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A group of 46 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from 18 countries has written to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, calling for the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU taxonomy for sustainable investments. The exclusion of nuclear, they say, would promote a strategy that is "clearly inadequate" to decarbonise the region's economy.

Date: Thursday, 08 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/NGOs-call-for-nuclears-inclusion-in-EU-taxonomy

Global electricity demand is set to decline 2% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) first ever Electricity Market Report, which was published today. Nuclear power generation is set to fall by about 4% this year, it says. Global electricity demand is forecast to grow by around 3% next year.

Date: Tuesday, 15 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IEA-charts-COVID-s-impact-on-electricity-market

Switzerland’s National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) has compared the advantages and disadvantages of sites for a used fuel/high-level waste encapsulation plant. The resulting report, “High-level waste encapsulation plant: Advantages and disadvantages of different siting variants”, will serve as a basis for discussion with the regions, Nagra said.

Date: Friday, 21 August 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsswitzerlands-nagra-favours-interim-waste-storage-at-zwilag-8093843

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

The slightly elevated levels of three different radioisotopes recently detected in northern Europe are probably related to a nuclear reactor which is either operating or undergoing maintenance, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on 3 July.

The recorded air concentrations of the particles were very low and posed no risk to human health and the environment, the statement said.

However, the IAEA also said the geographical origin of the release has not yet been determined.

Last week, Estonia, Finland and Sweden reported levels of ruthenium-103, caesium-134 and caesium-137 isotopes in the air which were higher than usual.

The IAEA, in an effort to help identify the possible origin of the radioisotopes, contacted counterparts in Europe and asked for information about whether they were detected in their countries, and if any event there may have been associated with the atmospheric release.

Date: Saturday, 04 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/elevated-radioisotope-levels-in-nordic-region-likely-linked-to-nuclear-reactor-7-5-2020

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

Slovakia’s nuclear and decommissioning company Jadrová a vyraovacia spolocnos (JAVYS) announced on 2 June that it had completed “one of the most complex operations of the Jaslovské Bohunice V1 decommissioning project”.

Date: Friday, 05 June 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsdecommissioning-milestone-at-slovakias-bohunice-vi-7955839