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The US reaffirmed its support for Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) during the state visit to Washington of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A long joint statement comprising 58 paragraphs, by Modi and US President Joe Biden covered a wide range of subjects, with nuclear only mentioned in one (para 22). It said: “Prime Minister Modi underscored the important role nuclear energy plays in global decarbonisation efforts and affirmed nuclear energy as a necessary resource to meet our nations’ climate, energy transition, and energy security needs.”

Date: Wednesday, 28 June 2023
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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
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Two companies will assess feasibility and economics The control room at Exelon Generation’s Byron nuclear power station in Illinois. Courtesy Exelon. French nuclear company Framatome and US nuclear operator Exelon Generation have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop solutions to produce Cobalt-60 in pressurised water reactors operated by Exelon.

Cobalt-60 is a radioisotope produced in nuclear reactors out of natural element Cobalt-59. It plays a critical role in healthcare applications such as sterilisation of medical devices and treatment of certain cancers.

Under the MOU, the two companies will cooperate on technology development and assess the feasibility and economics of Cobalt-60 production in PWR reactors for industrial and medical purposes as long-term demand continues to grow.

Exelon Generation operates the largest US fleet of nuclear plants with more than 18,700 MW from 21 reactors at 12 facilities in Illinois, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

Date: Wednesday, 29 December 2021
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Biden administration believes falling nuclear share in Europe is ‘alarm bell’ Ms Granholm said the US government wants to speed up work on the deployment of US-made AP1000 reactor technology in Poland. The US government wants to accelerate its support for a front-end engineering and design study for the deployment of US-made AP1000 reactor technology in Poland, US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said.

In July, US-based Westinghouse Electric Company and Bechtel Corporation announced the start of the study, which will provide Poland’s Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) – the company responsible for managing the country’s first nuclear power project – with layout plans for the location of a first nuclear power station, together with a licensing plan, project schedule and cost estimate.

The US Trade and Development Agency has released a grant to fund the study.

“US industry and government have come together at a critical juncture in the development of Poland’s nuclear energy programme,” Ms Granholm said during a press conference in Warsaw.

Date: Saturday, 25 September 2021
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US companies Bechtel and Westinghouse Electric Company on 15 July announced that they had formed a team to pursue new nuclear power plant projects in Poland. "Nuclear power holds great promise as a clean and reliable supply of energy for Poland," said Barbara Rusinko, president of Bechtel's Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit. "Poland is taking steps to transition to a clean energy economy while retaining its energy independence and security. The Westinghouse-Bechtel team offers proven technology and hands-on experience in nuclear project delivery and is ready to immediately support Poland's transformative vision."

Date: Wednesday, 21 July 2021
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France’s EDF announced on 12 July that it had opened an office in Warsaw in order to prepare a comprehensive proposal for the Polish government concerning the construction of Poland's first NPP. Thierry Deschaux will be managing director of the office. Its main task is to support the process of preparing a comprehensive offer in the field of nuclear energy, adapted to the Polish market. The decision confirms EDF's long-term commitment to supporting Polish ambitions - the company emphasised.

Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
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The nuclear industry has merely scratched the surface of the flexible benefits of nuclear power, according to panellists in a conference held this week ahead of the 11th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM11). The CEM11 side-event, Flexibility in Clean Energy Systems: The Enabling Roles of Nuclear Energy, included high-level speakers from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as government officials from Canada, the UK and the USA. Hosted by Saudi Arabia, CEM11 will take place on 22 September.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
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Hitachi announced today it will end its business operations on the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant construction project, which it had suspended in January 2019 "because it was clear that further time was needed to decide on a financing structure". Horizon Nuclear Power, the UK project developer that Hitachi acquired in November 2012, said it will now take steps for the "orderly closing down" of all its current development activities, but will "keep the lines of communication open" with government and other key stakeholders regarding future options at both its sites, which in addition to Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey, include Oldbury on Severn in South Gloucestershire.

Date: Thursday, 17 September 2020
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Sale comprises of businesses in the US, Canada, France and the UK Rolls-Royce said the deal does not include its small modular reactor venture. Westinghouse Electric Company has completed the acquisition of Rolls-Royce’s civil nuclear systems and services business in North America and a number of sites in Europe.

Rolls-Royce said the sale comprises civil nuclear services businesses in the US and Canada along with sites at Mondragon, France, and Gateshead, UK, which are part of its power systems business unit.

The sale does not include the instrumentation and controls business based in Grenoble, France, which remains under review.

It also does not include Rolls-Royce’s UK nuclear new build operations or small modular reactor activities.

The company is heading an SMR consortium which plans to install and operate “factory-built power stations” capable of competing on price with low-cost renewables such as offshore wind.

Date: Tuesday, 04 February 2020
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