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Big Gun is the UK’s largest two-stage hyper velocity gas gun. Courtesy First Light Fusion. UK science minister Amanda Solloway has officially fired the first “shot” in First Light Fusion’s maiden fusion campaign using its newly completed “Big Gun”.

Big Gun is the UK’s largest two-stage hyper velocity gas gun. It launches projectiles at 6.5 kms per second, 20x the speed of sound

A maiden 21-shot fusion campaign will be part of Oxford-based First Light’s effort to demonstrate fusion using what it says is a unique approach to inertial confinement fusion, which aims to create the extreme temperatures and pressures required for fusion by compressing the fuel inside a target using a projectile travelling at massive speed.

First Light said its approach, which is safe, clean, and virtually limitless, has the potential to transform the world’s energy system. Unlike existing nuclear, there is no long-lived waste, no meltdown risk, and raw materials can be found in abundance. Unlike many other fusion approaches, First Light’s power plant can be realised with existing technology and materials.

Date: Saturday, 19 June 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/uk-company-first-shot-with-hyper-velocity-gas-gun-6-5-2021

The Olkiluoto nuclear power station in Finland. Courtesy TVO. Annual outages were completed at the Olkiluoto nuclear power station in Finland at 05:52 local time on 18 June when the Olkiluoto-2 plant unit was reconnected to the national grid, owner and operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj said.

The outage for Unit 1 consisted of refuelling and a number of tasks which were postponed from last year’s annual outage because of the Covid-19 epidemic. The work included replacement of the main transformer and a pressure test of the reactor primary circuit. The refuelling outage started on 25 April and ended on 11 May.

Date: Saturday, 19 June 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/annual-outages-complete-at-olkiluoto-nuclear-station-6-5-2021

Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) - a subsidiary of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) - is providing "critical support" to both prime contractors in the first phase of the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) programme to develop a nuclear thermal propulsion system (NTP) for cislunar operations. USNC-Tech is the only company participating in both tracks of the programme.

Date: Saturday, 19 June 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/USNC-subsidiary-supporting-cislunar-rocket-contrac

The current approaches to assessing financial adequacy for decommissioning and radioactive waste management - which are based on the linear discounting of estimated future costs - should be complemented with a broader "circular" approach, a new OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) report proposes. This approach, it says, reflects that changes of different kinds will play out between today's decisions and future funding needs.

Date: Saturday, 19 June 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/NEA-proposes-new-approach-for-assessing-back-end-f

TerraPower hopes to apply for a construction permit in August 2023 and an operating licence in March 2026 for its Natrium fast reactor, according to a regulatory engagement plan (REP) it has sent to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Date: Saturday, 19 June 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/TerraPower-eyes-Natrium-construction-permit-in-202

Rosatom’s Fuel Company TVEL said on 15 June that the day after construction began of the BREST-OD-300 fast breeder reactor at the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in Seversk, 900 cubic metres of concrete had been laid in the base of the reactor foundation slab. Continuous control of concrete surface quality, its density, volume and temperature is being carried out by SCC specialists and technologists of the general construction contractor, Titan-2.

Date: Friday, 18 June 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsprogress-reported-at-construction-site-of-russias-brest-reactor-8827601

US-based Centrus Energy Corp announced on 14 June that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had approved the Company’s licence amendment request to produce High-Assay, Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) at the Piketon, Ohio, enrichment facility. The Piketon plant is now the only US facility licensed to enrich uranium up to 20% Uranium-235 (U-235) and expects to begin demonstrating HALEU production early next year. “This approval is a major milestone in our contract with the Department of Energy,” said Centrus President and CEO Daniel B Poneman.

Date: Friday, 18 June 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-nrc-approves-licence-amendment-for-centrus-to-produce-haleu-8827607

The Dalton Nuclear Institute at the UK’s University of Manchester on 15 July released a position paper: “Nuclear energy for net zero: a strategy for action”, which identifies the actions required to assess the role of nuclear in the UK's net-zero future. The paper’s authors include Francis Livens, director; Gregg Butler, head of strategic assessment; William Bodel, research associate in nuclear systems choice; and Juan Matthews, visiting professor in nuclear energy technology.

Date: Friday, 18 June 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsuk-dalton-institute-releases-practical-paper-on-nuclears-role-in-achieving-net-zero-8827627

China's Ministry of Ecology & Environment (MEE) said on 16 June that there had been no leak at the Taishan NPP in Guangdong Province and rejected allegations by CNN that the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) had raised the permitted radiation levels near the plant. NNSA had reviewed specifications for noble gases used in the reactor coolant at Taishan, but this had "nothing to do with the detection of any radiation outside the nuclear plant”, MEE said.

Date: Friday, 18 June 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newschina-reports-minor-fuel-rod-damage-but-no-leak-at-taishan-npp-8827632

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland has completed acceptance testing of Russian-made niobium-tin superconductors manufactured under the framework of the Future Circular Collider (FCC) CERN Conductor Development Programme, Rosatom’s Fuel Company TVEL said on 16 June. The design of the superconducting strands and the technology for their manufacture were developed at the AA Bochvar Institute of Inorganic Materials (VNIINM) in Moscow, while the 50km long qualification batch of strands was manufactured at the Chepetsky Mechanical Plant (CMP) in Glazov, Udmurt Republic (both part of TVEL). The work was completed as part of the agreement between TVEL and CERN, and was based on successful test results.

Date: Friday, 18 June 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newstvel-supplies-superconductors-to-cern-8827652