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Global electricity demand is set to decline 2% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) first ever Electricity Market Report, which was published today. Nuclear power generation is set to fall by about 4% this year, it says. Global electricity demand is forecast to grow by around 3% next year.

Date: Tuesday, 15 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IEA-charts-COVID-s-impact-on-electricity-market

The case for nuclear as a proven source of clean, reliable and sustainable electricity supply should be clear to all, but the business case for nuclear is also becoming better understood, World Nuclear Association Director General Sama Bilbao y León told delegates at the New Nuclear Capital 2020 virtual conference yesterday. The following is an abridged version of her presentation.

Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-The-business-case-for-nuclear-energy

The commercial deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) will bring new supply chain opportunities as well as challenges, panellists at an event to launch a World Nuclear Association report said this week. The World Nuclear Supply Chain: Outlook 2040 analyses the economic value of the nuclear power industry and provides a market-oriented review of the opportunities and challenges for nuclear power plants and their supply chain over the next two decades.

Date: Saturday, 26 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Panellists-address-SMR-supply-chain-challenges

The Wall Street Journal has claimed that Saudi Arabia has constructed a facility – with assistance from China – to extract uranium yellowcake from uranium ore, citing western officials with knowledge of the matter.

The US newspaper reported that the processing facility, which has not been publicly disclosed, is in Saudi Arabia’s northwest region and is raising concerns from US officials. It said the main concern is that as the kingdom moves ahead with developing a commercial nuclear programme, it is keeping the door open for the creation of nuclear weapons.

Press reports said the Saudi energy ministry has “categorically denied” that it has built a uranium ore facility in the area described by the western officials. However, the reports quoted Saudi officials as saying that the extraction of uranium is a key component of the kingdom's economic diversification strategy, which looks to move away from its dependence on oil exports.

The energy ministry confirmed Saudi Arabia has a contract with China on uranium exploration in certain areas.

Date: Thursday, 06 August 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/saudi-arabia-press-report-claims-kingdom-has-built-uranium-processing-facility-8-3-2020

A ceremony was held yesterday within the ITER Assembly Hall to mark the official start of the assembly of the tokamak fusion device of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) at Cadarache in south-eastern France. Assembly of the tokamak is expected to take five years to complete.

Date: Thursday, 30 July 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Assembly-of-ITER-tokamak-officially-under-way

Plan is to generate first ultra-hot plasma at €20bn facility in 2025 The €20bn project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale. Photo courtesy Iter. The world’s largest nuclear fusion project began its five-year assembly phase on Tuesday in southern France, with the first ultra-hot plasma expected to be generated in late 2025.

The €20bn Iter (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale.

The steel and concrete superstructures nestled in the hills of southern France will house a 23,000-tonne machine, known as a tokamak, capable of creating what is essentially an earthbound star.

Millions of components will be used to assemble the giant reactor, which will weigh 23,000 tonnes and the project is the most complex engineering endeavour in history. Almost 3,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, some heavier than a jumbo jet, will be connected by 200km of superconducting cables, all kept at -269C by the world’s largest cryogenic plant.

Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/world-s-largest-nuclear-fusion-project-under-assembly-in-france-7-2-2020

The main challenges facing the nuclear industry are not in the production and delivery of electricity, but in securing the policy support required for it to expand its contribution of sustainable and low-carbon energy. This was the message of Philippe Costes, senior advisor at World Nuclear Assocation, to delegates at the Nuclear Power Plants Expo & Summit in Istanbul this week.

Date: Friday, 06 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-Policy-support-for-nuclear-in-the-global-en

The impetus for new build is being spurred by a need to reduce reliance on polluting coal China has 10 nuclear units under construction including two Generation III Hualong One plants at Fangchenggang. China, with its state nuclear companies backed by a government hungry for development, is the most active nation for building new nuclear power plants. That trend that is likely to continue, although confirming lucrative export deals for its reactor technology still runs far behind the pace set by Russia, which says it had 39 reactors under construction or planned overseas as of 2018.

This compares to only two reactors under construction overseas by China, both in Pakistan, although in the UK China has a stake in EDF’s Hinkley Point C project and plans for Chinese technology at Bradwell B. At Sizewell C in Suffolk EDF wants to build a clone of Hinkley Point C if it can attract enough private investment. CGN holds a 20% share.

The government has said it wants to build 30 reactors overseas by 2030. China and Russia both see Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity, as something of a golden fleece and are pursuing nuclear agreements, which lay the groundwork for new-build, in a number of African nations. Small modular reactors and floating reactors could be an option for isolated areas. China has already said it is close to starting work on its first floating unit, but reliable details are few and far between.

The impetus for nuclear power in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants. To meet its climate goal as stipulated in the Paris agreement, China will need to reduce its coal power capacity by 40% over the next decade, according to Global Energy Monitor’s analysis. At present, this seems unrealistic. In addition to roughly 1,000 GW of existing coal capacity, China has 121 GW of coal plants under construction, which is more than is being built in the rest of the world combined.

Date: Friday, 24 January 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/china-keen-to-match-pace-set-by-russia-in-overseas-construction-1-4-2020

US energy secretary Rick Perry. US energy secretary Rick Perry confirmed that talks are continuing with Riyadh about supporting Saudi Arabia’s planned civilian nuclear programme.

Mr Perry told an energy forum that Saudi Arabia wants to sign a ‘123 agreement’ with the US.

A 123 agreement sets out rules governing US nuclear cooperation with other nations.

Under the terms of a 123 agreement, Riyadh must sign an accord with Washington committing to the peaceful use of nuclear technology before US companies can compete for its nuclear energy projects in Saudi Arabia.

Date: Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Original article: nucnet.org/news/talks-continuing-with-us-about-new-nuclear-says-perry-11-2-2019