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Billionaire philanthropist says need for clean energy is ‘dire’ and reactors fit the bill Bill Gates: ‘I hope people will be open-minded’. Courtesy Bill Gates/Facebook. Nuclear energy will “absolutely” be politically palatable but needs to overcome a baneful reputation garnered by association with the atomic bomb and radioactive accidents, billionaire philanthropist and climate change evangelist Bill Gates told CNBC.

Gates said it is “a necessary, worthy and surmountable challenge to correct the naysayers”.

He said the need for clean energy is dire and the operation of nuclear power plants produces no greenhouse gas emissions. Innovations in nuclear technology are making nuclear energy safer and more affordable, and countries around the world are starting to adopt nuclear power, Gates said.

“Nuclear is actually safer than any other source of [power] generation,” Gates said. “You know, coal plants, coal particulate, natural gas pipelines blowing up. The deaths per unit of power on these other approaches are far higher.”

“There’s a new generation [of nuclear power] that solves the economics, which has been the big, big problem,” he said, referring to the fact that the power plants are very expensive to build. “At the same time, it revolutionises the safety.”

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/we-need-to-correct-the-naysayers-on-nuclear-2-5-2021

Once a poster child for environmentalism, Sweden has now embarked on a retroactive and harmful journey, write Sama Bilbao y Léon, director general, and John Lindberg, public affairs manager, at World Nuclear Association. The following is a translation from Swedish of their article Sverige bör ompröva sin kärnkraftspolitik published by Dagens Industri on 18 February.

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Sweden-must-reconsider-its-nuclear-polic

Jennifer Granholm has been sworn as the 16th US secretary of energy. The former governor of Michigan said the US Department of Energy has the solutions to tackle the climate emergency and the tools to put America on an "irreversible path" to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Granholm-becomes-US-Energy-Secretary

Electrochemical Plant (ECP), a subsidiary of Rosatom's nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL, recorded a 14% increase in revenue from the sale of stable isotopes in 2020, exceeding RUB1.5 billion (USD20.1 million) for the first time. The Zelenogorsk, Krasnoyarsk-based company's global market share of the stable isotope market remains over 40%, TVEL said.

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Rosatom-revenue-from-stable-isotopes-rises-by-14

A revised mixed oxide (MOX) fuel utilisation plan, based on the latest operational plan for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant, has been released by Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC). While only four Japanese reactors have so far been restarted using MOX fuel, FEPC envisages at least 12 units running on the fuel by FY2030. FEPC represents the 11 power companies, comprising nine utilities (excluding Okinawa Electric Power), Japan Atomic Power Company and the Electric Power Development Company (J-Power).

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Japanese-utilities-revise-MOX-utilisation-plan

Unit 2 of the Leningrad II nuclear power plant in western Russia has entered the final stage of pilot operation - a 15-day programme of tests at nominal capacity. On successful completion of these tests, the VVER-1200 unit will be stopped for inspection of its equipment and, following regulatory approval, will then be put into industrial operation, which is scheduled for this spring.

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Leningrad-II-2-enters-final-testing-phase

The first full refuelling of Russia’s BN-800 fast reactor at unit 4 of the Beloyarsk NPP with only uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (mox) fuel was completed during the recent scheduled maintenance outage, fuel company TVEL (part of Rosatom) announced on 24 February. The unit, which was shut down on 8 January, has been reconnected to the grid and has resumed electricity production. The first 18 serial mox fuel assemblies were loaded into the reactor in January 2020, and another 160 fuel assemblies have now been added to them. Thus, the BN-800 core is now one-third filled with innovative fuel and in future only mox fuel will be loaded into the reactor.

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsrussias-bn-800-refuelled-with-mox-full-mox-core-planned-for-2022-8547796

Canada’s Bruce Power said on 24 February that it was celebrating a successful first year of its Major Component Replacement (MCR) project which began in January 2020 with the start of its unit 6 refurbishment. Bruce Power said it had been a challenging year in face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbruce-power-marks-successful-first-year-of-mcr-8547811

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNCC) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) on 23 February signed contracts for the conversion and enrichment of natural uranium (the Natural Uranium Conversion and Enrichment Processing Service Contract) and for fuel supply (the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Plant Refuelling Fuel Assembly Supply Contract). CNNC said the signing of the contracts will "further strengthen the in-depth cooperation between the two parties in medium and long-term nuclear fuel supply, and effectively promote exchanges and cooperation between the two parties in related fields". CNNC added that the development had "far-reaching significance for promoting the sustained and stable development of China's nuclear fuel industry and consolidating the independent nuclear industry chain".

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newscnnc-and-cgn-sign-fuel-contracts-and-pledge-greater-co-operation-8547818

Scientists from the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University (CIIRC CVUT) and the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (FZU AV CR) have obtained an American patent for a method of protecting the surface of fuel rods from corrosion, which will extend the life of fuel rods under both emergency and standard conditions. The method was patented in the Czech Republic in 2015 and was granted a European patent in April 2020.

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsczech-researchers-receive-us-patent-for-anti-corrosion-of-fuel-rods-8547822