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Agency says new low-carbon technologies including advanced reactors will be crucial to achieving net zero The IAEA says new low-carbon technologies such as nuclear hydrogen production or small and advanced reactors will be crucial to achieving net zero. The International Atomic Energy Agency has revised upwards its projections for the potential growth of commercial nuclear power capacity for the first time since the Fukushima-Daiichi accident more than a decade ago – suggesting that with significant action including an accelerated implementation of new nuclear technologies, it could double by 2050.

The Vienna-based agency said the change in its annual outlook for nuclear does not yet mark a new trend, but it comes as the world aims to move away from fossil fuels to fight climate change. Many countries are considering the introduction of nuclear power to boost reliable and clean energy production.

In the high case scenario of its new outlook, the IAEA now expects world nuclear generating capacity to double to 792 GW (net) by 2050 from 393 GW last year. Compared with the previous year’s high case projection of 715 GW by 2050, the estimate has been revised up by just over 10%.

The realisation of the IAEA’s high case scenario would require significant actions, including an accelerated implementation of innovative nuclear technologies. The low case projections indicate that world nuclear capacity by 2050 would remain essentially the same as now, at 392 GW.

Date: Friday, 17 September 2021
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Courtesy Lukas Plewnia/Wikipedia. Westinghouse Electric Company has opened a global shared services centre in Krakow, where about 160 staff will work to support the company’s global operations and to provide Poland with “the best technology to support its climate change goals and secure the energy needs of its economy”.

The new centre was one of the projects agreed under a Polish-American intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2020. According to the Polish government, the agreement included areas of cooperation such as the regulatory framework, research, personnel training, development of supply chains, public awareness campaigning and cooperation on nuclear energy projects in Europe.

Westinghouse, which has already opened an office in Warsaw, is hoping to deploy its AP1000 nuclear power plant in Poland. There are four AP1000 plants in operation in China and two under construction at Vogtle in the US.

Date: Thursday, 16 September 2021
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Nuclear is already set to become the largest source of energy in the Czech Republic, but accelerating new build and broadening its use to provide more heat would help hasten the phaseout of coal, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Phasing out coal is "a key challenge" for the Czech Republic, the IEA said in a policy review published today. Despite a 36% decrease since 2009, coal still accounts for half of total domestic energy production and it is not expected to be phased out completely until 2038, it said.

Date: Tuesday, 14 September 2021
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The World Nuclear Association (WNA) on 8 September launched the 2021 edition of The Nuclear Fuel Report, concluding that the positive trend in nuclear generating capacity projections that began in the previous (2019) report continues.

Date: Friday, 10 September 2021
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Belgium’s nuclear power plants, including four units at Doel, are scheduled for closure. Image courtesy Engie. The head of an influential Belgian business group has said “no one knows where we are going” on nuclear energy and urged political leaders to clarify the situation.

Pieter Timmermans, chief executive officer of the Federation of Enterprises of Belgium, said in Le Soir newspaper that an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in August concluded that maximum effort must be made to reduce CO2 production, “and we, in Belgium, are we going to build gas plants to make up for the closure of the nuclear ones?”

He said he was concerned that Belgium’s independence in the field of energy might not be guaranteed.

Date: Thursday, 09 September 2021
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Critics say gas plants are needed to replace reactors which, in turn, will increase CO2-emissions Belgium has seven commercial reactors with three at Tihange (pictured) and four at Doel. Courtesy Electrabel. The European commission has approved a capacity remuneration mechanism (CRM) in Belgium after concluding the measure does not distort competition in the single market – and despite criticism that it could lead to the construction of additional gas-fired capacity to compensate for a planned nuclear phaseout and make Belgium “one of the most polluting energy producers in Europe”.

The commission said the CRM will contribute to ensuring security of electricity supply, especially as Belgium has decided to phase out all commercial nuclear capacity by 2025.

The approval follows an in-depth investigation launched by the commission in September 2020 to assess if Belgian plans to introduce the national market-wide mechanism were in line with EU state aid rules.

The CRM, which is intended to replace the Belgian strategic reserve, will select beneficiaries through a competitive bidding process. They will be remunerated for their availability in situations where there is shortage of supply and receive capacity payment for the duration of the agreement, which would range between one and 15 years, depending on the size of investment.

Date: Tuesday, 07 September 2021
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US-based Westinghouse Electric Company and Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom on 31 August signed an exclusive agreement to bring Westinghouse AP1000 reactors to multiple sites in Ukraine. The signing took place at the Department of Energy (DOE) Headquarters in Washington, DC, and was witnessed by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and the Minister of Energy of Ukraine German Galushchenko.

Date: Friday, 03 September 2021
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There are four Westinghouse AP1000 Units in operation in China, including two at Haiyang (pictured). Courtesy SPIC. US-based Westinghouse Electric Company and Energoatom, the state-owned nuclear utility of Ukraine, have signed an exclusive agreement to bring Westinghouse AP1000 reactors to multiple sites in the eastern European country.

The signing of what Westinghouse said was an “historic” agreement took place at the US Department of Energy headquarters in Washington and was witnessed by Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm and Ukraine’s energy minister German Galushchenko.

Energoatom, operates Ukraine’s fleet of 15 commercial nuclear power plants, which in 2020 provided about 51% of the country’s electricity production share. Two Russia-supplied VVER-1000 PWRs units have been under construction at Khmelnitski-3 and -4 since the late 1980s, but progress has mostly stalled for years, because of financing and political issues.

Date: Thursday, 02 September 2021
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Polish chemicals group Synthos and energy group ZE PAK have signed an investment agreement to explore the construction of four to six BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs) at the site of ZE PAK's Pątnów coal-fired power plant in eastern Poland. Synthos, which has exclusive rights in the country for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's (GEH's) small nuclear reactors, will participate in the project as both an investor and the technology provider.

Date: Thursday, 02 September 2021
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The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to Belgian company Tractebel to evaluate the possibility of producing plutonium-238 (Pu-238) for use in space exploration. Separately, US company X-energy, working as part of a General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) team, is to develop key fuel fabrication processes in support of a first-of-a-kind rocket powered by nuclear thermal propulsion under a contract awarded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Date: Thursday, 02 September 2021
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