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The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest report, Electricity 2024, dedicates a significant amount of space to nuclear power – a departure from its previous studies which treated it as peripheral. In its press release on the new report, IEA says the increase in electricity generation from renewables and nuclear "appears to be pushing the power sector's emissions into structural decline". Over the next three years, low-emissions generation is set to rise at twice the annual growth rate between 2018 and 2023. Global emissions from electricity generation are expected to decrease by 2.4% in 2024, followed by smaller declines in 2025 and 2026.

Date: Friday, 26 January 2024
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiea-acknowledges-significance-of-nuclear-energy-in-new-report-11463539

The 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) ended in Dubai with a lengthy agreement unanimously adopted by all parties calling for a transitioning away from fossil fuels and an acceleration of zero- and low-emission technologies. Although nuclear was included, it was mentioned just once in paragraph 28, sub-section (e) of the 197-paragraph text.

Date: Friday, 15 December 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newscop28-ends-with-agreement-to-accelerate-green-technologies-including-nuclear-11372830

At the 28th Conference of the Parties to the original 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), 22 countries signed a declaration supporting tripling nuclear energy capacity by 2050. The document was signed by the heads of state, or senior officials, from Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, Hungary, Japan, South Korea, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the USA. China and Russia did not sign, although they have the world’s fastest growing and most ambitious nuclear power programmes.

Date: Wednesday, 06 December 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newscop28-22-countries-target-tripling-global-nuclear-energy-capacity-by-2050-11347824

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission has completed a peer review mission in the Netherlands to assess the nuclear security regime.

Date: Thursday, 19 October 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiaea-concludes-safety-review-mission-in-the-netherlands-11228446

Advances in emerging field of ‘theranostics’ are a game-changer Millions of patients around the globe rely on the regular and timely production of diagnostic and therapeutic isotopes produced in research reactors and accelerator facilities. Image courtesy IAEA. Advances in medical isotope diagnostics and therapy are holding promise for cancer patients, despite challenges facing the nuclear medical field in recent years related to radionuclide production and supply, rising costs, and stricter regulation.

Medical isotopes are radioactive substances used in various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to treat various types of cancers and other conditions. They are essential for modern medicine, allowing physicians to visualise and target specific organs, tissues and cells in a patient’s body.

Over more than a decade, personalised medicine using nuclear techniques has been gaining pace, allowing doctors to tailor therapies and treatments to the specific needs and physiology of a patient, and to avoid harm to healthy organs or tissues.

According to Sven Van den Berghe, chief executive of Belgium-based isotope producer PanTera, one technique that has seen significant advances is known as theranostics – the term used to describe the combination of using one radioactive drug to diagnose and a second to deliver therapy to treat the main tumour and any metastatic tumours.

Date: Friday, 14 April 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/sector-aims-to-tackle-isotope-supply-problems-as-excitement-grows-over-targeted-therapies-4-4-2023

‘No technical arguments’ for shutting down nuclear plants after 40 years Unit 2 at the Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium is scheduled for permanent shutdown this week. Courtesy Electrabel. Belgium should repeal its 2003 nuclear exit law as it looks for ways to deal with the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting gas and electricity price increases, the Brussels-based Belgian Nuclear Forum said.

The underlying argument of the 2003 law is that a nuclear plant is obsolete after 40 years and should be decommissioned, the forum said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth: there are no technical arguments for definitively shutting down a nuclear power plant after 40 years of operation, but only political arguments,” it added.

The forum issued the statement as owner and operater Engie Electrabel prepares to permanently shut down the Tinhange-2 nuclear power plant on 31 January. The 1,008-MW pressurised water reactor unt began commercial operation on 1 June 1983 and has been online for 40 years.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the last couple of decades have witnessed increased interest in the extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants. Extending the life of a plant is more economical than building a new one, and where it makes business sense. The agency says about 90% of US plants have already renewed their licences to extend their operation to 60 years, with additional extensions for a total of 80 years being considered. In Europe, plants are regularly seeking lifetimes of 60 years.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/as-tihange-2-approaches-closure-industry-group-calls-for-repeal-of-2003-nuclear-exit-law-1-1-2023

Even oil-rich companies of Middle East are eying reactors, as more nations announce plans for SMRs Russian troops occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear station, which was damaged by shelling. File photo courtesy IAEA. 2022 was a year of mega milestones for nuclear energy.

Countries around the world turned to nuclear as a reliable low-carbon energy source as they looked for ways to wean themselves off Russian imports and lower carbon emissions.

New plants began operating, deals for small modular reactors were signed and countries announced ambitious plans for new-build.

On the political front, US president Joe Biden signed into law new legislation that will help to finance struggling nuclear reactors and could save dozens from being shut down early. In Europe, the nuclear industry celebrated when members of the European parliament decided to “follow the science” and support legislation which includes nuclear in the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy for green investment.

Date: Tuesday, 10 January 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/five-major-developments-that-are-setting-the-stage-for-2023-and-beyond-1-1-2023

The Dutch Council of Ministers has approved plans for construction of two new nuclear power units, each with a power of 1000-1650MWe, with Borssele in the Netherlands as the preferred location. The decision was taken after extensive preparation, including consultation with the province of Zeeland and municipalities. The government believes that, with an accelerated approach, construction can be completed in 2035, after which the power stations can supply 9-13% of the total electricity.

Date: Friday, 16 December 2022
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbelgium-confirms-borssele-as-site-for-new-nuclear-plants-10439145

Global optimism ‘rising’ about potential of reactors to help achieve net zero emissions Fatih Birol (left) and Rafael Grossi at the International Atomic Energy Agency discussion on nuclear power at Cop27 in Egypt. Courtesy IAEA. Nuclear power is making “a strong comeback”, but the international financial community has so far “failed” to provide the level playing field needed for nuclear to help the world tackle its most pressing challenges, from climate change to sustainable development, International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol told the Cop27 United Nations climate conference in in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Birol told an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discussion on nuclear power: “I don’t give them a passing grade.”

“Countries that were saying goodbye to nuclear power, they are rethinking their plans,” Birol said, adding that the IEA had been engaged in talks with both Belgium and Germany.

“We are very happy that both governments are now in the process of postponing their nuclear phaseout plans, understanding the role that nuclear plays in addressing this energy security challenge,” he said.

In addition, another group of countries is now considering extending the lifetime of their existing nuclear power reactors to respond to this challenge, which is one of the cheapest forms of low carbon power, Birol said. Still another group of countries are rolling out plans to build new reactors, including seemingly “surprising” ones such as the Netherlands and Poland as well as Japan and South Korea.

Date: Friday, 11 November 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nuclear-making-strong-comeback-but-financial-community-has-failed-to-provide-level-playing-field-11-4-2022