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The ETRR-2 research reactor in Egypt. Photo courtesy Rosatom. Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP) and the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority have signed a 10-year contract for Russia to supply low-enriched uranium (LEU) for the ETRR-2 research reactor.

Russia’s Tvel nuclear fuel company, of which NCCP is a subsidiary, said the contract is a logical follow-up to a number of contracts for the shipment of fuel components to Egypt in recent years.

The Argentinian-designed multipurpose ETRR-2, Egypt’s only reactor, uses uranium fuel with an enrichment of 19.75%. The reactor is used for research in particle physics, materials engineering, and the production of stable isotopes.

Tvel, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said it considers Egypt an important and promising market. The company already has a contract for nuclear fuel supplies to the future El Dabaa nuclear station in the north of the African country. The contract covers supplies to all four power units of El Dabaa during the facility’s entire operational lifetime.

Date: Tuesday, 07 April 2020
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Updated plan says work at Unit 1 to begin in 2028 and Unit 2 in 2026 File photo of earlier spent fuel removal at Fukushima-Daiichi. The removal of spent fuel from the spent fuel pool at Unit 3 of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan should be completed by the end of March 2021, according to an updated decommissioning action plan.

According to the plan, which covers decommissioning work to be carried out by 2031, the removal of spent fuel at Unit 1 is scheduled to begin in fiscal 2028 and at Unit 2 in fiscal 2026.

The removal of the fuel debris is expected to begin sometime in fiscal 2021, beginning with Unit 2.

In January the government set a new goal of finishing the removal of the 4,741 spent fuel rods across all six of the station’s reactors by fiscal 2031, about five years later than originally planned.

Date: Saturday, 04 April 2020
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The Beloyarsk-3 nuclear power plant in Russia, which will now operate until at least 2025. Photo courtesy Rostom. Russia’s nuclear regulator Rostekhnadzor has granted a licence for the Beloyarsk-3 nuclear power plant in Sverdlovsk Oblast, central Russia, to operate until 2025.

Since 2009 the BN-600 fast breeder reactor unit, which began commercial operation in 1981, has been undergoing a large-scale modernisation programme, including the addition of several additional safety features such as a second reactor emergency protection unit, an emergency air heat exchanger system and a backup control panel. The steam generator modules were also replaced, Rosatom said.

In 2010, Rostekhnadzor conditionally approved the unit’s operation until 2025, but issued a licence only until 2020 after asking for more information about the long-term operability of some irreplaceable reactor components.

Date: Friday, 03 April 2020
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Storage tanks at the site are expected to be full around the summer of 2022 Two options being considered for controlled disposal of large amounts of treated water stored at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan are both technically feasible, the International Atomic Energy Agency has said.

In a review published on 2 April the Vienna-based agency said the two proposals – vapour release and discharges to the sea – were outlined by a Japanese advisory subcommittee in February. They are routinely used by operating nuclear power plants worldwide under specific regulatory authorisations based on safety and environmental impact assessments.

IAEA experts said the subcommittee’s recommendations to the Japanese government were based on a comprehensive and scientifically sound analysis addressing the necessary technical, non-technical and safety aspects. It said a decision on which method will be used should be taken “urgently”.

Date: Friday, 03 April 2020
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A computer-generated image of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear station. A planning decision for two UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactors at the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station on the island of Anglesey in north Wales will be made in September 2020, almost a year later than expected, the UK government has confirmed.

The project was suspended in January 2019 after Hitachi failed to reach a funding deal with the UK government under Theresa May.

But in a move towards restarting the project, the government was expected to grant vital planning permission - known as a development consent order - to construct the two units, the cost of which has been put at £12bn.

In October 2019 the business secretary at the time, Andrea Leadsom, deferred a planning decision, saying she wanted more information on environmental and other impacts.

Date: Friday, 03 April 2020
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Generation III plant has seen a number of delays and cost overruns The Flamanville-3 nuclear unit in northern France. Photo courtesy EDF. A decree published by the government in France’s Official Journal on 27 March has postponed the deadline for the startup of the Flamanville-3 EPR nuclear power plant to 2024, 12 years later than the original target date.

An initial decree of 10 April 2007 set a 10-year deadline and a second, published in March 2017, extended the construction period to 13 years, or the spring of 2020.

Construction of a single Generation III 1,600-MW EPR began in 2007 at the site of an existing nuclear station at Flamanville in Normandy. Initial completion was scheduled for 2012, but the project encountered a series of delays and related cost overruns.

According to the latest reports, fuel loading at the plant is now expected to happen by the end of 2022.

Date: Thursday, 02 April 2020
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The nuclear power industry’s research and development programme to handle waste from Sweden’s nuclear power plants meets legal requirements, regulator SSM has told the government.

The main point of the latest programme is the presentation of plans for development of a final repository for long-lived radioactive waste.

The planned repository at Forsmark is intended to accommodate about 12,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel. SKB has said it hopes to start construction “in the early 2020s”.

SSM said Swedish Nuclear Fuel Management AB (SKB) and the reactor owners had met requirements set by the government for the R&D programme.

Date: Thursday, 02 April 2020
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The Belarusian nuclear power station. Photo courtesy Rosatom. The Belarusian-2 nuclear power plant under construction near the border with Lithuania has been connected to the power supply, a step which will allow the full commissioning process to begin.

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom said the power supply is for the plant’s own needs and connection is being carried out in stages.

Rosatom said a properly planned programme of step-by-step voltage supply to various plant will make it possible to ensure the unit is ready for key commissioning stages scheduled for the end of this year.

Russia is constructing and commissioning two VVER-1200 pressurised water reactors at the site and expects the first unit to be connected to the grid this year.

Date: Thursday, 02 April 2020
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The Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania. Photo courtesy EBRD. The Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania has announced a €73m tender to choose a contractor for the construction of a repository for solid radioactive waste.

According to press reports in Lithuania, citing information on the government’s central procurement portal, the competition was announced on 28 March and proposals will be accepted until 30 June.

INPP, the company operating the station, will use the repository for waste generated by the decommissioning of Ignalina’s two Soviet-era RBMK units, which were shut down permanently in line with requirements for Lithuania’s membership of the EU.

Ignalina-1 was shut down in December 2004 and Ignalina-2 in December 2009.

Date: Wednesday, 01 April 2020
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Palo Verde is largest power station in country by annual generation Palo Verde is the largest power station in the US by annual generation. Nuclear power plants play an important role in US electricity generation, consistently providing about 20% of total annual generation, the Energy Information Administration said. Of the 30 US states with operating commercial nuclear power plants, 12 states generated more than 30% of their electricity from nuclear power.

Three states generated more than 50% of their in-state electricity from nuclear power in 2019. New Hampshire had the largest share of in-state generation from nuclear power at 61%, followed by South Carolina with 56%. Illinois, which has the most nuclear reactors (11) and the most nuclear generating capacity (11.6 GW) among states, generated 54% of its in-state generation from nuclear power in 2019.

The Grand Gulf-1 boiling water plant in Port Gibson, Mississippi, is the largest single nuclear reactor in the US, with a capacity of more than 1,400 MW.

Date: Wednesday, 01 April 2020
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