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Kairos Power of the USA has entered into a strategic collaboration with advanced materials supplier Materion Corporation to develop a reliable and cost-effective supply of coolant for its fluoride salt-cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR). Materion will supply beryllium fluoride, technical consultation, key interfaces and support services.

Date: Thursday, 28 May 2020
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Russian nuclear scientists are preparing proposals for obtaining plutonium-238 from the fast-neutron reactors at the Beloyarsk nuclear plant, as an energy source for spacecraft and various remote autonomous installations, according to state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s procurement website.

Date: Wednesday, 27 May 2020
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Russia’s Electrochemical Plant (ECP) at Zelenogorsk in Krasnoyarsk in May completed the processing of 100,000 tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUHF) at its W-ECP plant.

Date: Tuesday, 26 May 2020
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Preparatory work has begun at the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in Seversk of the world's first fast neutron lead-cooled reactor, the Brest OD-300.

Date: Saturday, 23 May 2020
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US-based X-energy has reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Institute's Nuclear Reactor Laboratory to use its research reactor to irradiate X-energy's TRISO-X fuel.

Date: Tuesday, 19 May 2020
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X-energy's TRISO-X fuel is to be irradiated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Nuclear Reactor Laboratory's research reactor, the company has announced. Data from the irradiation testing will be used to support licensing of X-energy's Xe-100 and other TRISO-based reactors.

Date: Saturday, 16 May 2020
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Fuel reprocessing plant scheduled to go online in 2021 The Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. Photo courtesy Japan Atomic Industrial Forum. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday said the Rokkasho fuel reprocessing plant in Aomori Prefecture, northeast Japan, has passed safety checks, bringing it a step closer to beginning operations after more than two decades in limbo.

The facility is designed to take spent fuel from reactors and extract uranium and plutonium that can be reused, playing a key role in the country’s nuclear fuel recycling policy.

The NRA said the plant had cleared tougher standards introduced in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident, including requirements for more robust measures against earthquakes and tsunami. It set a one-month period to solicit feedback from industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama and other parties.

Construction of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant began in 1993 and was originally expected to be completed by 1997. However, its construction and commissioning have faced several delays.

Date: Thursday, 14 May 2020
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Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are refining their design of a 3D-printed nuclear reactor core, scaling up the additive manufacturing process necessary to build it, and developing methods to confirm the consistency and reliability of its printed components.

Date: Wednesday, 13 May 2020
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Agreement reflects ‘long-term commitment’ to ARC-100 reactor project The Centrus Energyy site at Piketon, Ohio. Photo courtesy Centrus Energy. Advanced Reactor Concepts, developer of the ARC-100 sodium-cooled fast reactor, has signed a letter of intent with Centrus Energy Corp to cooperate on deployment of US uranium enrichment capacity to produce high-assay, low-enriched uranium (Haleu) fuel.

Centrus said that while the letter is non-binding and non-exclusive, it reflects the parties’ long-term commitment to enter into a purchase agreement that would enable Centrus to supply the commercial Haleu fuel that ARC needs to deploy the ARC-100 reactor technology in the late 2020s.

The US-based company said Haleu fuel could power both existing and next-generation nuclear reactors, including the ARC-100. According to Maryland-based ARC, the plant’s inherent safety features and passive decay heat removal capabilities, combined with the improved power density of Haleu fuel, allow for a smaller, simpler, less-capital intensive reactor design. Unlike existing light-water reactors, which must be refuelled with low-enriched uranium (LEU) every 18 to 24 months, the Haleu core of the ARC-100 will allow the reactor to operate at full power for 20 years without refuelling.

A report from the White House nuclear fuel working group released last week identified establishing a domestic Haleu fuel production capability as a key priority in restoring the US’s competitive advantage in nuclear energy.

Date: Friday, 01 May 2020
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US-based BWX Technologies (BWXT) announced that its TRISO nuclear fuel manufacturing restart activities are continuing to progress ahead of schedule.

Date: Friday, 24 April 2020
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