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Delivery of the UK’s net-zero goals requires a vast increase in the production of zero-carbon electricity, hydrogen and district heating. Nuclear can make a vital and commercially viable contribution to the rapid scale-up of these energy vectors, write Dr Paul Nevitt, technical director of the Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme (AFCP) at the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll, managing directors at LucidCatalyst, and Scott Milne, head of insights at Energy Systems Catapult.

Date: Thursday, 22 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Nuclear-s-transformative-role-in-deliver

US-based Oklo on 14 July announced a 20-year commercial partnership with Compass Mining, the world's first online marketplace for Bitcoin mining hardware and hosting. With increasing power consumption from bitcoin mining, the partnership between Oklo and Compass aims to introduce advanced fission to supplement fossil fuels and promote diversity and sustainability in the energy sources used by miners. Oklo’s advanced fission powerhouses will provide baseload power for Compass’s Bitcoin mining machines, starting in the early 2020s. Oklo is committed to supplying at least 150 MWe to Compass in the first phase of this partnership, helping drive the sustainability of Bitcoin mining practices.

Date: Wednesday, 21 July 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newstwo-us-companies-seek-to-use-nuclear-for-bitcoin-mining-8912205

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on 13 July it was leading an effort, working with the Department of Energy (DOE), to advance space nuclear technologies. The government team has selected three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system. The reactor is a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilise high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsnasa-announces-funding-for-nuclear-thermal-propulsion-reactor-8898302

Plants could be used for missions to Mars A NASA illustration of a conceptual spacecraft using nuclear thermal propulsion. Courtesy NASA. NASA has selected three teams of companies to perform concept studies of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactors while making plans to fund similar studies for nuclear surface power systems.

Each contract is worth approximately $5m and will last one year.

One contract will go to BWX Technologies, working with Lockheed Martin. A second contract will go to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, working with X-energy and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The third will go to Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies, working with its parent company, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, as well as Blue Origin, General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy, General Electric Research, Framatome and Materion.

All three studies are focused on developing a design for a reactor that would be part of a future NTP system. That reactor would heat up a propellant such as liquid hydrogen, generating thrust at far higher efficiencies than conventional propulsion systems and enabling shorter transit times for missions to Mars.

Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nasa-announces-funding-for-three-thermal-propulsion-reactors-7-4-2021

Oklo Inc has announced a 20-year commercial partnership with Compass Mining, the world's first online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware and hosting. Oklo’s "advanced fission powerhouses" will provide clean, reliable and affordable baseload power for Compass’ Bitcoin mining machines, starting in the early 2020s.

Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Oklo-to-power-Bitcoin-mining-machines

Three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system for deep space missions have been selected by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The reactor will be a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilise high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel.

Date: Thursday, 15 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/NASA-selects-reactor-concepts-for-deep-space-explo

A Framatome employee inspects a Gaia fuel assembly Courtesy Framatome. The first reload of Framatome’s Gaia advanced accident-tolerant nuclear fuel has been installed in a US pressurised water reactor unit.

The French company said 64 fuel assemblies manufactured at its fuel fabrication facility in Richland, Washington, were loaded into the reactor as part of a standard spring refuelling outage.

It did not name the plant where the fuel had been loaded. In April 2019, Framatome said the first Gaia assemblies had been loaded into the reactor core of Unit 2 at Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear power plant.

Lionel Gaiffe, senior executive vice-president, fuel business unit at Framatome, said Gaia is the company’s most advanced pressurised water reactor fuel design. The fuel has several advanced features that provide added safety and economic benefits to nuclear plant operators.

Date: Wednesday, 14 July 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/first-reload-of-gaia-fuel-completed-at-us-pwr-7-2-2021

The European Commission (EC) on 2 July adopted the Euratom Work Programme 2021-2022, implementing the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025. The Work Programme outlines the objectives and specific topic areas, which will receive €300 million in funding. These investments will support fusion research, and help to foster progress in a wide range of areas, from further improving nuclear safety and radiation protection, to boosting non-power applications of nuclear technology. The Work Programme contributes to the EU's efforts to further develop technological leadership and promote excellence in nuclear research and innovation. This year’s calls have a particular focus on the medical field, directly supporting the priorities of the EU’s Beating Cancer Action Plan and the SAMIRA Action Plan.

Date: Friday, 09 July 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newseuratom-programme-receives-300-million-for-fusion-research-8879362

The European Commission has adopted the Euratom Work Programme 2021-2022, implementing the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025, which complements Horizon Europe. The Work Programme outlines the objectives and specific topic areas that will receive EUR300 million (USD355 million) in funding.

Date: Wednesday, 07 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Euratom-research-and-innovation-programme-receives

California-based Oklo on 25 June announced a $2 million cost-share award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) supported by the Technology Commercialisation Fund (TCF). Oklo is matching $1 million in funds and is partnering with the DOE and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) on a public-private partnership. The TCF project will enable the commercialisation of advanced fuel recycling capabilities by utilising electro-refining technology.

Date: Thursday, 01 July 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsoklo-receives-doe-funding-for-advanced-fuel-recycling-8860254