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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
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Weaker economic activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic means that S&P Global Ratings' base-case assumptions for power prices in some of Europe's main markets in 2020-2021 are now up to 20% lower than its previous assumptions in November 2019. This, it says, is despite a drastic cut in French nuclear power production rates over the coming three years.

Date: Thursday, 18 June 2020
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The core of the superconducting magnet was manufactured at ASG in Italy. Photo courtesy ASG. The core of another superconducting magnet has been completed in Italy for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) under construction at Cadarache in southern France.

The massive component was constructed at the ASG Superconductors factory in La Spezia, northern Italy. It will now be delivered to the port of Marghera, near Venice, for shipment to France.

Date: Wednesday, 10 June 2020
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Work will cost €270m and is scheduled for completion in 2027 The inside of the reactor building at the Latina nuclear plant in Italy. Photo courtesy Sogin. Italy's Ministry of Economic Development has issued a decree authorising state-owned nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management company Sogin to begin phase one of decommissioning the Latina nuclear power plant in Lazio, south of Rome.

The Latina plant, a 153-MW Magnox graphite gas-cooled reactor that began commercial operation in January 1964, is the last of Italy’s four commercial nuclear plants to be given a decommissioning decree. It was permanently shut down in December 1987 as a result of a referendum on nuclear power that followed the April 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Sogin took over ownership of the site in November 1999.

Sogin said in a statement that phase one of decommissioning is expected to cost €270m and be completed in 2027. Phase two will not be able to begin until Italy has built a national repository. The site selection process for the repository has not yet begun, but the schedule published inn 2019 was to have in operation by 2025.

Date: Friday, 05 June 2020
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Italy's Ministry of Economic Development recently issued a decree authorising Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin) to begin the initial phase of decommissioning the Latina nuclear power plant. The Latina plant is the last of the four Italian nuclear power plants to obtain a decommissioning decree.

Date: Wednesday, 03 June 2020
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Making a commitment to build six new EPRs in France would be an "effective stimulus" for the country's economy as it recovers in the years ahead from the shock of COVID-19, the French nuclear energy society (SFEN) wrote in a position paper published this week. Nuclear energy "ticks all three boxes" highlighted in the debate about the recovery - that investments should be in low-carbon, resilient and sovereign industries, it said.

Date: Saturday, 16 May 2020
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A consignment of Russian equipment has been delivered to the construction site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction at Cadarache in France, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said on 23 April.

Date: Thursday, 30 April 2020
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Ansaldo Nuclear has supplied a bespoke robot to extract and recover 2000 drums of radioactive waste from difficult-to-access locations at the Caorso nuclear power plant, now being decommissioned in Italy.

Date: Thursday, 16 April 2020
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The robot was designed and operated by Ansaldo Nuclear. Photo courtesy Ansaldo Nuclear. Ansaldo Nuclear has provided a bespoke robot to extract and recover 2,000 drums of radioactive waste from hard-to-access storage locations at the single-unit Caorso nuclear power plant in northern Italy.

The Genoa-based company said the exercise is part of one of the biggest and most complex decommissioning projects in the industry.

Ansaldo Nuclear designed, manufactured, installed and operated the robot. It was used to retrieve, verify, seal and pack the radioactive drums.

Under the terms of the decommissioning licence, obtained in 2014, one of the key projects is the treatment and conditioning of around 860 tonnes of radioactive ion exchange resins and sludges, still contained in two temporary storage buildings at the Caorso facility.

Date: Wednesday, 15 April 2020
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