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Firm running five test programmes in US and Europe Framatome deployed the world’s first full ATF assembly at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear station in the US state of Maryland. French nuclear company Framatome is running five test programmes for accident-tolerant fuel in the US and Europe and is confident that it will “only be a few years” before it is producing full reload quantities, Ala Alzaben, senior vice-president for the firm’s North America fuel business unit and commercial and customer centre told NucNet.

Last year, during a scheduled spring refuelling outage, Framatome deployed the world’s first full ATF assembly at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear station in the US state of Maryland.

This followed the launching in 2012 of the US Department of Energy ATF initiative in response to the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan. The DOE set three main objectives: to develop a fuel to allow nuclear operators additional coping time during accidents; to launch and deploy lead test assemblies by 2022; and to make sure improvements do not impact the operational performance of the fuel.

Mr Alzaben said Framatome had met the DOE’s schedule and has deployed lead test assemblies in five reactors, four in the US and one in Europe.

Date: Tuesday, 26 April 2022
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EDF Energy is leading a Long-Term Operation (LTO) programme aimed at extending the operating lifespan of Sizewell B - the UK's only pressurised water reactor and newest nuclear power plant - by at least 20 years to 2055.

Date: Friday, 08 April 2022
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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded USD36 million for 11 projects seeking to increase the use of nuclear power as a reliable source of clean energy and to limit the amount of radioactive waste produced from advanced reactors.

Date: Saturday, 12 March 2022
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US-based companies Bechtel Corporation and Westinghouse Electric have signed a memorandum of understanding with GE Steam Power to examine the possible options for cooperation in providing equipment for Poland’s nuclear power programme, Bechtel said.

In July 2021, Bechtel and Westinghouse agreed to provide Poland’s Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ), the company charged with managing the country's first nuclear power project, with a front-end engineering and design study for the deployment of two nuclear power stations, each consisting of three nuclear reactors.

GE Steam Power is the steam turbine manufacturing wing of US-based General Electric (GE). The company said its nuclear steam turbines are installed in half of the world’s reactor fleets.

Date: Friday, 25 February 2022
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During a visit to Belfort on 10 February to mark the takeover of General Electric's nuclear activities by EDF, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a plan to build six EPR reactors with an option for eight more. 

Date: Tuesday, 15 February 2022
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Deal announced as president Macron unveiled ambitious plans for new nuclear France’s EDF has signed an agreement with US-based General Electric (GE) to acquire parts of subsidiary GE Steam Power’s activities related to nuclear steam turbine technology, a joint statement said.

The acquisition will create a global steam turbine equipment and services provider within the EDF group, the statement said.

Under the deal, EDF is seeking to acquire GE Steam Power’s conventional island equipment for new nuclear plants and part of the services business for existing plants.

The deal means EDF would have exclusivity in the purchase of part of GE’s nuclear activity known as “Steam Power”, which includes existing Arabelle steam turbine technology and also technology for future nuclear plants including the next generation of European Pressurised Water Reactors – the EPR2 – and small modular reactors.

Date: Saturday, 12 February 2022
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First EPR2 plant could be online by 2035 and existing plants could have lifetimes extended Mr Macron made the announcement about new nuclear reactors during a speech on energy policy at Belfort. France’s president Emmanuel Macron has announced plans to relaunch the country’s commercial nuclear programme with the construction of at least six new nuclear power reactors – and the possibility of eight more for a total of 14 – if he is reelected in elections in two months.

Mr Macron said the new plants would be built and operated by state-controlled energy company EDF and that tens of billions of euros in public financing would be mobilised to finance the projects and safeguard EDF’s finances.

“What our country needs, and the conditions are there, is the rebirth of France’s nuclear industry,” Mr Macron said, unveiling his new nuclear strategy in the eastern industrial town of Belfort.

He also announced he wanted to extend the lifespan of older nuclear plants to 50 years or more from 40 years currently, provided it was safe.

Date: Friday, 11 February 2022
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In a wide-ranging interview with EnergoBusiness magazine on 10 January, to mark 25 years since the establishment of Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom, the director of Energoatom, Petr Kotin, said that this winter Ukraine will have all 15 of its nuclear units in operation for the first time since the 1980s.

Date: Thursday, 20 January 2022
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New venture is focused on GEH’s BWRX-300 reactor technology PKN Orlen and Synthos Green Energy have signed an agreement establishing a joint venture that aims to commercialise microreactor and small modular reactor technologies in Poland, in particular GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH) BWRX-300.

PKN Orlen, a state-controlled fuels and energy company, said in a statement that the new venture will be called Orlen Synthos Green Energy. Synthos is a chemicals company and part of the largest private industrial group in Poland.

GEH and Synthos announced in October 2019 an agreement to collaborate on potential deployment applications for the BWRX-300 SMR in Poland. 

Synthos has said it is interested in nuclear power for obtaining affordable, on-demand, carbon-free electricity.

The agreement covers a number of areas of reactor development and deployment, including financing, site selection and the production of energy and heat for the companies’ own needs and for municipal and commercial customers.

Date: Wednesday, 08 December 2021
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Nuclear technologies have a vital contribution to make in achieving net-zero but nuclear companies are working at the same time to address their own greenhouse gas emissions. Panellists at a World Nuclear Association Strategic eForum, Committing to Net Zero, this week discussed corporate emissions pledges and what nuclear technologies can offer as COP26 draws near.

Date: Saturday, 30 October 2021
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