Global Energy News Roundup: January 3

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

Changes Made to Fukushima Decommissioning Plan

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced on December 27th a fifth revision to the decommissioning road-map of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This revision includes a statement saying that trial fuel debris retrieval would begin at unit 2 during 2021. It also noted that “partial submersion” method would be used using a specially-developed robot arm with “side access” into the reactor vessel. “The scale of the retrieval will be gradually enlarged.” The scheduled fuel assemblies removal from the storage pools at units 1 and 2 has been changed due to “a change in methods to suppress the dust dispersion.” Additionally, fuel removal at unit 1 has been postponed by four to five years and one to three years at unit 2. During 2031, all fuel assemblies from units 1-6 are expected to be completed. For more information, please see here.

Source: World Nuclear News

NRC Extends License for Florida Nuclear Power Plant to 80 Years

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Wednesday “authorized a subsequent license renewal” for two units of Florida’s Turkey Point Nuclear Generating facility. This is the first time a reactor’s lifespan has been extended from 60 to 80 years in the United States. Units 3 and 4 of the nuclear facility are now licensed to run until July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053 respectively.

Source: Utility Dive

Russia Connects Floating Nuclear Power Plant to Grid

Russia’s floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonsov was connected to the grid in late December 2019. It is now generating electricity for the first time in the remote Chaun-Bilibino network in Russia’s far east city of Pevek. The plant will be connected to Pevek’s heat networks sometime next year. Akademik Lomonsov is a “working prototype” for a planned nuclear power plant fleet of small modular reactors (SMRs) that can be deployed to Russia’s harder to reach areas.

World Nuclear Association Director General Agneta Rising stated that “it is fantastic to see this innovative new floating nuclear power plant begin operating just in time for the winter celebrations. It will provide much needed clean electricity and heat to this remote arctic community.” She went on to say: “There are around 50 advanced nuclear technologies under development at the moment with many countries pursuing novel designs and seeking to use nuclear technology for new and exciting applications. This may be the world’s first SMR, but many more will soon follow. These smaller reactors are well-suited for supplying electricity to hard to reach regions as well as serving smaller grids and industrial centres. We are at the dawn of a new era in nuclear technology.”

Source: World Nuclear News