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US company signs MOUs with 10 companies on potential deployment of AP1000 nuclear plants Westinghouse's AP1000 technology is being used at the Vogtle nuclear project in the US state of Georgia. Courtesy Georgia Power. US nuclear company Westinghouse, which last week signed key agreements related to Poland’s ambitious nuclear new build programme, said it must use the next 18 months to work with Polish companies interested in participating in the supply chain and assess their production capabilities.

Westinghouse vice-president for new plant projects Joel Eacker told Energetyka24 that the planned date of 2033 for commissioning the first plant “still seems distant”, but “actions must be started now”.

He said the foundations for the first plant would need to be poured in 2028 and the main equipment purchased 40 months before that – potentially in 2024 or 2025.

“Therefore, we must use the next two years, or rather, 18 months, to work with Polish companies interested in participating in the supply chain and assess their production capabilities,” Mr Eacker said. “We need to see what their potential is in terms of meeting quality and technical requirements. And I would like to emphasise that we have met a lot of good suppliers.

Date: Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/westinghouse-gears-up-to-work-with-polish-companies-on-ambitious-new-build-project-1-2-2022

Plants will be based on Moscow’s RITM-200N reactor technology Rosatom recently announced plans to build a land-based RITM-200N SMR in isolated Ust-Kuyga town in Yakutia. Courtesy Rosatom. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom and Kyrgyzstan’s ministry of energy and industry have signed a memorandum of cooperation that could lead to the construction of small modular reactors in the central Asian republic.

Rosatom said the two countries want to cooperate to build an SMR nuclear power plant based on Russia’s RITM-200N reactor technology in Kyrgyzstan. The 55-MW RITM-200N is in service powering Russia’s icebreakers.

In December 2020 Rosatom announced plans to build a land-based RITM-200N SMR in isolated Ust-Kuyga town in Yakutia. The reactor will replace coal and oil-based electricity and heat generation at half the price, Rosatom said. The company is aiming to begin construction in 2024 and commission the unit by 2028.

Date: Tuesday, 25 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/russia-signs-agreement-to-help-develop-smrs-1-1-2022

Advisory body says it ‘would have preferred more time’ to carry out review Existing and new nuclear power plants should not be considered as “taxonomy aligned” on the basis that they do not ensure the principle of “do no significant harm” is met, the European commission’s Platform on Sustainable Finance has concluded.

The Platform, an expert group established to help the commission in developing its sustainable finance policies, was asked by the commission on 31 December to provide feedback on the draft complementary delegated act that proposes nuclear energy be included in the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy.

In a report released on Monday the Platform said existing nuclear and new nuclear do not ensure no significant harm to the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, the transition to a circular economy, pollution prevention and control, or the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

It said, however, that there was only a short time available for review and it would have preferred more time. It said it is willing to support the European commission to develop an approach that could support investments for transitioning energy supply without weakening the taxonomy.

Date: Tuesday, 25 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/expert-group-says-nuclear-energy-is-not-taxonomy-aligned-1-1-2022

Small reactors can supply reliable power in island countries, says Rosatom The Bataan nuclear power station, north of Manila, has never operated and has been mothballed. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom and the Philippines Department of Energy have agreed on an action plan to explore the potential of deploying small modular reactors supplied by Russia in the southeast Asian nation.

Rosatom said the action plan involves a pre-feasibility study and follows a memorandum of intent signed between Moscow and Manila in 2019.

“SMR technologies offer an effective solution for the supply of stable, reliable and environmentally friendly power in island countries,” said Evgeny Pakermanov, president of Rusatom Overseas.

The Philippines is an archipelago nation of more than 7,000 islands, many without reliable access to electricity. Nuclear energy is seen by proponents as a potential answer to the Philippines’ twin problems of precarious supply and Southeast Asia’s highest electricity costs.

Date: Saturday, 22 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/asian-nation-to-collaborate-with-russia-on-smr-feasibility-study-1-5-2022

Third reactor will follow in late 2022, says Enec CEO Unit 2 at the Barakah nuclear station is scheduled for commercial operation in the coming months. Courtesy Enec. The second unit of the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power station is set to begin commercial operation in coming months, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) chief executive officer Mohammed al-Hammadi said on Wednesday.

Mr al-Hammadi told a sustainable finance conference in Abu Dhabi that the third unit of the station’s planned four reactors, all supplied by South Korea, will start operations in late 2022.

Enec said in November 2021 that construction of Unit 3 had been completed and the 1,345 MW APR-1400 unit handed over for operational readiness activities.

In April 2021, Unit 1 became the first commercial reactor in the Arab world to begin full operation. Unit 2 was connected to the grid in September and is now undergoing testing while power levels are increased.

Date: Friday, 21 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/unit-2-on-schedule-to-begin-commercial-operation-in-coming-months-1-4-2022

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said the core catcher body has been installed at Tianwan-7 in China. Courtesy Rosatom. The core catcher body has been installed for the Tianwan-7 nuclear power plant under construction in Jiangsu province, east China, Russian state-nuclear corporation Rosatom said

The core catcher – also known as a core melt localisation device or core trap – is designed to catch the molten core material, or corium, from a nuclear reactor in the event of a nuclear meltdown and to prevent it from escaping the containment. It is part of the passive safety system.

Installation of the core catcher will allow further works on the reactor building pit.

Date: Friday, 21 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/core-catcher-installation-underway-at-tianwan-7-says-rosatom-1-4-2022

Contamination management in these habitats is crucial, says Fukushima study The scientists examined data gathered since the 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi. Courtesy IAEA. Further studies are needed to accelerate a full understanding of the way radioactive contaminants behave in forest-stream ecosystems so that measures can be developed to reduce future contamination in the event of an incident at a nuclear power plant, Japanese scientists have concluded.

Finding ways to avoid the spread of radioactive contaminants like radiocaesium to areas of human activity that lie downstream from forest streams is crucial, said the scientists, who sifted through the data gathered since the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in March 2011.

In the aftermath of Fukushima, the Japanese government performed intensive decontamination in the human-occupied parts of the affected area by removing soil surface layers.

But a major affected region consists of dense, uninhabited forests, where such decontamination strategies are not feasible. Finding ways to avoid the spread of radioactive contaminants like radiocesium to areas of human activity that lie downstream of these contaminated forests is crucial, said the scientists, from Japan’s National Institute of Environmental Studies.

Date: Friday, 21 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/scientists-call-for-more-studies-on-radioactive-contaminants-in-forest-stream-ecosystems-1-4-2022

Security of supply in question as government considers keeping reactors online for longer Belgium has seven commercial nuclear power plants – four at Doel (pictured) and three at Tihange. Courtesy Framatome/Engie. Belgium’s nuclear regulator has given its provisional approval to extend the life of two of the country’s seven nuclear power reactors and urged the government to make a final decision on the issue in the first quarter of 2022.

The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (Fanc) said in a report for the government that updates would be needed to the Doel-4 and Tihange-3 nuclear plants if their operation is to be extended and that the government should order the start of planning for this by the end of January.

Any extension to the plants’ operating lifetimes should be for at least 10 years to “be able to develop a comprehensive action plan to improve nuclear safety”, Fanc said. It should also be confirmed that human resources are available to organise the extension of two reactors simultaneously with the dismantling of the other five, as well as the management and storage of radioactive waste.

Fanc added that the analysis was requested by the government just before Christmas. If a report due in March by grid operator Elia shows that security of energy supply after 2025 is threatened without nuclear, the government wants to consider keeping Doel-4 and Tihange-3 in operation longer.

Date: Thursday, 20 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/regulator-gives-provisional-approval-for-extension-of-two-nuclear-plants-1-2-2022

Utility Fortum considering options for future of two-unit station Loviisa has two Russian 507-MW VVER reactor units. Courtesy Fortum. An environmental impact assessment (EIA) that assesses the impact of continuing the operation of Finland’s Loviisa nuclear power station by up to 20 years, or alternatively, decommissioning the plant when the current operating licences expire, meets legal requirements, the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment announced.

The two options for the future of Loviisa, which has two Russian 507-MW VVER reactor units, had no environmental impacts that could not be “accepted, prevented or mitigated to an acceptable level”, the ministry said. It said the most significant effect of the nuclear power station during normal operation is the thermal load of cooling water in the nearby sea.

The ministry added that any environmental assessment of the Loviisa plants must take into account the facility’s importance for meeting Finland’s energy needs and its economic role, which the ministry said were both significant nationally.

Date: Thursday, 20 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/loviisa-nuclear-plant-eia-meets-requirements-says-ministry-1-3-2022

Governing board launches initiative for ‘worldwide performance improvement’ Ingemar Engkvist: ‘We are not drivers of expanding the nuclear industry, but we are there to help.’ The World Association of Nuclear Operators is moving to an operating model that it says will address specific gaps to excellence as the nuclear power sector looks to push ahead with new projects and become an important tool in addressing climate change.

The association’s chief executive officer, Ingemar Engkvist, said in an interview with NucNet that changes at the non-profit safety organisation, whose members include nuclear plant owners and operators around the world, arise from a 2019 meeting of the governing board where members decided to launch an initiative for “worldwide performance improvement”.

The reason for the changes is a growing understanding among WANO members that better performance will help shape the future and make nuclear a key element of the global move towards net zero.

Date: Thursday, 20 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/ceo-outlines-vision-as-association-moves-to-address-specific-gaps-in-excellence-1-3-2022