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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) announced on 13 April that it has fabricated Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel pellets, an advanced and proprietary reactor fuel designed by Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) for their Micro Modular Reactor (MMR). The project was funded through the Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI) and marks the first time that a Tristructural-Isotropic (TRISO) based fuel has been manufactured in Canada. The CNRI programme, launched in 2019, aims to help small modular reactor (SMR) vendors gain access to CNL expertise in order to help advance the development and commercialisation of their technologies.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has fabricated fully ceramic microencapsulated fuel pellets, an advanced and proprietary reactor fuel designed by Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) for its micro modular reactor.

The project, funded through the Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative, represents the first time that a Tristructural-Isotropic (Triso)-based fuel has been manufactured in Canada.

USNC’s pellet design consists of spherical Triso particles dispersed in a matrix of silicon carbide. The Triso particles have a layered structure with a dense fuel kernel, coated with layers of graphite and silicon carbide. This makes the particles incredibly robust and able to withstand intense heat and pressure.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has fabricated proprietary advanced fuel pellets for Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation's (USNC) Micro Modular Reactor (MMR). This is the first time that a TRISO-based nuclear fuel has been manufactured in Canada.

Date: Thursday, 15 April 2021
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The Hunterston nuclear power station in Scotland. Courtesy EDF Energy. The UK’s nuclear regulator said on Tuesday it had approved a restart of the B-1 and B2- nuclear power units at the Hunterston nuclear station in Scotland.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said on its website that the restart safety case is for up to 16.7 terawatt days for Hunterston B-1 and 16.52 terawatt days for Hunterston B-2 – approximately six month’s operation for each reactor.

This will be the facility’s final period of operation before moving into the defueling phase.

The ONR’s assessment for restart focussed on whether cracking observed in the graphite bricks that form the reactor core could compromise the key nuclear safety requirements.

The UK has a long history of using graphite as a moderator, from the early Magnox reactors to advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) such as Hunterston.

Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
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A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Energy Northwest, Grant County Public Utility District and X-energy to form a partnership to support the development and commercial demonstration of the USA's first advanced nuclear reactor. The TRi Energy Partnership aims to construct a plant based on X-energy's Xe-100 reactor design at Energy Northwest's existing Columbia site in Washington.

Date: Wednesday, 07 April 2021
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The Strategic Capabilities Office of the US Department of Defense (DOD) has selected BWXT Advanced Technologies and X-energy LLC to develop a final design for a prototype mobile microreactor under the Project Pele initiative.

Date: Thursday, 25 March 2021
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First facility in country ‘on track’ despite pandemic Centrus Energy’s site in Piketon, Ohio. Courtesy Centrus. Construction of the first facility in the US for the production of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (Haleu) fuel is on track with the first fuel expected to be produced by next year, Centrus Energy Corporation said.

Centrus president and chief executive officer Daniel Poneman said the facility, in Piketon, Ohio, is on schedule “despite the impact of the [Covid-19] pandemic and the extraordinary steps we have taken to protect our workforce – including limiting the number of people who can be on the construction site at any one time”.

He said the first-of-a-kind facility can play a critical role in meeting both government and commercial requirements for Haleu, powering the country’s nuclear leadership as the world turns to a new generation of advanced reactors and advanced nuclear fuels.

This month Centrus completed assembly of all AC100M gas centrifuges. The centrifuges will undergo final preparations prior to being installed into the production cascade.

Date: Wednesday, 24 March 2021
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The US Department of Defense's (DOD) project to develop a mobile reactor - Project Pele - is on track for full power testing of a mobile reactor in 2023, with outdoor mobile testing at a Department of Energy (DOE) installation in 2024, DOD's Jeff Waksman told the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 33rd Regulatory Information Conference last week.

Date: Saturday, 20 March 2021
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Russia’s Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) is mastering the fabrication of TVS-2M fuel for the VVER-1000 reactor. SCC staff have completed an internship at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP) to improve their skills. Both enterprises are part of Rosatom’s TVEL Fuel Company. The main business of SCC is the conversion and enrichment of uranium, while NCCP fabricates nuclear fuel for power and research reactors.

Date: Friday, 19 March 2021
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The ETRR-2 research reactor in Egypt. Courtesy Rosatom. Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP) and the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority have signed a contract for Russia to supply another batch of low-enriched uranium (LEU) for the ETRR-2 research reactor.

Russia’s Tvel nuclear fuel company, of which NCCP is a subsidiary, said the contract follows the successful completion of a similar contract signed in 2020.

The Argentinian-designed multipurpose ETRR-2, Egypt’s only reactor, uses uranium fuel with an enrichment of 19.75%. The reactor is used for research in particle physics, materials engineering, and the production of stable isotopes.

Date: Wednesday, 17 March 2021
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