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‘No technical arguments’ for shutting down nuclear plants after 40 years Unit 2 at the Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium is scheduled for permanent shutdown this week. Courtesy Electrabel. Belgium should repeal its 2003 nuclear exit law as it looks for ways to deal with the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting gas and electricity price increases, the Brussels-based Belgian Nuclear Forum said.

The underlying argument of the 2003 law is that a nuclear plant is obsolete after 40 years and should be decommissioned, the forum said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth: there are no technical arguments for definitively shutting down a nuclear power plant after 40 years of operation, but only political arguments,” it added.

The forum issued the statement as owner and operater Engie Electrabel prepares to permanently shut down the Tinhange-2 nuclear power plant on 31 January. The 1,008-MW pressurised water reactor unt began commercial operation on 1 June 1983 and has been online for 40 years.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the last couple of decades have witnessed increased interest in the extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants. Extending the life of a plant is more economical than building a new one, and where it makes business sense. The agency says about 90% of US plants have already renewed their licences to extend their operation to 60 years, with additional extensions for a total of 80 years being considered. In Europe, plants are regularly seeking lifetimes of 60 years.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/as-tihange-2-approaches-closure-industry-group-calls-for-repeal-of-2003-nuclear-exit-law-1-1-2023

The urgent need to reduce emissions and slow global heating should involve the roll-out of more nuclear power stations, according to a new briefing released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on 11 August. In the run up to the COP 21 meeting in Glasgow, UNECE argues that nuclear power can help deliver on the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNECE, set up in 1947, is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. Its main aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. UNECE includes 56 member states in Europe, North America, Central Asia and Western Asia.

Date: Thursday, 19 August 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsunece-says-nuclear-power-essential-to-achieve-climate-goals-9007938

Nuclear power can be part of a broader portfolio alongside deploying other sustainable low- or zero-carbon technologies to decarbonise the global energy system and energy intensive industries, according to a new technology brief from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The publication highlights nuclear power as an important source of low-carbon energy that can contribute to attaining carbon neutrality and for policy-makers who wish to meet climate and sustainable development objectives using nuclear power should provide positive, long-term policy signals for new nuclear development.

Date: Thursday, 12 August 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Policies-must-allow-nuclear-to-play-its-vital-role

European unions on 27 July reiterated calls for the European Commission (EC) to include nuclear power in its green goals. In a joint letter to EC President Ursula von der Leyen, 18 trade unions in the energy sector from 10 countries said nuclear energy must be included in a delegated act of the European taxonomy. The unions - from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Romania, Sweden, Slovak Republic and Slovenia - called for "a dialogue with the purpose of nuclear energy to play its full potential and build an economically efficient and socially just carbon-free Europe by 2050".

Date: Friday, 30 July 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newseuropean-unions-call-again-for-nuclear-to-be-part-of-the-eu-taxonomy-8946044

Major trade unions in 10 European countries have again urged the European commission to include nuclear energy in the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy by promulgating delegated act that would allow the technology to compete with other low-emissions energy sources.

The commission decided not to include nuclear energy in the sustainable finance taxonomy, which entered into force last summer, but said it would include it under a complementary delegated act in 2021. The act would include the technical screening criteria for determining the conditions under which nuclear could qualify as contributing to sustainability and climate change mitigation.

The taxonomy is a package of regulations that governs investment in activities that the EU says are environmentally friendly.

Date: Friday, 30 July 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/european-trade-unions-renew-call-for-nuclear-to-be-included-7-4-2021

Nuclear energy must be included in a delegated act of the European taxonomy, 18 trade unions in the energy sector from 10 European Union countries have told Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission (EC). In a joint letter, the unions called for "a dialogue with the purpose of nuclear energy to play its full potential and build an economically efficient and socially just carbon-free Europe by 2050".

Date: Wednesday, 28 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Unions-repeat-call-for-nuclear-s-inclusion-in-EU-t

The slightly elevated levels of three different radioisotopes recently detected in northern Europe are probably related to a nuclear reactor which is either operating or undergoing maintenance, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on 3 July.

The recorded air concentrations of the particles were very low and posed no risk to human health and the environment, the statement said.

However, the IAEA also said the geographical origin of the release has not yet been determined.

Last week, Estonia, Finland and Sweden reported levels of ruthenium-103, caesium-134 and caesium-137 isotopes in the air which were higher than usual.

The IAEA, in an effort to help identify the possible origin of the radioisotopes, contacted counterparts in Europe and asked for information about whether they were detected in their countries, and if any event there may have been associated with the atmospheric release.

Date: Saturday, 04 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/elevated-radioisotope-levels-in-nordic-region-likely-linked-to-nuclear-reactor-7-5-2020