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The Netherlands-based Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) has begun a new study – part of its molten salt technology programme – that aims to simulate what happens when the molten salt cools down to below 150C.

Results of the study will contribute to the safety analysis of molten salt reactors. NRG said last year that the study will include the monitoring of pressure, dose and temperature and that five salts will be investigated, The salt samples will be provided by Czech research centre Řež.

A new experimental facility, called Saga, is designed to be used for testing a range of configurations (or: arrangements) for molten salt reactors.

Unlike most experiments in NRG’s High Flux Reactor at Petten in the Netherlands, irradiation will take place in the spent fuel pool instead of the reactor core. This will make use of the strong gamma field emitted by spent nuclear fuel.

Date: Friday, 20 December 2019
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Used fuel assemblies, which had been lying for decades at the bottom of Building 5, an ageing used fuel store at Russia’s Andreeva Bay in the Arctic northwest, have been removed and secured. The complex operation that was the first of its kind, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on 26 November.

Date: Friday, 29 November 2019
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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced the retrieval of abandoned, highly radioactive used nuclear fuel assemblies from the bottom of Building 5 at Andreeva Bay in north-western Russian. Following the successful operation, radiation levels at the facility have fallen by over 40%, enabling further decommissioning work and removing "one of the most significant radiological risks to the Barent Sea region", the London-headquartered bank said.

Date: Thursday, 28 November 2019
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The Petten HFR in North Holland. Photo courtesy NRG. Netherlands-based nuclear services provider NRG has completed an irradiation test on molten nuclear fuel salts inside the High Flux Reactor (HFR) at Petten.

NRG said this is the first irradiation of its kind since research carried out in the US in the 1960s.

Irradiation tests are a crucial step in the development of molten salt reactor technology, which NRG said is promising in terms of both safety and economy, while having the potential to avoid the release of long-living radioactive waste in severe accident scenarios.

NRG said completing the test means it can now examine the irradiated salt more closely in its labs. “This means we’ll really be able to see how the salt responds to irradiation in the reactor,” a statement said.

Date: Thursday, 19 September 2019
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The first batch of used fuel assemblies from Russia’s Lepse floating technical base (PTB) was delivered to the Atomflot base in Murmansk, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced in late September.

Date: Wednesday, 02 October 2019
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The first containers of used nuclear fuel assemblies removed from the Lepse floating technical base at the Nerpa shipyard have been transported to Murmansk, Russia. The fuel is being removed under a programme managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and will be sent to Mayak for reprocessing.

Date: Thursday, 26 September 2019
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The Urenco-led U-Battery consortium has completed the first stage of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' (CNL) invitation to site a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor (SMR) at the Chalk River site. It is the fourth reactor design to do so.

Date: Tuesday, 30 July 2019
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German company PFALZSOLAR has won an international tender to build and operate a 21.5MW solar park on the site of the Borssele nuclear plant in the Netherlands.

Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2019
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Shine Medical Isotopes yesterday broke ground on its first medical isotope production facility in Janesville, Wisconsin. Commercial production of isotopes, including molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), is scheduled to begin in 2021.

Date: Friday, 10 May 2019
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The availability of Engie's Belgian nuclear power plants will rise to 78% this year, from 52% last year, according to its 2018 financial statement released yesterday. That percentage is expected to increase to 79% in 2020 and 93% in 2021, it added.

Date: Friday, 01 March 2019
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