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NIA warns skills must not be lost as reactors are shut down Hinkley Point C, where two new EPR units are under construction, employs around 6,300 people on site. Courtesy EDF. Nuclear industry employment has grown solidly in 2021, with a robust presence in the UK regions, although urgent investment is needed to sustain that trend and ensure that nationally critical skills are not lost as the existing nuclear fleet retires, the London-based Nuclear Industry Association said.

According to the association’s annual jobs map, the civil nuclear sector employs 61,371 people across the UK, an increase of over 1,700 compared to 2020.

New build projects continue to play a vital role in sustaining employment and enhancing the UK’s skills base. Hinkley Point C, where two new EPR units are under construction, employs around 6,300 people on site with more than 780 apprentices having been trained on the project to date. EDF announced earlier this year that employment on site will rise to more than 8,000 in the coming years to finish the project. Sizewell C would also deliver thousands of new jobs as a replica of Hinkley, but legislation for a new financing model is needed to capture those benefits, the NIA said.

Date: Wednesday, 15 September 2021
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A mobile laser system developed by a research subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom has been used to remotely cut large metal plant components during a non-nuclear decommissioning process. The laser "can be used to cut metal structures up to 250mm thick, both on land and under water, in the temperature range from -50 to 40 degrees Celsius," said Azamat Bedanokov, deputy director general of the developers, the State Research Centre of the Russian Federation Troitsk Institute for Innovation and Thermonuclear Research (JSC SSC RF Triniti).

Date: Tuesday, 24 August 2021
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The USA's National Ignition Facility has achieved a record fusion yield that it says puts it "at the threshold of fusion ignition". The record laser shot produced 25 times more than the facility's next best experiment.

Date: Thursday, 19 August 2021
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US-based General Atomics (GA) on10 August marked the completion and shipment of the first Central Solenoid module for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in southern France, with a celebration at the firm’s Magnet Technologies Centre (MTC) in California. The module recently arrived in France after being shipped from the MTC in late June and is scheduled to reach the ITER site in the coming weeks. Five additional modules, plus one spare, are at various stages of fabrication, with the second module expected to ship this month. The Central Solenoid will be assembled as the modules arrive on site and is scheduled to be fully installed in 2023-24. ITER is scheduled to begin its first plasma operations in 2025.

Date: Wednesday, 18 August 2021
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US-based Jacobs said on 10 August that it had been selected to design and deliver the First Plasma Radiological Environmental Monitoring System (REMS), a key safety system for The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in southern France.

Date: Friday, 13 August 2021
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Russia’s AA Bochvar Institute of Inorganic Materials (VNIINM – part of Rosatom’s Fuel Company TVEL) has developed a basic version of the technological tritium cycle for modernisation of the strong field tokamak (TSP) at the Troitsk Institute of Innovative and Thermonuclear Research (TRINITI). The work is taking place within the framework of the federal project "Development of technologies for controlled thermonuclear fusion and innovative plasma technologies", part of the comprehensive programme "Development of equipment, technologies and research in the use of atomic energy for the period up to 2024". VNIINM’s department of special non-nuclear materials and isotopic products together with the specialists from TRINITI have developed the basic version of the technological tritium cycle for the experimental modified high-field tokamak.

Date: Thursday, 15 July 2021
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The European Commission (EC) on 2 July adopted the Euratom Work Programme 2021-2022, implementing the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025. The Work Programme outlines the objectives and specific topic areas, which will receive €300 million in funding. These investments will support fusion research, and help to foster progress in a wide range of areas, from further improving nuclear safety and radiation protection, to boosting non-power applications of nuclear technology. The Work Programme contributes to the EU's efforts to further develop technological leadership and promote excellence in nuclear research and innovation. This year’s calls have a particular focus on the medical field, directly supporting the priorities of the EU’s Beating Cancer Action Plan and the SAMIRA Action Plan.

Date: Friday, 09 July 2021
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US-based Shine Medical Technologies announced on 28 June that it had closed a $150-million Series C-5 financing. Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT) led the round, which also included participation by Fidelity Management & Research Company, Baillie Gifford and other new and current investors. The financing will support Shine's commercialisation of its medical isotope technologies and position the company for future growth as it works toward developing new fusion-based technology applications.

Date: Friday, 02 July 2021
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Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on 18 June updated the "Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality in 2050" in collaboration with related ministries and agencies. The strategy leads to sustainable growth and innovation by incorporating all possible and necessary policies into the effort. It will further raise the feasibility of achieving a carbon neutral society by 2050.

Date: Wednesday, 30 June 2021
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The UK must develop advanced nuclear fuels and fuel cycle technologies in order to meet its clean energy ambitions, according to a new series of roadmaps released by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). The roadmaps, it says, will enable UK policy makers and industry to plan for the future of nuclear in delivering net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Date: Friday, 25 June 2021
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