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Preparatory work has begun at the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in Seversk of the world's first fast neutron lead-cooled reactor, the Brest OD-300.

Date: Saturday, 23 May 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newspreparatory-construction-for-brest-300-reactor-begins-in-russia-7936880

The Fort Calhoun nuclear power station in Nebraska. Orano TN, a US subsidiary of the French nuclear fuel cycle company Orano, has completed installation of a dry storage system and the transfer of used fuel from storage pool to dry storage at the shutdown Fort Calhoun-1 nuclear power plant in Nebraska.

The company said the work, carried out under a 2018 contract with Omaha Public Power District, was completed on budget and more than two weeks ahead of schedule.

Orano also conducted an extensive inspection of the emptied used fuel pool with underwater cameras and radiation detectors to ensure that all fuel debris had been collected and loaded into Nuhoms dry storage canisters.

Date: Saturday, 23 May 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/orano-tn-completes-installation-of-dry-storage-system-and-fuel-transfer-5-5-2020

Energy Fuels Inc is continuing work on a programme to investigate using the USA's only currently operational conventional uranium mill, White Mesa, to process uranium and thorium-bearing rare earth element (REE) ores and recover uranium while producing REE concentrates.

Date: Saturday, 23 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Energy-Fuels-looks-to-rare-earths-to-enhance-White

Coalition discussion paper says small reactors ‘have potential’ NuScale told an inquiry last year that its SMR design would suit rural areas in Australia. Photo courtesy NuScale. The Australian federal government wants to look at the possibility of deploying small modular reactors as part of its policy to achieve its medium- and long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target as part of its obligation under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The nuclear proposal was contained in a discussion paper, released on 21 May, that is part of the ruling Liberal-National party coalition government's policy to detail how it will meet its target of reducing GHG emissions by 26-28% by 2030 from 2005 levels, as well as the broader Paris aim of the globe achieving net-zero emissions.

The discussion paper said emerging nuclear technologies – for example, small modular reactors – have potential but require R&D and identified deployment pathways. “Engineering, cost and environmental challenges, alongside social acceptability of nuclear power in Australia, will be key determinants of any future deployment,” the paper said.

The paper examined more than 140 technologies including hydrogen, renewables, biofuels and carbon capture and storage.

Date: Friday, 22 May 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/government-to-examine-smrs-as-part-of-energy-planning-5-4-2020

A bipartisan group of US Senators has called for the Department of Commerce (DOC) to extend the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA), as recommended by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG).

Date: Friday, 22 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-senators-call-for-extension-of-uranium-import-q

The USA produced a total of 0.17 million pounds U3O8 (65.4 tU) of uranium concentrate from all domestic sources in 2019, according to a newly published annual report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This was 89% less than in 2018.

Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/USA-releases-2019-uranium-figures

Plan for uranium reserve is ‘first step’ towards reviving sector The Crow Butte uranium mine in Nebraska. Photo courtesy Cameco. The US nuclear industry saw its best year for production in 2019, but despite operating the largest fleet of commercial reactors in the world the country’s ability to produce domestic nuclear fuel is “on the verge of a collapse”, a Department of Energy official said.

Rita Baranwal, assistant secretary for the DOE’s office of nuclear energy, said in 2019 the US led the world in generating more than 809 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from nuclear, which is enough to power more than 66 million homes.

But she said the nation’s only uranium conversion plant – the Honeywell facility in Illinois – is idle due to poor market conditions, and the country’s inability to compete with foreign state-owned enterprises, most notably from China and Russia, is threatening energy security and weakening Washington’s ability to influence the peaceful uses of nuclear around the world.

Ms Baranwal said “within the next year” the DOE will begin a competitive procurement process for establishing a uranium reserve. The reserve is a direct result of a report by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group, established by president Donald Trump, to address the challenges facing the nuclear fuel cycle.

Date: Friday, 15 May 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/country-s-ability-to-produce-nuclear-fuel-on-verge-of-collapse-warns-doe-official-5-4-2020

Fuel reprocessing plant scheduled to go online in 2021 The Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. Photo courtesy Japan Atomic Industrial Forum. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday said the Rokkasho fuel reprocessing plant in Aomori Prefecture, northeast Japan, has passed safety checks, bringing it a step closer to beginning operations after more than two decades in limbo.

The facility is designed to take spent fuel from reactors and extract uranium and plutonium that can be reused, playing a key role in the country’s nuclear fuel recycling policy.

The NRA said the plant had cleared tougher standards introduced in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident, including requirements for more robust measures against earthquakes and tsunami. It set a one-month period to solicit feedback from industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama and other parties.

Construction of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant began in 1993 and was originally expected to be completed by 1997. However, its construction and commissioning have faced several delays.

Date: Thursday, 14 May 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/regulator-says-rokkasho-has-passed-safety-checks-5-3-2020

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) today approved a draft report concluding Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited's (JNFL's) reprocessing plant at Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture meets new safety standards. The approval brings the plant, construction of which began in 1993, closer to starting up.

Date: Thursday, 14 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Regulator-approves-safety-of-Japanese-reprocessing

As the COVID-19 pandemic makes governments and international organisations consider new ways of conducting business and protecting communities, we need to turn the recovery into an opportunity to safeguard the future, writes Christer Viktorsson, director general of the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.

Date: Tuesday, 12 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Regulators-adapt-to-an-unprecedented-cha