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US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) on 29 July signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Korea's Hyundai Engineering (HEC) and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) for co-operation in the development of USNC’s Micro Modular Reactor (MMR).

Date: Saturday, 01 August 2020
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North Wales site has also been put forward for possible SMR development The Trawsfynydd nuclear power station site in north Wales. Plans have been confirmed to make a former nuclear power plant in north Wales the lead project for the decommissioning of former Magnox stations in the UK.

Trawsfynydd, which had two 195-MW gas-cooled Magnox reactors, is on a 15-hectare site, on an inland lake in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

It started service in 1965 and generated 69 TWh of electricity over the 26 years until its closure in 1991.

The twin reactors at the site will now become the very first in the UK to be fully decommissioned.

Date: Saturday, 01 August 2020
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Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) of the USA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Korea's Hyundai Engineering (HEC) and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). The five-year agreement outlines goals for development of technologies that enhance the ability of the USNC Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) to produce and deliver carbon-free power, heat and hydrogen.

Date: Thursday, 30 July 2020
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The International Atomic Energy Agency’s SMR Regulators’ Forum is holding a webinar on 29 July to discuss issues related to the licensing and regulating of small modular reactors.

The forum was created in 2015 to share regulatory knowledge and experience among members and other stakeholders. Its purpose is to identify challenges that may emerge from regulating SMRs.

The forum said its output will help regulatory bodies from IAEA member states understand and implement any potential changes needed to their requirements and regulatory practices.

According to the IAEA, SMRs are advanced reactors that produce electricity of up to 300 MW per module, which is less than current power generation reactors. Many SMRs can be made in factories and transported by truck or rail.

Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020
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US-based NuScale Power announced that it completed its second submittal to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for pre-licensing Vendor Design Review (VDR) of its small modular reactor design.  

Date: Saturday, 18 July 2020
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Plan is to build first unit in Canada A computer-generated image of the proposed NuScale SMR. Courtesy NuScale. NuScale Power has completed its second submittal to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for a pre-licensing vendor design review of its small modular reactor design.

The US-based company said completion of the vendor design review will provide assurance to both the regulator and potential customers that the NuScale design will be acceptable to build and operate in Canada.

The company said that with its majority owner Fluor, it has developed an extensive supply chain in Canada through which it can serve customers in Canada and around the globe.

The vendor design review is to be completed in four submittals. The first submittal was in December 2019.

Date: Thursday, 16 July 2020
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Aim is to ‘supercharge’ country’s advanced nuclear energy industry A computer-generated image of Tokamak Energy’s ST40 small modular fusion reactor. Courtesy Tokamak Energy. The UK has announced £40m of funding to “unlock thousands of green jobs” by developing the next generation of nuclear energy technology, with £30m of the total going to support three small modular reactor projects.

The government said the £30m will speed up the development of three SMR projects in the UK and “drive them closer towards supplying low-carbon energy to the nation”.

The remaining £10m will be invested in smaller research, design, and manufacturing projects.

The government said the funding will ensure SMR technology is more attractive to private sector investors, “supercharging” the development of the industry and creating supply chains for future SMR developments.

Date: Tuesday, 14 July 2020
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Move could lead to first approval for advanced non-light-water unit A computer-generated image of the Aurora nuclear power plant. Courtesy Oklo. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for review a combined licence application from California-based Oklo Power to build and operate the company’s compact fast reactor, known as Aurora, at the Idaho National Laboratory site in Idaho.

The NRC said Oklo’s application, submitted on 11 March, is for approval of what would be the first NRC licence for an advanced non-light-water reactor design.

The NRC and Oklo have engaged in “pre-application” discussions since 2016, a statement said.

In December 2019 the US Department of Energy granted a site use permit to Oklo to build a demonstration Aurora plant on the Idaho National Laboratory site.

Date: Wednesday, 17 June 2020
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A joint venture has been formed between Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to build, own and operate the proposed Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) project at the Chalk River Laboratories site. The joint venture – the Global First Power Limited Partnership – is owned equally by OPG and USNC-Power, the Canadian subsidiary of USNC.

Date: Thursday, 11 June 2020
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Coalition discussion paper says small reactors ‘have potential’ NuScale told an inquiry last year that its SMR design would suit rural areas in Australia. Photo courtesy NuScale. The Australian federal government wants to look at the possibility of deploying small modular reactors as part of its policy to achieve its medium- and long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target as part of its obligation under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The nuclear proposal was contained in a discussion paper, released on 21 May, that is part of the ruling Liberal-National party coalition government's policy to detail how it will meet its target of reducing GHG emissions by 26-28% by 2030 from 2005 levels, as well as the broader Paris aim of the globe achieving net-zero emissions.

The discussion paper said emerging nuclear technologies – for example, small modular reactors – have potential but require R&D and identified deployment pathways. “Engineering, cost and environmental challenges, alongside social acceptability of nuclear power in Australia, will be key determinants of any future deployment,” the paper said.

The paper examined more than 140 technologies including hydrogen, renewables, biofuels and carbon capture and storage.

Date: Friday, 22 May 2020
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