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EDF has said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a slowdown in construction and maintenance of its nuclear power plant fleet in both France and the UK. It has warned of further delays to the schedules for completing both the Flamanville and Hinkley Point C projects.

Date: Friday, 31 July 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/EDF-counts-the-cost-of-coronavirus

Plan is to generate first ultra-hot plasma at €20bn facility in 2025 The €20bn project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale. Photo courtesy Iter. The world’s largest nuclear fusion project began its five-year assembly phase on Tuesday in southern France, with the first ultra-hot plasma expected to be generated in late 2025.

The €20bn Iter (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale.

The steel and concrete superstructures nestled in the hills of southern France will house a 23,000-tonne machine, known as a tokamak, capable of creating what is essentially an earthbound star.

Millions of components will be used to assemble the giant reactor, which will weigh 23,000 tonnes and the project is the most complex engineering endeavour in history. Almost 3,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, some heavier than a jumbo jet, will be connected by 200km of superconducting cables, all kept at -269C by the world’s largest cryogenic plant.

Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/world-s-largest-nuclear-fusion-project-under-assembly-in-france-7-2-2020

Companies say project will boost recovery and help meet net zero target A computer-generated image of the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station in England. Photo courtesy EDF Energy. A new British industrial consortium formed by 32 companies is calling on the government to approve the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station, saying it will boost the country’s post Covid-19 recovery by injecting billions into the UK’s green economy and net zero ambition

France’s EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation are 80% and 20% shareholders in the project to build two Generation III ER units on the Suffolk coast in southeast England. The cost of the project has been estimated at £18bn, although this has not been confirmed by either EDF or CGN.

The consortium believes Sizewell C will provide a major economic boost for the UK and set the country on the road to a green recovery. It said work could begin this year, involving contracts worth up to £300m, adding that it intends to sign agreements with UK regions to guarantee jobs and investment.

Up to 70% of contracts for Sizewell C will go to British-based businesses.

Date: Wednesday, 15 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/new-consortium-calls-on-government-to-approve-sizewell-c-7-2-2020

EDF Energy expects 1200 new jobs and 300 apprentices to be created in the next phase of construction of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant in Somerset, England. They will become part of the 4000 strong workforce who will fit electrical systems, cables and pipes at the plant.

Date: Thursday, 09 July 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Jobs-boost-as-Hinkley-Point-C-construction-enters

Iran will retaliate against any country that carries out cyber attacks on its nuclear sites, the head of civilian defence said on 3 July, after a fire at its Natanz enrichment facility.

Date: Tuesday, 07 July 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsincident-damages-building-at-irans-natanz-enrichment-facility-8011793

Agency says more support is needed for development of new generation reactors The European Union needs to offer more support for nuclear power with the bloc facing the largest fleet decline across advanced economies and the possibility that the share of nuclear in the electricity mix could fall from 25% in 2017 to 5% in 2040, a report by the International Energy Agency says.

The report, which reviews energy policies in the European Union, says the EU should support a broader spectrum of research, development and demonstration on advanced nuclear concepts and small modular reactors, including for heat production for industrial uses and cogeneration.

It calls for the integration of flexible nuclear and renewable sources and progress towards harmonisation and standardisation. It says there is a need for the development of common approaches for licensing.

The report warns that the EU’s fleet of 126 commercial reactors is ageing after the large construction wave in the 1970s and 1980s and the much more modest rate of construction since then.

Date: Friday, 26 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/iea-reports-warns-of-largest-fleet-decline-across-advanced-economies-6-4-2020

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
Original article: nucnet.org/news/agency-calls-for-forthright-recognition-of-nuclear-energy-6-4-2020

Construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in southwest England. Photo courtesy EDF Energy. UK-based Bilfinger has won two new contracts worth £350m to deliver the design, procurement, supplier management, fabrication and construction of pipework and specialist equipment for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station under construction in southwest England.

The industrial engineering company will create 350 new jobs in Britain, including specialist roles in engineering and manufacturing at its UK locations in Warrington, Humberside, Bristol and Somerset. Beginning immediately, the work will be delivered through Bilfinger’s Technologies and Engineering & Maintenance Europe division with UK bases in Bristol and Warrington whilst some of the manufacturing of specialist pipework will take place at an upgraded factory in the northeast of England.

Bilfinger said it is committed to training British workers through apprenticeships in a range of skills including welding, mechanical engineering, pipe-fitting and health, safety and environment.

Date: Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/uk-engineering-company-wins-gbp350m-pipework-contract-6-2-2020

The UK's nuclear industry has demonstrated its flexibility and inherent safety culture during the COVID-19 crisis, and ought to be given a key role in the country's low-carbon economic recovery, World Nuclear Association said in interviews with the BBC this week.

Date: Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-crucial-to-deep-decarbonisation-in-post-vi