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Concreting has began at the cooling tower of unit 1 of Russia’s Kursk-II NPP, the plant said on 12 April. The cooling tower will be the tallest in Russia at 179 metres. “The design of the evaporative cooling tower at Kursk-II will include the construction of 115 tiers,” said Alexei Buldygin, head of the Construction Department. “Concreting of all levels will be carried out using automated self-propelled formwork, which will significantly speed up the process and increase the overall strength of the structure. By the end of 2021, it is planned to concretise 65 tiers of the shell and raise the cooling tower structure to a level of 105 metres.”

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsconcreting-of-the-shell-of-russias-tallest-cooling-tower-begins-8673047

In the wake of suspected sabotage at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility on 11 April, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi in a letter to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi on 13 April announced that Iran would start the uranium enrichment at the level of 60%. Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran the P5+1 group of countries (the USA, UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) Iran agreed to limit its nuclear development in return for the lifting of sanctions. Under the JCPOA, Iran had committed to keep enrichment to 3.67%. However, after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018, Iran began reviving its nuclear programme and had increased its enrichment level to 20% in January.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-steps-up-nuclear-activity-following-attack-on-its-natanz-facility-8673087

The business case behind the decision to restart the USA's only domestic uranium conversion facility announced earlier this year rested on suitable answers to several "puzzle piece" questions falling into place, ConverDyn's Malcolm Critchley told the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle forum yesterday.

Date: Thursday, 15 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-conversion-plant-gears-up-for-next-40-years

Two new power units are planned to be built Russia’s Leningrad-II NPP, according to Alexander Drozdenko, the Governor of the Leningrad Region. He said on his official VKontakte page on 9 April that Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev had “announced the adoption of a fundamental decision on the construction of two more power units in Sosnovy Bor”. He noted that for the Leningrad region this decision will provide an opportunity to receive electricity for the development of industry, ensure the growth of construction and related industries, create modern qualified jobs, and receive additional taxes to the regional budget.

Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newstwo-more-new-units-for-the-leningrad-npp-8665735

Concreting of the cooling tower at the first unit of the Kursk II nuclear power plant in western Russia has started. At a height of 179 metres, the structure will be the tallest cooling tower in Russia. It is expected to be fully completed by 2024.

Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Russias-tallest-cooling-tower-enters-next-construc

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on 10 April unveiled 133 new nuclear achievements in the provinces of Tehran, Markazi, Isfahan, Alborz and Qom to mark the 15th anniversary of the National Nuclear Technology Day. In a ceremony held via videoconference he gave the order for Iranian scientists to begin injecting uranium hexafluoride gas to a pilot cascade of 164 new generation IR6 centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility. He also announced that Iran has started mechanical testing of IR-9 centrifuges and launched an assembly line for their production.  

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-unveils-nuclear-achievements-as-talks-continue-in-vienna-8663463

Atommash, the Volgodonsk branch of AEM-Technologies JSC (part of Rosatom mechanical engineering division Atomenergomash) on 8 April shipped the first VVER-TOI nuclear reactor pressure vessel for the unit 1 of Russia’s Kursk-II NPP. VVER-TOI is a development by OKB Gidroress based on the technical solutions for VVER-1200 reactor plants. VVER-TOI reactors have increased power, improved technical and economic indicators and increased resistance to extreme external influences and natural disasters.

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsvver-toi-rpv-shipped-to-kursk-npp-8663497

Policymakers who ignore nuclear energy are not serious about meeting climate goals, delegates said at an Atlantic Council webinar last week. The first in the Raising Ambitions series, the event highlighted the attributes of this clean source of electricity and heat ahead of the Leaders’ Climate Summit, which the US Administration is hosting on 22-23 April.

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-power-can-help-raise-climate-ambitions

AEM Technologies has manufactured and shipped the reactor pressure vessel for the Kursk 2-1 nuclear plant. Courtesy Rosatom. Russia’s AEM Technologies has manufactured and shipped the reactor pressure vessel for the Kursk 2-1 nuclear plant under construction in western Russia, the company said.

AEM Technologies, part of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s engineering division Atomenergomash, said this is the first RPV for the VVER-TOI reactor technology being used for Kursk 2-1 and Kursk 2-2. It was developed from the 1,200 MW AES-2006 pressurised water reactor.

In a nuclear power plant, the RPV is one of the largest reactor components, a vessel containing the nuclear reactor coolant, core shroud, and the reactor core and fuel.

According to a statement, the 340-tonne RPV was tested at pressure levels of 24.5 MPa, about 1.4 times higher than actual operating pressure. The RPV required four welds to assemble in comparison to the six welds needed for the VVER-1200 RPV.

Date: Saturday, 10 April 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/aem-technologies-ships-rpv-for-kursk-2-1-nuclear-power-plant-4-5-2021

Introducing the 2020 report by Finnish company Fennovoima, CEO Joachim Specht said the Hanhikivi 1 project “is picking up speed and progressing well”. The Hanhikivi-1 project provides for the construction in Pyhajoki of a single-unit nuclear power plant based on a Russian-design VVER-1200 generation 3+ reactor. The project is currently at the stage of licensing and preparatory work is underway at the NPP construction site. A construction licence is expected in 2021. RAOS Project Oy is the general supplier under the EPC contract signed with Fennovoima on in 2013. RAOS Project, a 100% subsidiary of REIN JSC (part of Rosatom), was established in Finland in 2015 to implement the project.

Date: Friday, 09 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfennovoima-2020-report-says-hanhikivi-project-is-progressing-well-8657467