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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released the final report from its January 2018 mission to France to review radioactive waste management and decommissioning in the country. The review team said it had been "impressed with the nature and implementation of the French national programme".

Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-commends-French-nuclear-waste-programme

A consignment of Russian equipment has been delivered to the construction site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction at Cadarache in France, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said on 23 April.

Date: Thursday, 30 April 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiter-receives-equipment-from-russia-and-italy-7892298

International air transport has been the main bottleneck in getting radioisotopes and nuclear medicines where they are needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Nuclear Medicine Europe (NMEu) says there are signs the situation is improving.

Date: Wednesday, 29 April 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Air-transport-bottleneck-easing-for-medical-radioi

Agency schedules webinar and warns of possible shortages at hospitals A researcher at Indonesia’s National Nuclear Agency using a hot cell to prepare a radiopharmaceutical. Courtesy M. Gaspar/IAEA. The production of radioisotopes used to produce radiopharmaceuticals for medical procedures has continued during the Covid-19 pandemic, but hospitals could face shortages due to bottlenecks in transport and distribution, the International Atomic Energy Agency has warned.

An agency survey conducted among operators of research reactors that produce radioisotopes for radiopharmaceuticals shows that most major actors continue to produce radioisotopes because the production facilities have been defined as essential by the relevant governments.

However, many airlines are no longer operating because of the pandemic and borders are closed, which affects the distribution of medical radioisotopes around the world.

Joao Osso Junior, head of the radioisotope products and radiation technology section at the IAEA, said the agency is working to assess the need for medical radioisotopes because most research and education activities using isotopes have been put on hold and many hospitals have delayed diagnosis applications.

Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/radioisotope-industry-facing-distribution-challenges-says-iaea-4-2-2020

The production of medical radioisotopes has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic but bottlenecks in transport and distribution could lead to shortages at hospitals, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) survey of the research reactors where the isotopes are produced.

Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Medical-isotope-supply-chain-faces-challenges-from

The Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania. Photo courtesy EBRD. The Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania has announced a €73m tender to choose a contractor for the construction of a repository for solid radioactive waste.

According to press reports in Lithuania, citing information on the government’s central procurement portal, the competition was announced on 28 March and proposals will be accepted until 30 June.

INPP, the company operating the station, will use the repository for waste generated by the decommissioning of Ignalina’s two Soviet-era RBMK units, which were shut down permanently in line with requirements for Lithuania’s membership of the EU.

Ignalina-1 was shut down in December 2004 and Ignalina-2 in December 2009.

Date: Wednesday, 01 April 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/lithuania-announces-eur73m-tender-for-waste-repository-3-2-2020

The Netherlands Council of State has given the green light for the amended zoning plan of the municipality of Schagen, opening the way for construction of the Pallas reactor.

Date: Friday, 20 March 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsgreen-light-for-pallas-reactor-7830460

New unit will play crucial role in radiopharmaceutical supply and nuclear technology research The Petten nuclear site in the Netherlands. Photo courtesy Pallas Foundation. Preparations for construction of the Pallas nuclear research reactor at Petten in the Netherlands will continue after the Council of State approved a change to the zoning scheme for the facility.

Pallas chief executive officer Hermen van der Lugt said the decision was “a magnificent step in the right direction”. He said it means the zoning scheme is final and the foundation overseeing the Pallas project can proceed with applications for licences needed for construction.

In October 2017 Pallas filed a request for a change to the zoning scheme. The change concerned enlarging the existing nuclear zone and increasing the maximum allowed construction height.

Four separate appeals were lodged against the changes. One was judged unfounded and another was withdrawn. The remaining appeals, lodged by local residents and an environmental group for the protection of Petten’s sand dunes, said the reactor would affect both scenery and environment, partly as a result of nitrogen emissions. They said ecological investigations into the impact were incomplete.

Date: Tuesday, 17 March 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/preparations-to-continue-after-dutch-council-of-state-approves-zoning-3-5-2020

The Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania. Photo courtesy EBRD. The decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania is “well advanced” and has reached a new milestone with the delivery of the final storage cask for spent nuclear fuel, one year ahead of schedule, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development confiremd today.

Germany-based GNS (Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service) said last week it had delivered the final cask. The casks are used for the storage of spent nuclear fuel assemblies that date from the time when the facility’s two Russian 1,185-MW RBMK units were operational.

Lithuania closed the first unit at Ignalina in 2004 and the second in 2009 following safety concerns about its Soviet-designed reactors. The EBRD is managing the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund, established in 2001.

The EBRD said today that the decommissioning process is well advanced. An interim storage facility for spent fuel opened in October 2016 and has since received a total of 142 Constor RBMK 1500-M2 casks loaded with 12,891 spent fuel assemblies from the Ignalina reactors and storage ponds of Units 1 and 2.

Date: Tuesday, 03 March 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/decommissioning-of-soviet-era-reactors-well-advanced-says-ebrd-3-1-2020

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