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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

Korea's National Fusion Research Institute announced in November that plasma operation at 100 million degrees Celsius, an essential requirement for nuclear fusion, successfully continued for 30 seconds during the latest tests at the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) facility.

Date: Thursday, 09 December 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newskstar-fusion-reactor-sets-new-record-9309366

In a speech to the UK Nuclear Industry Association on 2 December, Greg Hands, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, said 'excellent progress' had been made on the UK’s commitment to reach demonstration of AMRs by the early 2030s with the backing of the £385 million Advanced Nuclear Fund.

Date: Tuesday, 07 December 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsuk-government-confirms-choice-of-htgr-for-advanced-reactor-demonstration-9302865

Net-zero needs nuclear, UK minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Greg Hands told the country's industry at the Nuclear Industry Association's Nuclear2021 conference in London last week in a strong message of support. The following is the text of his speech.

Date: Tuesday, 07 December 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-UK-is-on-a-mission-for-fission

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

A new survey from the US-based Fusion Industry Association (FIA) and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), released on 28 October, provides a snapshot of the state of the growing fusion industry.

Date: Wednesday, 03 November 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssurvey-of-fusion-energy-companies-released-by-ukaea-and-fia-9208641

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

Ambitious target says country will be powered entirely by clean electricity by 2035 ‘subject to security of supply’ Two EPR plants at Hinkley Point C are the only commercial nuclear reactors under construction in the UK. Courtesy EDF Energy. The UK will secure a final investment decision on a large-scale nuclear plant by the end of this parliament – potentially in 2024 if a general election is called – and launch a new £120m ‘Future Nuclear Enabling Fund’ with options for future nuclear technologies including small modular reactors.

In a net zero strategy published on Tuesday the government said the new fund will provide targeted support for the development and deployment of new reactor technologies. Details of the fund will be announced in 2022, along with a roadmap for deployment.

The strategy says the government will also take measures to finalise investment decisions during the next parliament on further nuclear projects.

It says the UK will be powered entirely by clean electricity by 2035, subject to security of supply, with most of its electricity coming from the wind farms of the North Sea or state-of-the-art British nuclear reactors. This will “reduce the country’s vulnerability to sudden price rises caused by fluctuating international fossil fuel markets”.

Date: Thursday, 21 October 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/government-announces-net-zero-strategy-that-includes-large-scale-nuclear-and-new-reactor-technologies-10-2-2021