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As policymakers grapple with the twin challenges of climate change and a post-COVID economic recovery, the benefits of nuclear power are clearer than ever, but the industry still has some way to go in addressing perceptions of its alleged drawbacks with cost, safety and radioactive waste. This was the overriding message of the three panellists in a webinar held last week by Utilities Middle East in partnership with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

Date: Friday, 01 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/The-barrier-to-nuclear-is-perception,-says-panel

International treaties governing nuclear security serve as frameworks based on shared experience, but they are not a substitute for practical and ongoing cooperation. This was one of the messages from delegates at NP1 - The Nuclear Power Conference Israel - Threats, Challenges, Opportunities.

Date: Saturday, 05 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Extending-nuclear-cooperation-to-the-Middle-East

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