The Bangkok Post reports Indonesia plans to build a 30 MW nuclear power plant. Work on the plant will start later this year in Serpong, Banten in the western part of Java Island. The plant is to be built by the National Nuclear Energy Agency, or BATAN, and used to generate power for the surrounding areas. The plant is not very large, being about 30 times smaller than a typical 1 GW reactor. In the past there has been considerable opposition to building nuclear reactors in a country prone to large earthquakes.
South Korea has lowered its need for nuclear power to 29% of the country’s total power supply by 2035, from a planned 41% by 2030. The Star says the Asian country has 23 nuclear reactors, which supply about a third of its electricity. The country’s reliance on nuclear power stood at 26% at the end of 2012.
arab news notes that Pakistan plans to build 6 nuclear power facilities. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the country’s Atomic Energy Commission has identified six sites where civil nuclear power plants could be built. The goal is for Pakistan would produce 40 GW of power from nuclear plants till 2050. The government hopes nuclear will ultimately provide a relatively low-cost solution to the continuous power cuts — known euphemistically as “load-shedding” — that hinder daily life in Pakistan. Work will soon begin on a 2.2 GW plant to be built with Chinese technical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 km (25 miles) west of Karachi. Pakistan already has three operational nuclear plants generating a total of around 740 MW of electric power.
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission engineers will work on the project with help from the China Atomic Energy Authority.
As Pakistan is not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it is excluded from the international trade in nuclear materials and technology, and can rely only on its neighbor China for help.
See also, Eurasia Review, In Defence Of Nuclear Energy In Pakistan
The Deccan Chronicle tells us one of India’s most important energy projects, the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), it is expected to go critical in September 2014. When the PFBR goes critical, India will have become a world leader in an area of advanced nuclear technology – fast breeder reactors. As the article explains, India has embarked on a three stage program to eventually run its reactors on thorium, an input fuel in which the country has one-third of world reserves. The post also goes through the history of the past 40 years in which international pressure, led by the US, was put on India to prevent it from building nuclear reactors. Those pressures did not relax until after a deal between India and the US in 2008.
Reuters reports Germany’s second largest electric utility RWE is preparing to sue the country for millions of euros in damages after a federal court confirmed that a state’s decision to shut down the company’s Biblis nuclear plant for three months in 2011 was illegal. RWE intends to take action against the German state of Hesse, which ordered the closure of Germany’s oldest nuclear plant as a precaution following the March 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima reactors. Industry analysts have estimated that RWE suffered about 187 million euros ($255 million) in damages as a consequence of the forced shut-down. Biblis has remained idled since 2011.
The Fukushima disaster also triggered Germany’s decision to exit nuclear power by 2022, forcing Germany’s top utilities – E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall – to book billions of euros of writedowns and cut thousands of jobs. E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall have filed constitutional complaints with Germany’s highest court against this decision, claiming billions of euros in compensation. A decision could come as soon as this year, the court has said.
REneweconomy looks at the nuclear debate now going on in France over the proposal to cut the country’s reliance on nuclear energy from 70% of all electricity production to 50% by 2025.
Cold fusion continues to progress stealthily into the mainstream we learn from Wired. Cold fusion, otherwise known as Low Energy Nuclear Reactions or LENR, is getting a lot of buzz these days and not just because of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat. The post introduces us to other work going on including the Cyclone Engine and Brillouin’s cold fusion technology which may have commercial potential. Meanwhile the US Department of Energy has officially indicated it will be funding LENR projects.
There has also been a small but potentially significant shift by US officialdom. Steven Krivit of New Energy Times noted a change in the small print of a document issued by the US Department of Energy. The DoE provides funding for innovative energy projects via their Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E). The latest funding opportunity announcement included a new addition in the list of technologies which the DoE is interested in: alongside solar, photochemical reactors and radioisotope thermoelectrics and many more, Low Energy Nuclear Reactions made the cut.
This represents the first US government recognition that the technology might be valuable. While there has been previous work on LENR as a sideline by scientists in NASA and elsewhere, there has been little sign of official funding. That may be set to change now the technology seems to have made the list of approved concepts.