. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development said in a statement that the “two advanced reactors would be built over the next five to seven years.”

Source: Bloomberg Law

Bulgaria Shortlists Companies to Build New Nuclear Power Plant

According to the Washington Post, Bulgaria has “shortlisted” General Electric and four other international companies as candidates to build a new nuclear power plant in the country. Bulgaria’s energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova recently stated that Russia’s Rosatom, China’s CNNC, and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. will also be invited to file offers to build the project, expected to cost $11 billion, by the end of April. General Electric is working with France’s Framatome on their application to both finance and supply equipment for the 2,000-megawatt plant planned to be located near the Bulgarian town of Belene on the Danube River. According to the article, Bulgaria will not provide state guarantees or offer to buy electricity from the plant. Confidential agreements are due to be signed with the companies next month.

Source: Washington Post