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File photo of drilling at the Salamanca uranium mine site in northern Spain. Courtesy Berkeley Energia. A proposed amendment to Spain’s draft climate change and energy transition bill that would prohibit the investigation and exploitation of radioactive minerals has no justified reason and is contrary to the Spanish constitution, uranium mining company Berkeley Energia said.

The company, which is trying to develop the Salamanca uranium mine in northwestern Spain, said that under the proposed amendment uranium mining would be prohibited and any open proceedings related to the authorisation of radioactive facilities of the nuclear fuel cycle for the processing of such minerals would be closed.

In a statement the company said: “Berkeley's position on the content of this proposed amendment is clear: prohibition of economic activities in Spain with no justified reasons is contrary to the Spanish constitution and to the legal rights recognised by other international instruments.

“In particular, it must be taken into account that the company currently holds legal, valid and consolidated rights for the investigation and exploitation of its mining projects, including a valid 30-year mining licence (renewable for two further periods of 30 years) for the Salamanca mine.”

Date: Tuesday, 20 October 2020
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A proposed amendment to Spain's draft climate change and energy transition bill that would prohibit the exploration and extraction of uranium is unconstitutional, says Berkeley Energia. The Australian-based company is at an advanced stage in licensing its Salamanca uranium mine.

Date: Saturday, 17 October 2020
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A surge in well-designed energy policies is needed to put the world on track for a resilient energy system that can meet climate goals, the International Energy Agency said today. Unveiling the latest edition of its flagship publication, the Paris-based organisation noted that worldwide low-carbon electricity generation from nuclear and renewable energies had exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time last year.

Date: Wednesday, 14 October 2020
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The Municipality of Retortillo has issued Berkeley Energia a land use permit, known as an Urbanism Licence, for construction works at the Salamanca uranium project in western Spain. The project still requires a construction permit for the uranium processing plant before full construction of the mine can begin.

Date: Thursday, 13 August 2020
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The single-unit Trillo Is one of Spain’s seven commercial nuclear power plants. Spain’s nuclear regulator, the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), has submitted its annual report to the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, saying that nuclear and radioactive facilities in Spain functioned safely in 2019.

CSN said in its report that facilities have operated to high standards, guaranteeing the radiological protection of workers, the population and the environment.

The preparation and submission of the report is required by law.

Madrid-based nuclear industry group Foro Nuclear said the CSN report reflects the positive results of nuclear power plants and the sector as a whole in 2019.

Date: Wednesday, 15 July 2020
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The slightly elevated levels of three different radioisotopes recently detected in northern Europe are probably related to a nuclear reactor which is either operating or undergoing maintenance, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on 3 July.

The recorded air concentrations of the particles were very low and posed no risk to human health and the environment, the statement said.

However, the IAEA also said the geographical origin of the release has not yet been determined.

Last week, Estonia, Finland and Sweden reported levels of ruthenium-103, caesium-134 and caesium-137 isotopes in the air which were higher than usual.

The IAEA, in an effort to help identify the possible origin of the radioisotopes, contacted counterparts in Europe and asked for information about whether they were detected in their countries, and if any event there may have been associated with the atmospheric release.

Date: Saturday, 04 July 2020
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Weaker economic activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic means that S&P Global Ratings' base-case assumptions for power prices in some of Europe's main markets in 2020-2021 are now up to 20% lower than its previous assumptions in November 2019. This, it says, is despite a drastic cut in French nuclear power production rates over the coming three years.

Date: Thursday, 18 June 2020
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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
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