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The slightly elevated levels of three different radioisotopes recently detected in northern Europe are probably related to a nuclear reactor which is either operating or undergoing maintenance, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on 3 July.

The recorded air concentrations of the particles were very low and posed no risk to human health and the environment, the statement said.

However, the IAEA also said the geographical origin of the release has not yet been determined.

Last week, Estonia, Finland and Sweden reported levels of ruthenium-103, caesium-134 and caesium-137 isotopes in the air which were higher than usual.

The IAEA, in an effort to help identify the possible origin of the radioisotopes, contacted counterparts in Europe and asked for information about whether they were detected in their countries, and if any event there may have been associated with the atmospheric release.

Date: Saturday, 04 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/elevated-radioisotope-levels-in-nordic-region-likely-linked-to-nuclear-reactor-7-5-2020

To coincide with the publication of the World Nuclear Association's technical position paper The Enduring Value of Nuclear Energy Assets, World Nuclear News interviewed the co-chairs of the Long-term Operation Task Force, Michael Baron and Abdou Al Mazouzi.

Date: Thursday, 02 July 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Interview-The-importance-of-long-term-operation

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has agreed to cooperate with the France’s Framatome and US General Electric Steam Power in the process to select a strategic investor for the Belene NPP project in Bulgaria.

Date: Monday, 22 June 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsrosatom-framatome-and-ge-agree-to-cooperate-on-belene-project-7985720

Government appears to favour ‘Boot’ model alread used by Russia Koeberg, near Cape Town, is the only commercial nuclear power station in South Africa. The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) has proposed six possible funding options for new nuclear, but government officials have suggested the most likely is a “build, own, operate and transfer” (Boot) model similar to that used by Russia for project including Akkuyu in Turkey.

Niasa told Engineering News that the very high proportion of the cost of energy that comes from the repayment of capital means interest rates will be fundamental to the viability of any new nuclear project in South Africa.

The association said real interest rates – which are adjusted for inflation – on state debt could be in the range of 2% to 3%, while real interest rates on high risk equity finance could vary from 10% to 15%. It said this explains why some new nuclear projects such as state-supported projects in China could be very competitive while others, such as the private equity funded Hinkley Point C in the UK, needed some kind of state guarantee such as long-term power purchase agreements.

Niasa identified six financing options that could be used to fund a new nuclear programme. The first was state funding for the entire project or state provided sovereign loan guarantees using reserves and cash flows from state-owned companies, as was the case with the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah project.

Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/industry-association-proposes-financing-options-for-new-build-5-2-2020

Aim is to build fleet of up to 16 440-MW reactors A mockup of the proposed 440-MW SMR plant. Photo courtesy Rolls-Royce. UK-based nuclear engineering company Assystem has announced it will become part of a UK consortium established to design and build compact nuclear power stations.

The consortium is comprised of Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear AMRC, Rolls-Royce, Jacobs and TWI.

It is working to design a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor that will be at the heart of the UK’s planned low-carbon economy.

The consortium is matching the £18m investment confirmed by the UK government organisation, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The first power station is targeted to be built and connected to the national electricity grid by 2029, with the support of legislation to enable the programme.

Date: Thursday, 09 April 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/assystem-joins-rolls-royce-smr-consortium-4-3-2020

GE Steam Power expects "stable demand" for nuclear power generation over the next 10 years as "the only powerful source of electricity without carbon dioxide emissions", its CEO, Michael Keroullé, said in an interview this week with Strana Rosatom, the newspaper of the Russian state nuclear corporation.

Date: Thursday, 01 August 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Partnerships-key-to-nuclear-growth-says-GE-Steam

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has made policy recommendations for the many countries that see a role for nuclear power in their energy transitions in a new report it plans to discuss today at the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM10) being held this week in Vancouver, Canada. Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System is the Paris-based agency's first report addressing nuclear power in nearly two decades in order to "bring this important topic back into the global energy debate", it said.

Date: Tuesday, 28 May 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IEA-presses-need-for-pro-nuclear-policies