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The Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has closed its Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) reactor at the Lucas Heights nuclear medicine precinct to undergo necessary upgrades and maintenance. OPAL is a state-of-the-art 20 MWt multi-purpose reactor that uses low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. The $300m OPAL reactor, supplied by Argentina’s INVAP, was opened in 2007 with an estimated design life of 60 years.

Date: Thursday, 18 April 2024
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The decision to take unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province offline to investigate a fuel failure issue lies with the plant operator, EDF said yesterday. However, it said under its own operating procedures for its French units, operation of the EPR would be temporarily halted to carry out such inspections and take corrective measures. It noted the chemical composition of the primary circuit water at Taishan 1 remains within regulatory threshold limits.

Date: Saturday, 24 July 2021
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An increase in the concentration of noble gases in the primary circuit of the Taishan 1 EPR is related to a few damaged fuel rods, China's National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) confirmed today. It said the increase is "a common phenomenon" and is still in accordance with the requirements of the plant's operating technical specifications. Earlier this week, France's Framatome - which designed the EPR - said the unit was experiencing a "performance issue".

Date: Thursday, 17 June 2021
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Fuel rod fault suspected as cause The Taishan nuclear power plant has two EPR units in commercial operation since 2018 and 2019. Image courtesy Framatome. The Taishan-1 nuclear power plant in China’s southern Guangdong province is at present operating within safety parameters, a spokesperson for reactor technology provider Framatome told NucNet.

French energy Group EDF said yesterday that it had been informed by operators of the increase in the concentration of certain inert (noble) gases in the primary circuit at Taishan-1, an EPR supplied by EDF subsidiary Framatome.

Taishan-1 made headlines on Monday after CNN reported that the US government had been working to investigate reports of a “leak” at the 1,660-MW pressurised water reactor unit.

EDF said the presence of inert gases in the primary circuit is a known phenomenon, “studied and provided for” in the reactor operating procedures.

Date: Wednesday, 16 June 2021
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The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation's (ANSTO) medical isotope production facility announced in January that it had become the second in the world to install a high-resolution monitoring system to track emissions from its medical radioisotopes production facility under an initiative led by the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
ANSTO and PNNL said the detector system was installed in October at the medical isotope production facility at Lucas Heights. The first such system had been installed in a monitor stack at the Institute for Radioelements (IRE) at Fleurus in Belgium. Both IRE and ANSTO produce molybdenum-99 by irradiating uranium in a reactor. The process releases gaseous fission products including xenon isotopes. While representing no danger to the public, the isotopes resemble those produced by a nuclear explosion.

Date: Tuesday, 05 February 2019
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The revenue of Russia’s Siberian Chemical Company (SCC) in 2016 amounted to RUB14.9n (253m) up from RUB14.2bn in 2015. Net profit was more than RUB1.8bn, RUB1.1bn more than in 2015. SCC, part of Rosatom’s fuel company Tvel,  is Russia’s only producer of uranium hexafluoride (conversion), and also specialises in the enrichment of natural and regenerated uranium for NPP fuel. It produces stable isotopes and has facilities for refining natural and recovered uranium from chemical and radioactive impurities. SCC also produces high purity fluorides of various metals.

Date: Sunday, 20 August 2017
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Over the first half of year Russia's Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in Seversk produced isotopes worth more than RUB10m ($159,190).

Date: Tuesday, 11 August 2015
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A new gas control system installed to reduce radioactive nuclides from the unit 2 primary containment vessel has possibly detected amounts of radioactive xenon with short half-lives, TEPCO said.

Unit 2 PCV filter unit

Date: Wednesday, 02 November 2011
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