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Aim is to build fleet of up to 16 440-MW reactors A mockup of the proposed 440-MW SMR plant. Photo courtesy Rolls-Royce. UK-based nuclear engineering company Assystem has announced it will become part of a UK consortium established to design and build compact nuclear power stations.

The consortium is comprised of Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear AMRC, Rolls-Royce, Jacobs and TWI.

It is working to design a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor that will be at the heart of the UK’s planned low-carbon economy.

The consortium is matching the £18m investment confirmed by the UK government organisation, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The first power station is targeted to be built and connected to the national electricity grid by 2029, with the support of legislation to enable the programme.

Date: Thursday, 09 April 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/assystem-joins-rolls-royce-smr-consortium-4-3-2020

The impetus for new build is being spurred by a need to reduce reliance on polluting coal China has 10 nuclear units under construction including two Generation III Hualong One plants at Fangchenggang. China, with its state nuclear companies backed by a government hungry for development, is the most active nation for building new nuclear power plants. That trend that is likely to continue, although confirming lucrative export deals for its reactor technology still runs far behind the pace set by Russia, which says it had 39 reactors under construction or planned overseas as of 2018.

This compares to only two reactors under construction overseas by China, both in Pakistan, although in the UK China has a stake in EDF’s Hinkley Point C project and plans for Chinese technology at Bradwell B. At Sizewell C in Suffolk EDF wants to build a clone of Hinkley Point C if it can attract enough private investment. CGN holds a 20% share.

The government has said it wants to build 30 reactors overseas by 2030. China and Russia both see Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity, as something of a golden fleece and are pursuing nuclear agreements, which lay the groundwork for new-build, in a number of African nations. Small modular reactors and floating reactors could be an option for isolated areas. China has already said it is close to starting work on its first floating unit, but reliable details are few and far between.

The impetus for nuclear power in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants. To meet its climate goal as stipulated in the Paris agreement, China will need to reduce its coal power capacity by 40% over the next decade, according to Global Energy Monitor’s analysis. At present, this seems unrealistic. In addition to roughly 1,000 GW of existing coal capacity, China has 121 GW of coal plants under construction, which is more than is being built in the rest of the world combined.

Date: Friday, 24 January 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/china-keen-to-match-pace-set-by-russia-in-overseas-construction-1-4-2020

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 17 October took delivery of a shipment of low enriched uranium (LEU) at the purpose-built LEU Bank in Kazakhstan which is intended to provide assurance to countries about the availability of nuclear fuel. “With the arrival of the first shipment, the IAEA LEU Bank is now established and operational,” IAEA Acting Director General Cornel Feruta said. “It is the first time the Agency has undertaken a project of this legal, operational and logistical complexity.”

Date: Thursday, 24 October 2019
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiaea-fuel-bank-begins-operation-7470035

The International Atomic Energy Agency took delivery of a shipment of low-enriched uranium (LEU) at a purpose-built facility in Kazakhstan on Thursday (17 October), officially establishing the agency’s LEU bank aimed at providing assurance to countries about the availability of nuclear fuel.

Owned by the IAEA and hosted by Kazakhstan, the bank is one of the agency’s most ambitious and challenging projects since it was founded in 1957. Plans for the facility were first passed by the IAEA board of governors in December 2010.

The bank has been fully funded by contributions from IAEA member states and other donors totalling $150m, covering estimated costs for 20 years of operation. Donors include the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the US, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Norway and Kazakhstan.

The bank offers a supply of last resort for IAEA member states that experience a supply disruption due to exceptional circumstances and are unable to secure nuclear power fuel from the commercial market, state-to-state arrangements or by any other means. It will be a physical reserve of 90 tonnes of LEU, the basic ingredient to fabricate fuel for nuclear power plants.

Date: Saturday, 19 October 2019
Original article: nucnet.org/news/first-delivery-sees-usd150-million-kazakhstan-facility-become-operational-10-5-2019

The United Arab Emirates Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has signed international co-operation agreements with UK and Canadian regulators aimed at exchange of knowledge and information. An "Information Exchange Arrangement" signed with the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) seeks to exchange information on matters related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It also paves way for exchange of information on legislation, regulations, licences as well as construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear installations, according to a statement from FANR.

Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsuae-signs-agreements-with-uk-and-canada-5936656

South Australia Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle recommended, in its 344-page report published on 9 May, that South Australia should "further investigate" the feasibility of the storage and disposal of international used nuclear fuel and intermediate-level waste. The commission said South Australia has the attributes and capabilities to manage and dispose of international used nuclear fuel safely, and it would have a significant inter-generational benefit to the community.

Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssouth-australia-considers-international-waste-facility-4888242

An international team of nuclear safety experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today completed an assessment of operational safety at Flamanville 1&2 in France. It appears that the review did not include unit 3, under construction.

Date: Thursday, 23 October 2014
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiaea-osart-mission-to-flamanville-site-completed-4415063

Following a 10-day evaluation visit, an IAEA delegation has issued a report about the United Arab Emirates regulator, FANR.

Date: Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiaea-acknowledges-speedy-uae-regulator-set-up-in-review

How long does it take to develop a robust nuclear safety culture? The early history of commercial nuclear power complicates the answer to this question since early reactors were used mainly, or exclusively, for nuclear weapons material; that work was more closely aligned with the culture and values of the space programme, for example, or a munitions factory, than an electrical utility. Military secrecy would probably have tended to prevent contact with other plants in the country, much less plants in foreign countries.

Date: Monday, 09 May 2011
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsunited-nuclear-emirates

The US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the US State Department have announced the creation of a new Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII) at the Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research in Abu Dhabi. The Institute will strengthen nuclear energy security, safeguards, and safety infrastructure development throughout the Persian Gulf.

Date: Friday, 04 March 2011
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsgulf-nuclear-energy-infrastructure-institute-launched-721