atw 2019-05

viktor.frank

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 5 ı May Energy consumption worldwide grew by 2.3% in 2018, nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world. The biggest gains came from natural gas, which emerged as the fuel of choice last year, accounting for nearly 45% of the increase in total energy demand. Demand for all fuels rose, with fossil fuels meeting nearly 70% of the growth for the second year running. The Global Energy And CO 2 Status Report is online: https://bit.ly/2GS2NWV | | www.iea.org FORATOM highlights need for investment in all low-carbon technologies to meet climate challenges (foratom) The world is facing a major challenge – in order to prevent irreversible climate change, global warming needs to be kept below 1.5 degrees. For Europe, this means a full decarbonisation of its economy. And this, in turn, requires adequate financing and investment in ALL low-carbon technologies. The EIB Energy Lending Policy consultation came to a close on 29 March 2019. In FORATOM’s opinion it is important to ensure coherence across EU legislation and for policy to be in line with the objective of achieving a carbon-free Europe by 2050. At the same time, such policy must ensure that pp Europe has access to the energy it needs when it needs it. pp New environmental problems are not created. pp It supports jobs and growth in Europe. To achieve this, EU legislation must support ALL low carbon technologies, rather than cherry-picking one technology over another. Basing decisions on political acceptance rather than objective criteria will make it much harder for Europe to achieve its goals, with the risk of a lock-in effect if it were to rest too much on CO 2 -emitting technologies. Last week, the European Parliament adopted its text on the European Commission’s proposal for a sustainable finance taxonomy[1]. Unfortunately, MEPs have failed to take an objective approach on what “sustainable” actually means, assuming that only technologies which are renewables-based should be eligible for such finance. In this respect, the text adopted goes against: The European Commission’s “A Clean Planet for All” strategic vision which recognises that, nuclear, together with renewables, will form the backbone of a carbon-free power sector in 2050. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (Global Warming of 1.5°C, 8 October 2018) according to which nuclear power is essential if the world is to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees. Also, in its current form, the adopted text raises two problems: pp The exclusion of future potential low-carbon breakthrough technologies which are not renewablesbased – thereby preventing them from ever coming to market. pp The risk of creating new environmental problems. Whilst renewables such as wind and solar are low carbon, they require significant volumes of raw materials, critical raw materials and rare earths. They also come with a significant land footprint, which can lead to the loss of biodiversity. | | www.foratom.org JET future secure (euro-fusion) The future of EUROfusion flagship and the world’s largest operational fusion research facility, the Joint European Tours, JET, is now secure. The European Commission and the UK have signed a contract extension that will secure at least €100m from the EU over the next two years. This means that JET operations are guaranteed until the end of 2020 regardless of the Brexit outcome. EUROfusion Programme Manager Tony Donné said, “A heavy weight has been lifted off our shoulders. This is extraordinarily good news for EUROfusion and the European fusion community as a whole. We can now continue to work on the realisation of fusion energy together with the indispensable experience of our British partner.” Indeed the news brings reassurance to the more than 500 staff who work at the JET site. And as important is the fact that JET can continue to provide invaluable experimental results and nurture scientific expertise before ITER begins operations in 2025. JET is currently the only tokamak capable of operation with Deuterium-Tritium, the fusion fuel of the future. And with its ITER-like wall, and other diagnostics, the EUROfusion flagship serves as a test bed for future ITER operations. | | www.euro-fusion.org World US and India reaffirm commitment to build six nuclear plants (nei) The US and India have signed an agreement confirming their commitment to cooperate on the civilian use of nuclear energy including a proposed construction of six US-supplied nuclear power plants in the Asian country, a statement by the US Department of State said. The statement said that India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale and US undersecretary of state Andrea Thompson signed the agreement in Washington yesterday, but gave no further details about the nuclear power plant project. Former US president Barack Obama and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announced in 2016 that engineering and design work would begin for Westinghouse to build six AP1000s in India in a deal that was expected to be signed by June 2017. The agreement was the result of a decade of diplomatic efforts as part of a US-India civil nuclear agreement signed in 2008. In April 2018, US energy secretary Rick Perry said that reactor manufacturer Westinghouse Electric Company is “ready to get to work” on its projects to build nuclear reactors in India. Westinghouse declared bankruptcy in 2017 because of cost overruns and was sold by Japan’s Toshiba Corporation to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management in August 2018. | | www.usa.gov Russia signs agreement to build four new reactors in China (rosatom) Russia has signed an agreement to build four new nuclear power units in China, with two at the Xudabao site in Liaoning Province, northeast China, and two at the Tianwan nuclear power station in Jiangsu province in the east of the country. State nuclear corporation Rosatom said in a statement that a contract for the technical design for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Xudabao had been signed in Beijing on 7 March. Rosatom also said a general contract had been signed for the construction of Units 7 and 8 at Tianwan. There are four Russia-procured VVER-1000 nuclear units in commercial operation at Tianwan and two domestically developed CNP-1000 289 NEWS News

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