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The ITER Organisation has selected the contractors to carry out assembly and installation activities inside the Tokamak Complex at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter), under construction in Cadarache, France. These contracts are the last major assembly and installation contracts planned for first-phase Iter assembly.

Date: Wednesday, 13 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Final-major-contracts-signed-for-Iter-Tokamak-Comp

China's first ship for the transport of used nuclear fuel has been delivered to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The independently produced double-hulled vessel meets the INF-3 (Irradiated Nuclear Fuel class 3) standards set by the International Maritime Organisation.

Date: Friday, 11 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/China-commissions-first-used-fuel-transport-ship

The first canister of used nuclear fuel was yesterday loaded into the Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility (ISF-2) at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine. ISF-2 is the largest dry-type used fuel storage facility in the world and has an operating life of at least 100 years.

Date: Friday, 20 November 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/First-assemblies-loaded-into-new-Chernobyl-used-fu

A new EU-funded project aims to improve confidence in nuclear safety by advancing the approach to seismic safety assessments for nuclear power plants. The 'methods and tools innovations for seismic risk assessment' (METIS) Horizon 2020 project is being led by France's EDF Group.

Date: Tuesday, 10 November 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/European-project-to-bolster-earthquake-protection

€400m plant, backed by international donors, will provide safe storage for a minimum of 100 years Hot testing has begun at the €400m ISF-2 facility at Chernobyl. Courtesy EBRD. Hot testing has started at the Interim Storage Facility 2 (ISF-2) in Chernobyl where spent nuclear fuel from reactors 1, 2 and 3 at the destroyed nuclear station will be processed and stored in the world’s largest nuclear dry storage once full operations have started.

The start of hot testing on 10 September was approved by the Ukrainian regulator following the successful completion of previous system-wide trials of the facility, constructed by an international consortium led by the US company Holtec and financed by the international community through the Nuclear Safety Account, managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The processing and storage of the spent nuclear fuel at Chernobyl is one of the key remaining tasks at the site. While the 1986 accident destroyed reactor 4, the more than 21,000 fuel assemblies used in the RMBK-type reactors 1, 2 and 3 were removed in the following years and provisionally stored in a wet pond facility.

The new ISF-2 will replace the current site storage arrangements, providing safe storage for a minimum of 100 years. A purpose-built special train will transport the spent nuclear fuel assemblies to the ISF-2 facility where they will be cut, dried and packaged into double-walled canisters in the specially designed processing facility and – finally – transferred to the newly constructed onsite storage modules.

Date: Saturday, 12 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/hot-testing-begins-at-isf-2-interim-spent-fuel-facility-9-5-2020

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

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
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/SFEN-Nuclear-essential-to-economic-recovery