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Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) said it has been awarded a first contract from Japan’s National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST) for manufacture of six units of divertor outer vertical target additional components for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in southern France.

Date: Wednesday, 22 December 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsmhi-awarded-iter-contract-9330000

Oxford-based Tokamak Energy has announced the breakthrough design of cryogenic, or very low temperature, power electronics technology for the high-efficiency operation of its superconducting magnets. This will result in reduced costs of future fusion power plants – which is key to commercialising and scaling the technology.

Date: Wednesday, 22 December 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newstokamak-energy-reduces-power-required-to-cool-hts-magnets-9337049

UK-based engineering company Assystem said on 4 November that it had been awarded two contracts by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to support the development of STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), the UK’s prototype fusion power plant that will demonstrate the commercial viability of fusion energy. 

Date: Tuesday, 09 November 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsassystem-wins-two-contracts-for-new-uk-step-fusion-plant-9224735

TAE Technologies, reputedly the world's largest private fusion energy company, has entered into a partnership with Japan’s National Institute of Fusion Science enabling the two organisations to test the effects of hydrogen-boron (p-B11) fusion reactions in the NIFS Large Helical Device (LHD).

Date: Wednesday, 03 November 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newstae-technologies-partners-with-japans-nifs-for-fusion-fuel-research-9208725

New report highlights current opportunities for progress in commercialisation of the technology The UK has shortlisted five sites as the potential future home of the country’s first prototype fusion energy plant. Courtesy UKAEA. Capital costs for the development of a new generation of nuclear fusion reactors are high at around £100/MWh, but a substantial programme of standard build could bring them down to a viable target of £60-£70/MWh, a report published by engineering group Assystem says.

According to the report, which examines the potential for fusion in the UK, the government has estimated the 2040 levelised costs of electricity (LCOE) for the UK for standalone offshore wind, onshore wind and large-scale solar of £40/MWh, £44/MWh and £33/MWh respectively.

The £60-£70/MWh cost for fusion “provides the first target for nuclear fusion to be economically competitive”, the report concludes. It says fusion is uncompetitive today with other low-carbon options available in the UK – including wind and light-water nuclear fission reactors. The reason for this is the combination of a relatively high construction cost (£5,887/kWe) and a low capacity factor (56%).

The International Energy Agency has put the LCOE for advanced nuclear at $63/MWh (about £45/MWh).

With an improved, large fusion design the construction cost decreases to £4,135/kWe and the capacity factor to 75%. These two effects improve the fusion economics, decreasing the LCOE into the range £60 to £97/MWh. For a small fusion design, the energy cost of 75 units is in the region of £69- £99/MWh – a range that is comparable to 10 units of large fusion reactors and also the energy cost of LWR fission reactors.

Date: Saturday, 23 October 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/capital-costs-are-high-but-can-be-reduced-to-economically-competitive-level-10-4-2021

Russia’s Troitsk Institute of Innovative and Thermonuclear Research (Triniti - part of Rosatom’s scientific division) said on 5 October that, together with Krasnaya Zvezda (a Rosatom enterprise specialising in space propulsion systems), it had for the first time carried out external refuelling of the T-11M tokamak with liquid lithium in a continuous operating cycle.

Date: Friday, 08 October 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsrussias-triniti-achieves-refuelling-of-the-t-11m-tokamak-9138698

Tokamak Energy of the UK announced it has demonstrated a transformative magnet protection technology that improves the commercial viability of fusion power plants, delivering higher performance than alternative magnet systems. It said results from the latest tests validate a revolutionary approach to scaling up high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, which are highly resilient to plasma disruptions.

Date: Saturday, 25 September 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Tokamak-Energy-develops-new-magnet-protection-tech

Canada’s Laurentis Energy Partners, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), has announced a new programme to produce Helium-3 (He-3), a rare isotope used in quantum computing, neutron research, border security and medical imaging.

Date: Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newslaurentis-launches-helium-3-production-at-darlington-npp-9095554

US Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) said on 24 August that it was expanding modelling software to support nuclear safety and regulatory activities related to advanced reactor designs. Nuclear power is a significant source of steady carbon-neutral electricity, making the design and construction of new and next-generation nuclear reactors critical for achieving US green energy goals, SNL noted.

Date: Friday, 27 August 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-sandia-labs-develop-modelling-software-to-support-advanced-reactor-safety-9032634

In order to help the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) evaluate the safety of the next generation of nuclear power reactors, fuel cycle facilities and fuel technologies, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have been expanding their severe accident modelling computer code, called Melcor, to work with different reactor geometries, fuel types and coolant systems.

Date: Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Sandia-extends-computer-modelling-code-to-advanced