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The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), part of the US Department of Energy, has outlined its plan to support the existing US nuclear generation fleet, demonstrate the latest innovations in nuclear energy technologies and explore new market opportunities. The Strategic Vision is a blueprint for NE to achieve its mission of advancing nuclear energy science and technology to meet US energy, environmental and economic needs.

Date: Wednesday, 13 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/DOE-announces-strategy-for-US-nuclear-science-and

China began construction work on 27 December on a second pool-type sodium-cooled CFR-600 fast reactor in Xiapu County, Fujian Province.

Date: Tuesday, 05 January 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newschina-begins-construction-of-second-cfr-600-fast-reactor-8435608

As policymakers grapple with the twin challenges of climate change and a post-COVID economic recovery, the benefits of nuclear power are clearer than ever, but the industry still has some way to go in addressing perceptions of its alleged drawbacks with cost, safety and radioactive waste. This was the overriding message of the three panellists in a webinar held last week by Utilities Middle East in partnership with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

Date: Friday, 01 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/The-barrier-to-nuclear-is-perception,-says-panel

Draft treaty still needs ratification by UK and EU 27 The UK and the European Union reached last week a draft nuclear cooperation agreement in the framework of the general UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) concluded after last-minute talks in Brussels, the UK government and European Commission announced.

The general TCA draft, which was coined on 24 December after what the Commission called “intensive negotiations”, will define the terms of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

The EC said the TCA is based on a free trade agreement, a new security partnership, and a governance agreement.

In addition to the TCA, the UK and the EU signed a nuclear cooperation agreement which is to define the future of the UK’s relationship with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), one of the EU pillar treaties.

Euratom governs trade in nuclear materials and technology, ensures the security of nuclear energy supply, and enables, research, infrastructure and funding of nuclear energy. For the UK, leaving the EU meant the country would also leave the Euratom treaty.

Date: Wednesday, 30 December 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/uk-and-eu-reach-post-brexit-nuclear-cooperation-agreement-12-2-2020

Construction work has started on the second CFR-600 sodium-cooled pool-type fast-neutron nuclear reactor in Xiapu County, in China's Fujian province. Also known as the Xiapu fast reactor demonstration project, the CFR-600 is part of China's plan to achieve a closed nuclear fuel cycle.

Date: Wednesday, 30 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/China-starts-building-second-CFR-600-fast-reactor

The US Congress voted to approve appropriations for fiscal year 2021 that includes USD1.5 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. The appropriations also include USD150 million to initiate the uranium reserve programme to address challenges to the production of domestic uranium.

Date: Thursday, 24 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Congress-approves-nuclear-energy-funding-for-FY202

The facility passed safety screenings earlier this month The Rokkasho nuclear facility in northern Japan. Courtesy Jaif. The operator of Japan’s first mixed oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel processing, which is currently under construction, has postponed its completion by about two years.

The plant, in the village of Rokkasho in the northern prefecture of Aomori, is a key facility in the country’s plans to close the nuclear fuel cycle by extracting uranium and plutonium from spent nuclear fuel for reuse. It will produce MOX fuel from powders of uranium and plutonium extracted at a spent fuel reprocessing facility being built at the same site.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said earlier this month that the facility had officially passed screenings for the start of operations. The NRA formalised a report stating that the plant, owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd, meets new safety standards that Japan introduced after the 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station.

JNFL had aimed to complete construction of the Rokkasho facility in the first half of fiscal 2022. But press reports in Japan said the company notified Aomori Prefecture on Wednesday the schedule has been extended to the first half of fiscal 2024.

Date: Friday, 18 December 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/operator-announces-another-delay-at-rokkasho-mox-facility-12-4-2020

The case for nuclear as a proven source of clean, reliable and sustainable electricity supply should be clear to all, but the business case for nuclear is also becoming better understood, World Nuclear Association Director General Sama Bilbao y León told delegates at the New Nuclear Capital 2020 virtual conference yesterday. The following is an abridged version of her presentation.

Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-The-business-case-for-nuclear-energy

Operations could begin in 2022, says JNFL The Rokkasho nuclear fuel processing plant in northern Japan. Photo courtesy Japan Atomic Industrial Forum. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said a mixed oxide, or MOX, nuclear fuel processing plant in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, has officially passed screenings for the start of operations.

The NRA formalised a report stating that the plant, owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd, meets new safety standards that Japan introduced after the 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station.

The MOX fuel plant in the village of Rokkasho is a key facility in the country’s plans to close the nuclear fuel cycle by extracting uranium and plutonium from spent nuclear fuel for reuse. It will produce MOX fuel from powders of uranium and plutonium extracted at a spent fuel reprocessing facility being built at the same site.

Construction of that facility began in 1993 and was originally expected to be completed by 1997. However, its construction and commissioning have faced several delays. According to the Japan Times the schedule has been pushed back 23 times by a number of technical and safety issues.

Date: Friday, 11 December 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/rokkasho-mox-fuel-processing-plant-passes-safety-screenings-12-4-2020