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Cosmin Ghită, CEO of Romanian utility Nuclearelectrica, says a final investment decision for the Cernavoda nuclear power plant expansion project is expected in 2024, with commissioning of unit 3 planned within the next 10 years. According to Agerpres, Ghită told a conference on 23 February that Nuclearelectrica will present a proposal to start the project at its next annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders.

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclearelectrica-expects-to-make-FID-for-Cernavoda

The E3 - France, Germany and the UK - has welcomed the prospect of a US and Iranian return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The E3 foreign ministers and the US secretary of state held a virtual meeting yesterday to discuss Iran and other pressing issues. It was the second time in this format since Secretary Antony Blinken took office.

Date: Saturday, 20 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/E3,-USA-reopen-door-to-diplomacy-with-Iran

Commission ‘non-committal’ on approach to taxonomy rules The Brussels-based nuclear industry group Foratom has expressed its concerns about the European Commission’s lack of clarity on the implementation of recommendations being prepared by the European Joint Research Centre (JRC) on nuclear energy’s role under the “do no significant harm” criteria of the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.

During a press briefing, Foratom said the results of the JRC report are expected in late February or early March.

However, the commission has decided that the report be evaluated by two more expert groups – its scientific committee on health, environment and emerging risks and a Euratom Article 31 radioprotection experts group whose role is harmonising standards for radiation protection in the EU. This is expected to happen at the latest three months after the conclusions of the JRC report, sometime in June 2021.

Foratom said the commission has been unclear in its approach to the implementation of the JRC report’s findings when it comes to their inclusion in the legally-binding rules – known as delegated acts – which will supplement the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy on the technical screening criteria for each of its environmental objectives.

Date: Saturday, 13 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/foratom-expresses-concern-over-lack-of-clarity-on-nuclear-s-role-2-4-2021

Declaration signed at virtual conference calls for reactor deployment in Europe by 2030s Fermi Energia chief executive Kalev Kallemets (above left) told the conference the commpany aims to apply to the government to start the planning process for an SMR in late 2021. Estonian company Fermi Energia is raising capital to start the official planning process for new generation small modular reactor units and has signed a declaration with eight other firms and organisations calling for deployment in Europe by the 2030s.

The declaration calls for “a pragmatic approach” to SMR licensing to overcome licensing and regulatory challenges and reduce SMR project risk relating to nuclear regulation and the licensing process. It says SMR design standardisation must be facilitated “to the greatest extent possible”.

“In developing or updating the regulatory framework applicable to SMRs, host country nuclear regulatory bodies should seek to facilitate regulatory harmonisation,” the declaration says. “Regulatory frameworks should be based on International Atomic Energy Agency safety standards and European Union nuclear safety directives should be implemented.”

SMR host countries should also consider compatibility with relevant vendor and reference plants.

The declaration was signed during a virtual conference on SMR deployment in Estonia by Fermi Energia, Finland’s Fortum, Tractabel of Sweden, Vattenfall of Belgium, Synthos of Poland, the Czech Republic CEZ Group, Nuclearelectrica of Romania, the e-Lise Foundation of the Netherlands and the 18for0 lobby group from Ireland.

Date: Thursday, 11 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/fermi-energia-raising-capital-to-begin-smr-licensing-process-2-3-2021

Nuclear energy must be part of the European taxonomy as part of of the Green Deal, according to a joint letter sent to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission by 13 European trade unions.

Date: Tuesday, 09 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newseuropean-union-say-nuclear-must-be-part-of-european-taxonomy-8500431

The Lithuanian government on 3 February approved a programme for the development of decommissioning of nuclear power facilities and radioactive waste management for 2021–2030, which sets out strategic guidelines for the management of radioactive waste.

Date: Tuesday, 09 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newslithuania-approved-ignalina-decommissioning-plan-8500368

Westinghouse Electric Company announced it has signed a VVER-1000 nuclear fuel licensing contract for the Kozloduy power plant in Bulgaria.

Date: Tuesday, 09 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newskozloduy-npp-signs-licensing-contract-for-westinghouse-fuel-8502347

Agency has called for improvements to legal and regulatory framework The Belarus nuclear power station has two plants approaching commercial operation. Courtesy Rosatom. The government of Belarus has approved plans to implement recommendations and proposals from an International Atomic Energy Agency mission to the Belarusian nuclear power station last year.

The IAEA’s Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission took place over 12 days in February and March 2020.

It concluded that Belarus was close to completing the required nuclear power infrastructure for beginning operation of its first nuclear power plant, but needed to improve the legal and regulatory framework to ensure a stable and predictable environment for the programme.

The mission said Belarus needed to improve “institutional arrangements” and finalise remaining arrangements needed for the sustainable operation of the facility.

It also identified good practices including the use of independent peer reviews, cooperation with regulators from other countries, engagement with international stakeholders and emergency preparedness.

Date: Saturday, 06 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/government-approves-implementation-of-iaea-review-recommendations-2-5-2021

The European Union should embark on a "nuclear renaissance" programme if it is to achieve its climate objectives, a new study on the bloc's climate policy has concluded. Commissioned by ECR Group and Renew Europe, the report says it is practically impossible to generate sufficient energy with wind and solar energy as there is not enough available land to meet electricity demand.

Date: Saturday, 06 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Study-calls-for-European-nuclear-renaissance

Move designed to end ‘excessive dependence’ on supplies from Russia The two-unit Kozloduy power station is the only commercial nuclear facility in Bulgaria. Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power station signed a contract with Westinghouse Electric Sweden on Thursday for the preparation of a safety assessment to be used in the licensing process before the introduction of Westinghouse-made nuclear fuel.

Kozloduy said in a statement that the contract is part of the station’s efforts to diversify its fuel supplier portfolio as required by the European Union’s energy security strategy.

Diversification plans were coordinated with the Euratom Supply Agency (ESA), the body which supervises nuclear fuel supplies in the bloc.

In March 2019, ESA director-general Agnieszka Kaźmierczak said that the agency was concerned about Kozloduy’s “excessive” dependence on a single out-of-EU supplier.

Date: Friday, 05 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/kozloduy-signs-contract-for-safety-assessment-of-westinghouse-fuel-2-4-2021