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The UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and Saudi Arabia's Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Commission (NRRC) have agreed to cooperate in nuclear and radiation regulatory matters, and to form topical working groups. The agreement follows the signing of a bilateral accord on cooperation in nuclear energy between the two countries in 2019.

Date: Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/UAE-Saudi-nuclear-regulators-strengthen-cooperatio

The nuclear industry has merely scratched the surface of the flexible benefits of nuclear power, according to panellists in a conference held this week ahead of the 11th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM11). The CEM11 side-event, Flexibility in Clean Energy Systems: The Enabling Roles of Nuclear Energy, included high-level speakers from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as government officials from Canada, the UK and the USA. Hosted by Saudi Arabia, CEM11 will take place on 22 September.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclears-flexibility-is-the-magic-to-create-a-clea

There are immediate actions that countries and stakeholders can take in understanding the importance of nuclear power in the transition to clean energy, according to a report published today by the Flexible Nuclear Campaign for Nuclear-Renewables Integration (FNC). FNC is a campaign of the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), and coordinated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Date: Thursday, 17 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Policymakers-should-act-now-on-nuclear,-says-new-r

The Wall Street Journal has claimed that Saudi Arabia has constructed a facility – with assistance from China – to extract uranium yellowcake from uranium ore, citing western officials with knowledge of the matter.

The US newspaper reported that the processing facility, which has not been publicly disclosed, is in Saudi Arabia’s northwest region and is raising concerns from US officials. It said the main concern is that as the kingdom moves ahead with developing a commercial nuclear programme, it is keeping the door open for the creation of nuclear weapons.

Press reports said the Saudi energy ministry has “categorically denied” that it has built a uranium ore facility in the area described by the western officials. However, the reports quoted Saudi officials as saying that the extraction of uranium is a key component of the kingdom's economic diversification strategy, which looks to move away from its dependence on oil exports.

The energy ministry confirmed Saudi Arabia has a contract with China on uranium exploration in certain areas.

Date: Thursday, 06 August 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/saudi-arabia-press-report-claims-kingdom-has-built-uranium-processing-facility-8-3-2020

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

Aim is to build fleet of up to 16 440-MW reactors A mockup of the proposed 440-MW SMR plant. Photo courtesy Rolls-Royce. UK-based nuclear engineering company Assystem has announced it will become part of a UK consortium established to design and build compact nuclear power stations.

The consortium is comprised of Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear AMRC, Rolls-Royce, Jacobs and TWI.

It is working to design a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor that will be at the heart of the UK’s planned low-carbon economy.

The consortium is matching the £18m investment confirmed by the UK government organisation, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The first power station is targeted to be built and connected to the national electricity grid by 2029, with the support of legislation to enable the programme.

Date: Thursday, 09 April 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/assystem-joins-rolls-royce-smr-consortium-4-3-2020

The main challenges facing the nuclear industry are not in the production and delivery of electricity, but in securing the policy support required for it to expand its contribution of sustainable and low-carbon energy. This was the message of Philippe Costes, senior advisor at World Nuclear Assocation, to delegates at the Nuclear Power Plants Expo & Summit in Istanbul this week.

Date: Friday, 06 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-Policy-support-for-nuclear-in-the-global-en

The United Arab Emirates on 19 February began loading the first nuclear fuel rods into the reactor at unit 1 of its Barakah nuclear power plant.

Date: Friday, 21 February 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfuel-loading-begins-at-uaes-barakah-nuclear-plant-7782338

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

A revised pre-project engineering contract has been signed by South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) to establish a joint entity for the commercialisation and construction of the Korean-designed SMART small modular reactor in Saudi Arabia.

Date: Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Korea-Saudi-Arabia-progress-with-SMART-collaborati