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‘No technical arguments’ for shutting down nuclear plants after 40 years Unit 2 at the Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium is scheduled for permanent shutdown this week. Courtesy Electrabel. Belgium should repeal its 2003 nuclear exit law as it looks for ways to deal with the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting gas and electricity price increases, the Brussels-based Belgian Nuclear Forum said.

The underlying argument of the 2003 law is that a nuclear plant is obsolete after 40 years and should be decommissioned, the forum said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth: there are no technical arguments for definitively shutting down a nuclear power plant after 40 years of operation, but only political arguments,” it added.

The forum issued the statement as owner and operater Engie Electrabel prepares to permanently shut down the Tinhange-2 nuclear power plant on 31 January. The 1,008-MW pressurised water reactor unt began commercial operation on 1 June 1983 and has been online for 40 years.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the last couple of decades have witnessed increased interest in the extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants. Extending the life of a plant is more economical than building a new one, and where it makes business sense. The agency says about 90% of US plants have already renewed their licences to extend their operation to 60 years, with additional extensions for a total of 80 years being considered. In Europe, plants are regularly seeking lifetimes of 60 years.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/as-tihange-2-approaches-closure-industry-group-calls-for-repeal-of-2003-nuclear-exit-law-1-1-2023

Companies have ‘concrete plans’ for rapid expansion The new JV plans to begin manufacturing Triso particles and FCM fuel in late 2025. Courtesy USNC. France-based nuclear company Framatome and US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear have signed a non-binding agreement to form a joint venture to bring commercially viable, fourth-generation nuclear fuel to market for USNC’s micro-modular reactor (MMR) and other advanced nuclear power plant designs.

The joint venture expects to begin manufacturing Triso particles and fully ceramic microencapsulated (FCM) fuel in late 2025.

The two companies said they had developed “concrete plans” to support rapid expansion to meet demand growth for advanced nuclear fuel in the US and global markets.

The partnership follows the opening of USNC’s pilot fuel manufacturing facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in August, the first and only privately funded facility in the US to manufacture Triso particles.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/framatome-usnc-joint-venture-aims-to-begin-manufacturing-in-2025-1-1-2023

Decision on reactor supplier expected by end of year Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. A decision on the choice of technology supplier for the country’s first nuclear plant is expected this year. Courtesy Ninaras/Wikimedia France’s state nuclear power company EDF is ready to support Kazakhstan as the central Asian country prepares for the construction of its first commercial nuclear power station, but faces competition from other reactor suppliers including Russia.

Vakisasai Ramany, senior vice-president for development of new nuclear projects and engineering at EDF, said he had met Kazakhstan’s energy minister Bolat Akchulakov and energy vice-minister Zhandos Nurmaganbetov to discuss “the perspectives of the cooperation in the civil nuclear domain between Kazakhstan and France, for the development of their nuclear power plant programme.

“EDF is strongly committed to bringing its state-of-the-art EPR1200 technology, its competences, skills and dedication to support [project company] Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants for the construction and safe operation of its future nuclear power plants in the spirit of a long-term partnership,” Ramany wrote on social media.

EDF’s Generation III+ EPR1200 technology is a smaller version of the large-scale EPR1650-MW nuclear plant. EDF is also proposing the EPR1200 for new build in other countries such as Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Kazakhstan’s energy ministry said EDF is one of four potential suppliers of nuclear technology now being considered by Kazakhstan, alongside China National Nuclear Corporation, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and Rosatom of Russia.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/france-ready-to-compete-for-new-build-project-with-epr1200-reactor-technology-1-1-2023

The UK government should urgently launch a fully-funded Great British Nuclear (GBN) programme to tackle the country's energy crisis, according to an open letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak from a trade union, nuclear industry representatives and a group of politicians.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Call-for-prompt-launch-of-Great-British-Nuclear

An International Atomic Energy Agency team of experts has concluded a five-day Site and External Events Design (SEED) mission to Uzbekistan, which plans to build its first nuclear power plant in the southeast of the country.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-completes-siting-review-for-Uzbekistan

The first commercial contract for a grid-scale small modular reactor (SMR) in North America sees Ontario Power Generation (OPG), GE Hitachi (GEH), SNC-Lavalin and Aecon team up in an innovative integrated project delivery model to develop, engineer and construct a BWRX-300 at OPG's Darlington New Nuclear Project.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Alliance-signs-Canadian-SMR-contract

Crimea’s Ministry of Construction & Architecture has postponed dismantling of an unfinished NPP in the city of Shchelkino until the end of 2023. It was previously scheduled to be dismantled in 2022.

Date: Saturday, 28 January 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsrussia-postpones-dismantling-of-unfinished-crimean-npp-10547928

Scientists at the US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) are investigating tungsten heavy alloys as possible materials for use in advanced nuclear fusion reactors. Before fusion energy can be used as a power source, it will be necessary to develop advanced nuclear fusion reactors that can withstand the high temperatures and irradiation conditions that result from fusion reactions.

Date: Saturday, 28 January 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsmetal-alloys-to-support-to-nuclear-fusion-energy-10547958

Graphitech, a joint venture established in 2020 by French companies EDF and Veolia, has signed a contract with Lithuania’s State Enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) for reactor dismantling services. Under the four-year contract Graphitech will provide engineering solutions for the dismantling of the two Soviet-era RBMK reactors at INPP.

Date: Saturday, 28 January 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfrench-joint-venture-contracted-to-support-dismantling-of-ignalina-npp-10548075

US-based Oklo has submitted a Licensing Project Plan (LPP) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), outlining its plans for the future licensing of a first-of-a-kind fuel recycling facility. In early 2022, Oklo and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) signed an agreement to formalise their commitment to commercialising advanced fuel recycling technology.

Date: Saturday, 28 January 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsoklo-seeks-licence-for-fuel-recycling-facility-10548091