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Start-up nuclear energy company Fermi Energia on 16 February announced an initial investment round for a proposed reactor in Estonia, saying it will file a planning application later this year, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported. The new call for funding aims to complete a series of investments of €2.5 million ($3m) required to formally launch the planning project for deployment of a small modular reactor (SMR).

Date: Friday, 19 February 2021
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Estonia needs to put in place the necessary legislation and competencies if a small modular reactor (SMR) is to be in operation by 2035, speakers at a conference organised by Fermi Energia agreed yesterday. The Baltic country aims to stop generating electricity from oil shale by 2035, but has yet to officially launch a nuclear programme.

Date: Thursday, 11 February 2021
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Rita Baranwal. Rita Baranwal, the US Department of Energy’s former assistant secretary for its Office of Nuclear Energy, has been appointed vice-president of nuclear energy and chief nuclear officer of the Electric Power Research Institute.

Ms Baranwal, who unexpectedly resigned from the DOE on 8 January, two days after the Capitol riots, succeeds Neil Wilmshurst, who was promoted to senior vice-president of energy system resources in November.

At the DOE, Ms Baranwal managed nuclear research for existing and advanced reactors and new designs. She had consistently been a proponent of administration efforts to help develop Generation IV reactor technology. In October 2020 she said the DOE was committed to new nuclear technologies and federal support would help develop a portfolio of new reactors that will ultimately be competitive in both the US and global markets.

Date: Tuesday, 19 January 2021
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The challenges the nuclear industry faces are largely external and must be overcome if it is to help tackle the existential threat of climate change, panellists in the Nuclear Energy and its Future session of the Reuters Next conference on 11 January said. These challenges include: the notion nuclear is an out-dated technology; the cost of finance; market design; political changes; perceived competition with renewable energy; and the public's misconceptions about radioactive waste.

Date: Friday, 15 January 2021
Original article:,-says

A Brussels-based alliance of NGOs, weCARE, has written to the European Commission, Parliament and Council to urge "a more favourable evaluation at EU level" of nuclear energy for a larger projected share in the future very low-carbon energy mix, in combination with renewable sources, "thereby avoiding a gas lock-in effect".

Date: Wednesday, 06 January 2021
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US-based Terrestrial Energy has started a graphite irradiation testing programme with the Netherlands’ Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) using NRG’s Petten Research Centre’s High Flux Reactor (HFR).

Date: Tuesday, 17 November 2020
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The high flux research reactor at Petten in the Netherlands. Courtesy NRG. US-based Terrestrial Energy and the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) have started a graphite irradiation testing programme for the Integral Molten Salt Reactor power plant at NRG’s high flux research reactor (HFR) at Petten in the Netherlands.

The work is part of broader programme of testing of components and systems for the IMSR plant, which uses Generation IV reactor technology for electric power generation and heat for industrial heat applications.

The testing programme at the HFR, one of the most powerful multi-purpose research and test reactors in the world, is designed to confirm the predicted performance of selected graphite grades throughout the seven-year cycle of the IMSR core-unit.

The testing will simulate IMSR core conditions, encompassing the full range of IMSR operating temperatures and of the neutron flux. NRG said the HFR has reached full power indicating the successful start of the test programme.

Date: Saturday, 14 November 2020
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The Shidao Bay nuclear power plant in China. Courtesy CNNC. Cold functional testing was completed at the second reactor of the Generation IV Shidao Bay-1 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor-pebble bed module (HTR-PM) demonstration plant under construction in China, China National Nuclear Corporation said.

The aim of the cold tests was to verify the reactor’s primary loop system and equipment and the strength and tightness of its auxiliary pipelines under pressure higher than the design pressure.

Identical tests at the first reactor of the twin-reactor HTR-PM plant began on 6 October and were completed on 19 October.

Cold functional tests at other types of reactors use water, while those at the HTR-PM reactor used compressed air and a small amount of helium which is pressurised to a maximum of 8.9 MPa.

Date: Friday, 06 November 2020
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The 2020 edition of the biennial International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) booklet, Advances in Small Modular Reactor Technology Developments provides the latest data and information on SMRs around the world, including detailed descriptions of 72 reactors under development or construction in 18 countries.

Date: Wednesday, 04 November 2020
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The Canadian Government said that, “as a global leader in nuclear energy and nuclear safety, Canada is poised to be a leader in the safe and responsible development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology”. It added: “SMRs are expected to play a key role in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and in providing economic benefits as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Date: Tuesday, 20 October 2020
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