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The Plenary of Spain's nuclear regulator, Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN), meeting electronically, on 17 February approved a favourable report on the request for renewal of the operating licence for the Cofrentes NPP until 30 November 2030. The report will now be sent to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge for authorisation, as required by the Regulation for Nuclear and Radioactive Facilities (RINR, article 23), CSN said in a statement. The plant will be in operation for 40 years in 2024 and, therefore, will then enter Long Term Operation.

Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2021
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The Almaraz nuclear power station in Spain has two reactors in commercial operation. Courtesy CSN. A revision of taxes and levies on nuclear generation is needed in Spain if the government is to meet the challenge of climate change, the industry group Foro Nuclear said.

Nuclear power leads electricity production in Spain with a share of over 22% in 2020. But Foro Nuclear said the industry’s financial results have been reduced to the point where some years it has operated with losses, mainly due to the excessive tax burden it endures.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the average price of electricity in the wholesale market fell in 2020. At the same time, taxes applied to electricity production from nuclear sources increased, with a new tax in Catalonia and the extension to all nuclear power plants of a tax that finances response services provided by state security forces.

The rate of contributions to national radioactive waste management company Enresa has also increased, from €6.69/MWh to €7.98/MWh, Foro Nuclear said. This is for the management of irradiated fuel and other radioactive waste products and for the future decommissioning of nuclear power plants.

Date: Friday, 12 February 2021
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Energy consumption from fossil fuels is expected to decrease due to a stated commitment to lower carbon dioxide emissions and address climate change. This reduction will inevitably increase demand for other energy sources, including nuclear – currently the fastest growing source of energy worldwide. Many countries have stated plans to build new nuclear reactors to cope with demand, including China, India, Russia, UK, and the USA. Others are investing heavily in upgrading existing facilities, including Canada and France.

Date: Friday, 15 January 2021
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The challenges the nuclear industry faces are largely external and must be overcome if it is to help tackle the existential threat of climate change, panellists in the Nuclear Energy and its Future session of the Reuters Next conference on 11 January said. These challenges include: the notion nuclear is an out-dated technology; the cost of finance; market design; political changes; perceived competition with renewable energy; and the public's misconceptions about radioactive waste.

Date: Friday, 15 January 2021
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A Brussels-based alliance of NGOs, weCARE, has written to the European Commission, Parliament and Council to urge "a more favourable evaluation at EU level" of nuclear energy for a larger projected share in the future very low-carbon energy mix, in combination with renewable sources, "thereby avoiding a gas lock-in effect".

Date: Wednesday, 06 January 2021
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The European Union's clean energy transition "leaves a number of legacy technologies on the side" with an approach that is "more political economy than market economy", an analyst from S&P Global Ratings’ Infrastructure and Utilities practice said this week.

Date: Thursday, 19 November 2020
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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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