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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide diagnostic kits, equipment and training in nuclear-derived detection techniques to countries asking for assistance in tackling the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19. Fourteen countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean have requested assistance with the diagnostic technique, known as Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). "The Agency takes pride in its ability to respond quickly to crises, as we did in the recent past with the Ebola, Zika and African Swine Fever viruses," IAEA Director General Mariano Grossi said in a statement to the IAEA Board of Governors. "Contributing to international efforts to deal with the coronavirus will remain a priority for me as long as the outbreak persists."

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-announces-support-for-COVID-19-effort

The impetus for new build is being spurred by a need to reduce reliance on polluting coal China has 10 nuclear units under construction including two Generation III Hualong One plants at Fangchenggang. China, with its state nuclear companies backed by a government hungry for development, is the most active nation for building new nuclear power plants. That trend that is likely to continue, although confirming lucrative export deals for its reactor technology still runs far behind the pace set by Russia, which says it had 39 reactors under construction or planned overseas as of 2018.

This compares to only two reactors under construction overseas by China, both in Pakistan, although in the UK China has a stake in EDF’s Hinkley Point C project and plans for Chinese technology at Bradwell B. At Sizewell C in Suffolk EDF wants to build a clone of Hinkley Point C if it can attract enough private investment. CGN holds a 20% share.

The government has said it wants to build 30 reactors overseas by 2030. China and Russia both see Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity, as something of a golden fleece and are pursuing nuclear agreements, which lay the groundwork for new-build, in a number of African nations. Small modular reactors and floating reactors could be an option for isolated areas. China has already said it is close to starting work on its first floating unit, but reliable details are few and far between.

The impetus for nuclear power in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants. To meet its climate goal as stipulated in the Paris agreement, China will need to reduce its coal power capacity by 40% over the next decade, according to Global Energy Monitor’s analysis. At present, this seems unrealistic. In addition to roughly 1,000 GW of existing coal capacity, China has 121 GW of coal plants under construction, which is more than is being built in the rest of the world combined.

Date: Friday, 24 January 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/china-keen-to-match-pace-set-by-russia-in-overseas-construction-1-4-2020

Leaked memoranda from the US embassy in London to Washington from 2007-9 reveal angst over Iran’s nuclear power programme, concern about international fuel banks, and the head of the IAEA, according to a series of nuclear power-related documents published by Wikileaks and UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph earlier this year. The most notable findings are summarized below.

Date: Friday, 04 March 2011
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newswikileaks-reveals-art-of-nuclear-diplomacy