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Companies will also evaluate opportunities for fuel supply Illustration of an IMSR power plant in the configuration proposed for the Darlington site in Canada. The IMSR has the capacity to generate 390 MW (net) of electric power on a 7-hectare site. Courtesy Terrestrial Energy. Small modular reactor developer Terrestrial Energy and uranium company Cameco have signed a memorandum of understanding to examine potential partnership opportunities to deploy Terrestrial Energy’s integrated molten salt reactor (IMSR) Generation IV nuclear power plants in North America and worldwide, and to evaluate possible opportunities for the supply of uranium, fuel and other services.

The two Canadian companies said in a joint statement that they are investigating the potential of Cameco’s Port Hope uranium conversion facility in southern Ontario for IMSR fuel salt supply.

This MOU, which is non-binding and non-exclusive, follows Terrestrial Energy’s earlier agreements with Cameco to supply uranium products for its fuel testing programmes.

“Nuclear energy is a proven, reliable source of carbon-free power and a critical tool in achieving a net-zero emissions future in North America and worldwide,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s president and chief executive officer. “Cameco plans to be a key fuel supplier for the emerging small modular reactor and advanced reactor market.”

Date: Friday, 15 October 2021
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Berlin is ‘increasing carbon emissions of its energy system by phasing out nuclear energy’ The Brokdorf nuclear station is one of three where reactors are scheduled to shut down at the end of the year. Courtesy Preussenelektra. In “an open letter to all Germans”, 25 leading foreign and domestic writers, journalists and academics have called on the country to keep its nuclear reactors online or risk increasing carbon emissions and missing its 2030 climate target.

In the letter, published by Welt on 13 October, the authors, including the high-profile British environmental columnist George Monbiot and former editor-in-chief at Die Zeit, Theo Sommer, said “Germany is in danger of missing its 2030 climate target, despite all its efforts”.

They said that shutting nuclear power plants would increase carbon emissions and result in Germany missing its 2030 climate target to cut emissions by 65% relative to 1990 levels. “It is very difficult to imagine that the measures adopted since then will completely close this gap,” the letter said.

“You could still achieve your climate target for 2030,” the letter said. “You could still change course and change your priorities so that the coal phaseout happens before the nuclear phaseout. All it needs is a climate emergency ordinance with an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act, which puts the lifetime extensions for the power plants agreed in 2010 back into force for 2030 to 2036.”

Date: Friday, 15 October 2021
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Yves Desbazeille said it is essential that EU policy supports nuclear energy to ensure reduced dependency on imports. Courtesy Foratom. Brussels-based nuclear industry group Foratom said the European commission should have paid closer attention to the role nuclear can play in mitigating the current energy crisis across the bloc in a communication on tackling rising energy prices.

Foratom said that by including European nuclear in its toolkit of measures to tackle rising energy prices, the commission would have a unique opportunity of limiting its dependence on carbon intensive natural gas imports, reducing its exposure to wholesale price fluctuations and its carbon footprint.

“As highlighted in the communication, the current price increases are being driven by higher natural gas prices on the global market”, Foratom director-general Yves Desbazeille said. “Therefore, as the EU moves to increase its share of variable renewables, it is essential that EU policy supports other low-carbon European sources to ensure reduced dependency on imports.”

Date: Thursday, 14 October 2021
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Company says nuclear programme would bring numerous benefits to the Polish economy In England, EDF is building two EPRs at the Hinkley Point C nuclear site. Courtesy EDF. France’s majority state-owned energy company EDF has submitted a preliminary, non-binding offer to the Polish government for the construction of four to six EPR nuclear power plants in Poland at two or three different locations.

“On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, EDF submitted to the Polish government a preliminary, non-binding offer for a contract covering the execution of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works from four to six EPR (European Pressurised Reactors), representing a total installed capacity of 6.6 to 9.9 GW in two to three locations,” the French company said in a statement.

“The initial offering includes all key programme parameters such as plant configuration, industrial schematic, local supply chain development plans, cost estimate and schedule,” the statement added.

EDF said the offer supports the implementation of the objectives of the Polish nuclear energy programme adopted by the Polish government in October 2020. It also aims to define the principles of the Polish-French strategic partnership supporting “an ambitious energy transformation plan consistent with the European goal of carbon neutrality”.

Date: Thursday, 14 October 2021
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President says Europe ‘will never have’ enough renewable energy capacity Mr Macron said France’s nuclear plants are a major asset for producing clean hydrogen. Courtesy Elysée Palace. French president Emmanuel Macron said that by 2030 France must be a leader in carbon-free power production with one small modular reactor in operation and nuclear plants used to produce clean hydrogen through electrolysis.

Mr Macron said Europe will never have enough renewable energy capacity to produce sufficient green hydrogen and that France’s nuclear plants are a major asset for producing green hydrogen.

Mr Macron made the comments as he unveiled a five-year investment plan on Tuesday aimed at fostering industrial champions and innovation.

“We must wage the battle of innovation and industrialisation at the same time,” the French president told a gathering of business leaders and young entrepreneurs, unveiling plans to invest €30bn to “re-industrialise” the country.

Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021
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Country needs about 30 GW of new nuclear and a fleet of SMRs, says NIA head Tom Greatrex: ‘To get to net zero and a decarbonised power supply, in the UK we need four times the amount of clean power that we currently have.’ Courtesy NIA. The energy crisis in the UK has led to renewed calls for more reactors. NucNet asked Tom Greatrex, head of the London-based Nuclear Industry Association, about the role nuclear can play in a market hit by rising prices and facing the imminent shutdown of ageing plants.

Lower supply, higher demand, and poor wind performance led to record increases in power spot pricesThe UK nuclear reactor fleet will almost entirely shut down by 2030, curbing low-carbon generation capacityThere has been a positive shift in opinions of the role nuclear can play At at least 10 GW of new nuclear needed by mid-2030s in the UK, and possibly an additional 20 GW to meet net-zero in 2050

NucNet: The Nuclear Industry Association has been warning policymakers about the risks of energy supply based largely on renewables and natural gas. Power prices in Europe have increased to unsustainably high levels in recent months, sparking an energy crisis in many countries, especially the UK. Perhaps you can tell us why this has happened?

Date: Tuesday, 12 October 2021
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Plants can also be used to power regional settlements and off-grid mining operations Small modular reactors like Nuscale’s could be used to power regional settlements and off-grid mining operations. Courtesy NuScale. Small modular reactors could be Australia’s lowest cost 24/7 zero emission power source, underpinning reliable and secure electricity supplies and replacing generation at coal and gas plants that are scheduled to retire, according to a report by the Minerals Council of Australia.

The report considers three of the most advanced SMR designs undergoing regulatory approval – NuScale’s Power Module, GE-Hitachi’s BWRX-300 and Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor – and their potential use in Australia.

It says large nuclear reactors could potentially be accommodated near several of Australia’s larger electricity demand centres, but it is clear that SMRs could replace retiring coal and gas capacity.

With 12,000 MW of coal and gas scheduled to retire between 2030-2040, flexible base, zero-carbon generating units in the form of SMRs make a strong case for direct replacement, and also offer the potential benefit for placement at the weaker ends of the electrical grid, to improve overall balance and system stability.

Date: Friday, 08 October 2021
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The Hunterston B nuclear station in England, where two units are scheduled to shut down in 2022. Courtesy EDF Energy. Worldwide nuclear generation increases by 15% until 2050, but in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regions it decreases by almost one-third, half of which occurs in OECD Europe, according to projections by the US Energy Information Administration.

In its International Energy Outlook 2021, the EIA says as coal-fired and nuclear generation decreases by almost one-third relative to 2020 levels, and natural gas-fired generation stays relatively flat, the share of renewables in the OECD Europe region increases from much less than half of the generation mix in 2020 to almost three-quarters by 2050.

This increase occurs as the use of non-renewable energy resources shifts from being the primary source of electricity toward serving as reliability support for the rising amounts of renewable energy.

Date: Friday, 08 October 2021
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Company says it is also considering new sites for construction of further units ‘from scratch’ The existing Khmelnitski nuclear power station site in Ukraine. Courtesy Energoatom. Ukraine is planning to build a pilot Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power unit at the Khmelnitski nuclear power station site followed by four more units at other existing sites, with one unit per site, according to Petro Kotin, head of national nuclear generating company Energoatom.

Mr Kotin told NucNet that Energoatom is also considering new sites for the construction of further units “from scratch”.

“Application of the US АР1000 technology will give Energoatom an opportunity in the long term to ensure reliable performance of nuclear generation and its innovation while maintaining the highest safety level and caring for the environment,” he said.

Mr Kotin confirmed that Westinghouse is “ready to supply” components and equipment manufactured for the abandoned Summer AP1000 nuclear project in the US state of South Carolina for the Khmelnitski pilot plant. South Carolina companies Scana (now a part of Dominion Energy) and Santee Cooper spent some $10bn on the project to build two AP1000 plants before halting construction in 2017 after Westinghouse, the lead contractor, declared bankruptcy. Following the abandonment of the proposed new nuclear units, Westinghouse was acquired by Brookfield Business Partners.

Date: Wednesday, 06 October 2021
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