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China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) said on 14 April that it expects to start construction of its first Hualong Two, an advanced model of its third-generation power reactor, by 2024, Reuters reported. Construction of the Hualong Two will take four years to build compared with the average five years it takes for Hualong One units, Cao Shudong, CNNC vice general manager, told a nuclear forum in Beijing. Construction costs will drop by about a quarter to CNY13,000 ($1,990) per kilowatt (kW), from CNY17,000 per kW with the Hualong One design, he said. Cao told Reuters the Hualong Two would be simplified compared with the Hualong One but that this would not compromise safety, and that the basic technology would remain the same. Cao did not specify the capacity the Hualong Two.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newschina-to-begin-construction-of-hualong-two-in-2024-8673029

The Japanese government on 13 April formally announced that the treated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP site will be discharged into the sea, “based on more than six years of comprehensive study by experts, reviews by the IAEA, and engagement with parties concerned”. Five disposal methods had earlier been considered by the government: controlled discharge into the sea, ground injection, discharge as steam, discharge as hydrogen, and solidification for underground burial.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newscontaminated-water-from-fukushima-to-be-discharged-to-the-sea-8673077

In the wake of suspected sabotage at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility on 11 April, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi in a letter to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi on 13 April announced that Iran would start the uranium enrichment at the level of 60%. Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran the P5+1 group of countries (the USA, UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) Iran agreed to limit its nuclear development in return for the lifting of sanctions. Under the JCPOA, Iran had committed to keep enrichment to 3.67%. However, after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018, Iran began reviving its nuclear programme and had increased its enrichment level to 20% in January.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-steps-up-nuclear-activity-following-attack-on-its-natanz-facility-8673087

The laboratory will be sited in granite 560m below ground in the Beishan region of Gansu province, in China’s remote northwest. China will spend $422m building an underground laboratory for research into storing high-level radioactive waste from the country’s growing fleet of nuclear power plants with the aim of building the country’s first deep geologic repository by 2050.

If successful, a repository that could store 100 years’ worth of high-level waste will be built, reports in China said. The waste will mostly be in the form of spent nuclear fuel, which is currently stored in spent fuel ponds at nuclear plant sites.

Reports said construction will begin next year and will finish by 2024. Work has begun on supporting infrastructure such as paved roads.

“We are doing research into this project and it will soon be put into practice,” said Liu Hua, head of the National Nuclear Safety Administration, during a press conference on Tuesday.

Date: Thursday, 15 April 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/beijing-plans-usd422-million-underground-laboratory-for-repository-research-4-3-2021

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has a clear mandate, but the climate crisis and the economic impact of the pandemic mean that, on behalf of its Member States, it needs to have a more visible presence than has traditionally been the case, its director general said yesterday during the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle forum, which is being held this week by the US Nuclear Energy Institute and World Nuclear Association. Speaking as part of the forum's first session - Executive Panel: From Plans to Actions - Rafael Mariano Grossi said the IAEA is therefore collaborating even more with other organisations to offer its "unique perspective".

Date: Thursday, 15 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEAs-presence-is-expanding-says-Grossi

The pandemic has shown the resilience of the nuclear industry to act responsibly, both as a supplier of energy and as an employer, the head of the world's biggest uranium producer said today. In his address to delegates at the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle forum, Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov said the wellbeing of the company's 20,000 employees was his first priority.

Date: Thursday, 15 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Kazatomprom-put-health-before-profit-during-pandem

China is building a massive underground laboratory to research disposal technologies for high-level radioactive waste, China Daily reported on 8 April. This will pave the way for a repository that can handle the disposal of at least a century's worth of such materials for tens of thousands of years, the lab's chief designer, Wang Ju, vice-president of the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology, told China Daily. The lab will be situated in granite up to 560 metres below ground in the Beishan region of Gansu province. The underground lab was listed as one of China's major scientific construction projects in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newschina-begins-construction-of-underground-lab-to-research-waste-disposal-8665745

Canadian uranium producer Cameco is "bullish about the future" thanks to growing interest from around the world in nuclear energy as a reliable, sustainable and low-carbon source of electricity, President and CEO Tim Gitzel said today during the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle forum, which is being held this week by the US Nuclear Energy Institute and World Nuclear Association.

Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Cameco-buoyed-by-global-interest-in-nuclear

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on 10 April unveiled 133 new nuclear achievements in the provinces of Tehran, Markazi, Isfahan, Alborz and Qom to mark the 15th anniversary of the National Nuclear Technology Day. In a ceremony held via videoconference he gave the order for Iranian scientists to begin injecting uranium hexafluoride gas to a pilot cascade of 164 new generation IR6 centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility. He also announced that Iran has started mechanical testing of IR-9 centrifuges and launched an assembly line for their production.  

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-unveils-nuclear-achievements-as-talks-continue-in-vienna-8663463

Policymakers who ignore nuclear energy are not serious about meeting climate goals, delegates said at an Atlantic Council webinar last week. The first in the Raising Ambitions series, the event highlighted the attributes of this clean source of electricity and heat ahead of the Leaders’ Climate Summit, which the US Administration is hosting on 22-23 April.

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-power-can-help-raise-climate-ambitions