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Construction of the Beishan Underground Research Laboratory has begun near Jiuquan City in China's Gansu province, the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) has announced. The laboratory - which will be situated in granite up to 560 metres below ground level in the Gobi desert - will be used to test the suitability of the area for the long-term storage of the high-level radioactive waste.

Date: Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/China-starts-building-underground-lab

In its latest Energy Policy Review of Spain released on 26 May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says Spain has made considerable progress towards its goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, but future gains need to be supported by stable policies, adequate public financing and incentives for private investment.

Date: Friday, 28 May 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiea-report-on-spain-says-nuclear-phase-out-bears-watching-8773076

In a review of Spain's energy policy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says the country should consider the usefulness of nuclear energy, including for non-electricity applications, for diversifying technical options to achieve long-term carbon neutrality by 2050. Under Spain's current policy, operation of its fleet of seven nuclear power reactors will be phased out by 2035. The country aims to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

Date: Friday, 28 May 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-could-help-Spain-reach-net-zero-goal-says

Country’s reactor fleet has been ‘excellent’ and shutdowns could hit security of supply The Vandellos nuclear plant in Spain is due for closure in February 2035. Courtesy Foro Nuclear. Spain should not rule out nuclear energy as an option beyond 2050 with reactor technology having “great potential” to contribute to decarbonisation through high-temperature heat supply and hydrogen production, a report by the International Energy Agency says.

The report warns that “given the great challenge” for achieving carbon neutrality in 2050, the high level of nuclear technology infrastructure and skilled professionals in Spain could be used for developing and implementing long-term energy strategies including using nuclear to contribute to the decarbonisation of the electricity system and hard-to-abate sectors such as manufacturing and transport

Spain has decided to phase out its fleet of seven commercial nuclear reactors by 2035, but the report warns this might not be straightforward.

It says the government needs to closely monitor the financial situation of its “excellent” reactor fleet to prevent any unforeseen or sudden final shutdowns that could significantly deteriorate the security of electricity supply.

The phaseout of low-carbon nuclear, along with a planned phaseout of coal plants, means natural gas combined-cycle plants will be crucial to balancing out a power system that is heavily dependent on variable renewables once coal and nuclear have left the market.

Date: Thursday, 27 May 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/iea-says-madrid-should-not-rule-out-long-term-use-of-nuclear-technology-5-3-2021

Ringhals AB and Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB each issued an Urgent Market Message (UUM) to the Nord Pool power exchange yesterday morning about the potential risk of Ringhals units 3 and 4 and Forsmark units 1, 2 and 3 being unable to restart following scheduled outages - in 2024 (F2), 2025 (R3-4, F3), and 2028 (F1) - because of a lack of storage space for used nuclear fuel.

Date: Friday, 07 May 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Swedish-utilities-urge-decision-on-final-disposal

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) said on 30 March that its Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS) has joined forces with Moltex Energy in a project aimed at recycling used fuel from Candu reactors. CCNS will provide CAD1 million ($795,000) in funding to assist Moltex in demonstrating the technical viability of a new process to recycle used Candu fuel.

Date: Friday, 02 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsopg-and-moltex-launch-project-to-recycle-candu-fuel-8644674

Pickering is one of three nuclear power stations owned by OPG. The company has a total of 18 Candu reactors. Ontario Power Generation’s Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS) has joined forces with Moltex Energy on a project aimed at recycling used fuel from Candu reactors.

CCNS will provide CAD1m (€680,000) in funding to help Canada-based Moltex demonstrate the technical viability of a new process to recycle used Candu fuel.

When removed from an operating reactor, used Candu fuel still contains energy in the form of fissionable uranium and plutonium isotopes, which cannot be used without removing fission products. Moltex’s process would recover these energy resources and prepare them for use as new fuel in other advanced reactor designs, potentially reducing the volume of the material requiring long-term storage in a deep geological repository.

Date: Thursday, 01 April 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/opg-and-moltex-launch-project-to-recycle-used-fuel-from-candu-reactors-3-3-2021

Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organisation’s (NWMO) has published a new five-year strategic plan, “Implementing Adaptive Phased Management 2021 to 2025” (APM) setting the stage for moving beyond planning and site selection for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. “The next five years will see the NWMO move from an organisation that is planning to build a repository to one that is implementing that plan, as we anticipate selecting a single, preferred site for Canada’s plan in 2023.” NWMO invites Canadians and Indigenous peoples to fill out an online survey to “help shape our plans as they continue to progress”. Survey responses will be accepted until 11 June.

Date: Tuesday, 30 March 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newscanadas-nwmo-publishes-plan-to-progress-geological-repository-8633324

Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organisation is on schedule to choose a single, preferred site for a deep geologic spent nuclear fuel repository in 2023, despite schedules being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NWMO said in a new five-year plan that detailed site characterisation is on track to begin as planned in 2024 with a construction licence submitted to the regulator in 2029. The licence could be granted in 2032 with design and construction beginning in 2033. Operation of the facility is estimated to begin from 2040-2045.

The NWMO has been engaged in a process to identify a site that will safely contain and isolate Canada’s used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository.

Date: Tuesday, 30 March 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nwmo-on-schedule-to-choose-repository-site-in-2023-3-1-2021

A list of 67 potential sites for a radioactive waste storage facility has been published by Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin), the Italian state-owned company responsible for dismantling the country's nuclear power plants. The publication of the list on 5 January, announced in five national newspapers, started a period of public consultation.

Date: Saturday, 30 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Italy-begins-search-for-national-radwaste-storage