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"Onkalo is a game changer for the long-term sustainability of nuclear energy," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said yesterday, referring to the world’s first-ever deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel that is under construction in Olkiluoto, Finland.

Date: Saturday, 28 November 2020
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"Though distinct topics, nuclear safety and nuclear security are interlinked, and they share the same goal: to protect people, society and the environment from hazards or threats that could arise from peaceful nuclear and radiological activities." This was the message to delegates at a forum organised by the International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) yesterday.

Date: Wednesday, 18 September 2019
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The Hanbit nuclear power station in South Korea. Photo courtesy Korea Yonggwang NPP / Wikipedia. 27 May (NucNet): South Korea’s nuclear regulator is expanding its special investigation into the manual shutdown of the Hanbit-1 power reactor earlier this month because of concerns it may have been the result of a violation of safety protocol.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said in a statement that during an inspection into the manual shutdown of the 995-MW pressurised water rector unit on 10 May it had found “some proof” that Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) “did not apply an adequate level of safety measures and violated the Nuclear Safety Act”.

The commission said it had ordered the suspension of operations at the plant and sent a team of special judiciary police officers to carry out a special inspection.

On 10 May, KHNP carried out a diagnostic test on the effectiveness of control rods, during which the reactor's power output surged 18% exceeding the 5% upper limit range.

Instead of shutting down the reactor immediately, it was almost 12 hours before the unit was taken offline, the commission said. Initial investigations showed that a member of staff who was not licensed to handle the control rods had been directly involved in the process.

The commission said this is the first time that special judicial police officers have investigated nuclear reactors in Korea since commercial operation of nuclear power began in South Korea at the Kori-1 reactor in 1978.

Hanbit-1, one of three reactors at the site, is being kept safe and there was no leak of radioactivity either inside or outside the facility, the commission said. For two months, until 20 July, the commission plans to monitor the reactor’s equipment and the company’s safety culture.

“Since the thermal output rose so suddenly, we’ll also have to check the integrity of the nuclear fuel. After thoroughly ensuring that the nuclear rods and nuclear fuel are both safe, we’ll take action related to nuclear power legislation,” the commission’s statement said.

Hanbit-1, in the south of the country, had recently been approved to restart operations after undergoing maintenance checks that started last year.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, South Korea has 25 reactors in commercial operation, generating about 24% of its electricity but has adopted a phase-out plan that aims to replace nuclear power with renewable energy sources.

Date: Monday, 27 May 2019
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A new peer review service has been launched by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assist member states in the development of infrastructure for nuclear research reactors. The first Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review for Research Reactors (INIR-RR) mission was carried out last week in Nigeria.

Date: Tuesday, 13 February 2018
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An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team of experts said Romania has significantly strengthened its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety.

Date: Thursday, 26 October 2017
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Romania has significantly strengthened its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in recent years, a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded. The team also made recommendations for further improvement.

Date: Wednesday, 18 October 2017
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The BN-800 sodium-cooled fast reactor at unit 4 of Russia’s Beloyarsk NPP began operating at 100% capacity for the first time on 17 August. Comprehensive testing of the unit at its rated power will be undertaken over 15 days as the final condition in preparation for commercial operation and before nuclear utility Rosenergoatom can receive permission from the nuclear regulator Rostechnadzor to operate the reactor commercially. This is scheduled for late autumn. Since the beginning of this year, as power was gradually increased, Beloyarsk 4 has generated more than 1.3TWh of electricity. It is expected to produce 3.5TWh during the whole of 2016.

Date: Tuesday, 23 August 2016
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Iranian officials and a visiting European Union (EU) delegation headed by European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini on 16 April signed various memoranda of understanding for cooperation on research. Iran's participation in the EU Horizon 2020 framework programme was also discussed, Iranian media reported. The European commission, and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) issued a joint statement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy which would include establishment of a regular high-level dialogue meeting once a year (the Framework for Partnership on Nuclear Energy) to review topics of common interest in the nuclear field.

Date: Tuesday, 19 April 2016
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India has ratified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), which it signed in 2010. The CSC relates to liability and compensation in the event of a nuclear incident. The instrument of ratification has been deposited with the agency's deputy director-general and head of the nuclear safety and security department, Juan Carlos Lentijo. The convention comes into force for India on 4 May.

Date: Monday, 08 February 2016
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Several international cooperation agreements related to nuclear safety and regulation have been signed this week on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency's General Conference in Vienna.

Date: Thursday, 17 September 2015
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