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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on 28 July that work had started in the Kyrgyz Republic to overcome the legacy of uranium mining in Central Asia, a former industrial centre during the Soviet period near the border with Uzbekistan. Despite the global disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic intense project preparations continued in recent months to deliver the start of the construction works on schedule, EBRD noted.

Date: Saturday, 01 August 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newswork-begins-in-kyrgyz-republic-to-clean-up-soviet-era-uranium-8055807

Work has started in Kyrgyzstan to overcome the legacy of uranium mining in Central Asia with a ground-breaking ceremony in Shekaftar, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced today. The Shekaftar mining complex includes three closed mines and eight mining-waste disposal areas that contain about 700,000 cubic metres of waste from mining operations.

Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Remediation-work-begins-at-Kyrgyz-legacy-uranium-s

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

Policy uncertainty is ‘preventing industry from making investment decisions’ Policy uncertainty in a number of countries is preventing the nuclear industry from making investment decisions and “forthright recognition” by governments of the value of nuclear energy would encourage policymakers to explicitly include nuclear in their long-term energy plans and commitments under the Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency has said.

The Paris-based agency said in a report on meeting climate goals that nuclear policy uncertainty is partly the result of inconsistencies between stated policy goals – such as climate change mitigation – and policy actions.

While some countries maintain they can meet decarbonisation objectives while phasing out nuclear (Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland) or reducing its share (France), others continue to recognise the need to increase nuclear reliance: China, Russia, India, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Uzbekistan.

In late 2018, the EU long-term energy strategy clearly stated that nuclear power – together with renewables – will form the backbone of the EU power system in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the IEA said. At the same time, ongoing EU taxonomy discussions regarding the eligibility of nuclear power generation for sustainability funding highlight the difficulties in recognising the contribution that nuclear energy makes to climate change mitigation.

Date: Friday, 12 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/agency-calls-for-forthright-recognition-of-nuclear-energy-6-4-2020

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

Spanish manufacturer Equipos Nucleares SA (ENSA) has completed the installation of three heat exchangers for the primary circuit of the Jules Horowitz Reactor (RJH), under construction at Cadarache in southern France. Once in operation, the reactor will be used for testing of materials and fuels for current and future nuclear reactor designs.

ENSA manufactured and installed the heat exchangers as part of Spain's contribution to the development and construction of the RJH. It completed hydraulic testing of the large components in June 2018. The company said the operation to manoeuvre and install the heat exchangers was complicated by the limited space within the reactor building.

RJH is being built under the framework of an international consortium of research institutes from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the European Commission, plus major companies such as EDF, Framatome and TechnicAtome. Partners from India and Japan have also joined the consortium and the door remains open to more potential European or international partners. The project forms part of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, and is one of three new research reactors forming the cornerstones of the European Research Area of Experimental Reactors, alongside the Myrrha accelerator-driven research reactor at Mol in Belgium and the Pallas reactor at Petten in the Netherlands.

France's national energy research commission, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), is funding 50% of the total EUR500 million (USD551 million) construction cost, with the remainder coming from EDF (20%), the research institutes (20%) and Framatome (10%). Operated by the CEA, the RJH will replace the 70 MWt Osiris reactor, which itself took over some of the roles of the 35 MWt Siloé reactor. Site preparations for the 100 MWt light water cooled reactor began in March 2007, with first concrete for its basemat poured in August 2009. The 105-tonne dome for the containment building of the pool-type reactor was raised by crane and lowered into place on 13 December 2013. Civil engineering work for the reactor building was completed in March 2017.

The modular design of RJH will be highly versatile and able to accommodate some 20 simultaneous experiments. Over its anticipated 50-year lifespan it will be used for studies on materials used in the nuclear power reactors of today and tomorrow, as well as testing fuels for current and future reactors. The instrumentation to be used with the reactor will allow hitherto unavailable real-time analysis to be performed. The reactor will also play a vital role in producing radioisotopes for use in nuclear medicine across Europe in coordination with existing NRG production facilities at Petten in the Netherlands.

Date: Tuesday, 28 January 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Heat-exchangers-in-place-at-Jules-Horowitz
New-build projects are making progress, but governments are still struggling with finding the right financing package for large reactors The delayed Flamanville-3 is one of three EPR units under construction in Europe. The others are at Olkiluoto in Finland and Hinkley Point in the UK. Photo courtesy EDF. Western Europe

The UK is facing a major challenge to replace its aging fleet of Generation I nuclear power plants, many of which are scheduled to shut down in 2023.

The project by French state utility EDF to build two Generation III EPR units at Hinkley Point C in Somerset is on track for connection to the grid by 2025. Once in commercial operation the two units will provide up to 7% of the total electricity demand. Two similar units are planned for the Sizewell site in Suffolk.

However, press reports have suggested EDF is in “a race against time” to secure a funding deal for Sizewell C as delays risk making the project prohibitively expensive.

According to The Times newspaper EDF has hired Rothschild as financial adviser for the project and says it wants a “definitive way forward” from the government this year so it can start construction in 2022.

Date: Friday, 17 January 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/what-lies-in-store-in-2020-1-4-2020

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced the retrieval of abandoned, highly radioactive used nuclear fuel assemblies from the bottom of Building 5 at Andreeva Bay in north-western Russian. Following the successful operation, radiation levels at the facility have fallen by over 40%, enabling further decommissioning work and removing "one of the most significant radiological risks to the Barent Sea region", the London-headquartered bank said.

Date: Thursday, 28 November 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/EBRD-announces-breakthrough-in-clean-up-of-Andreev