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Iran has resolved two outstanding inquiries from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) related to the presence of highly enriched uranium (HEU) particles at several sites. The confidential quarterly report by the IAEA, which is routinely leaked to the press, said inspectors no longer had questions on uranium particles found to be enriched to 83.7% at its underground Fordow facility. This had resulted in tension for the past several months although some resolution was achieved in March following a visit to Tehran by IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. Iran had insisted at that time that those particles were a by-product of its current enrichment as particles can reach higher enrichment levels in fluctuations. “The agency informed Iran that, following its evaluation of the data, the agency had assessed that the information provided was not inconsistent with Iran’s explanation ... and that the agency had no further questions on this matter at this stage,” the report said.

Date: Wednesday, 07 June 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiaea-resolves-some-outstanding-issues-with-iran-10918237

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

China plans to cooperate with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries in the fields of nuclear energy, nuclear security and space exploration, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said at a summit with rulers and officials from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – during a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit, and pay a state visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Salman.

Date: Thursday, 15 December 2022
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newschina-to-cooperate-with-gulf-nations-on-nuclear-energy-10433380

World’s top oil exporter wants to build around 17 GW of reactor capacity The kingdom wants to diversify its energy mix, adding nuclear power so it can free up more crude for export. Courtesy B.Alotaby/Wikipedia. Saudi Arabia aims to take advantage of its significant uranium resources to develop a commercial nuclear power programme, energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud said.

“We have a huge amount of uranium resource, which we would like to exploit and put in the most transparent way,” he was quoted as telling the International Mining Conference in Riyadh.

“We will bring partners and we will be exporting and manufacturing and developing it and we will be commercially monetising that resource.”

The minister said the world needed more flexibility because the transition to clean energy is complicated. “We should not forfeit energy security for the sake of a publicity stunt”, he said. “The transition needs to be a well-thought of transition.”

Press reports have said Saudi Arabia, the world’s top il exporter, could produce over 90,000 tonnes of uranium from three major deposits in the country, enough to provide fuel for nuclear plants the country seeks to build and to export uranium.

Date: Saturday, 15 January 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/kingdom-aims-to-take-advantage-of-uranium-resources-as-it-looks-to-nuclear-energy-1-5-2022

As policymakers grapple with the twin challenges of climate change and a post-COVID economic recovery, the benefits of nuclear power are clearer than ever, but the industry still has some way to go in addressing perceptions of its alleged drawbacks with cost, safety and radioactive waste. This was the overriding message of the three panellists in a webinar held last week by Utilities Middle East in partnership with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

Date: Friday, 01 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/The-barrier-to-nuclear-is-perception,-says-panel

International treaties governing nuclear security serve as frameworks based on shared experience, but they are not a substitute for practical and ongoing cooperation. This was one of the messages from delegates at NP1 - The Nuclear Power Conference Israel - Threats, Challenges, Opportunities.

Date: Saturday, 05 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Extending-nuclear-cooperation-to-the-Middle-East

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
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclears-flexibility-is-the-magic-to-create-a-clea

The Wall Street Journal has claimed that Saudi Arabia has constructed a facility – with assistance from China – to extract uranium yellowcake from uranium ore, citing western officials with knowledge of the matter.

The US newspaper reported that the processing facility, which has not been publicly disclosed, is in Saudi Arabia’s northwest region and is raising concerns from US officials. It said the main concern is that as the kingdom moves ahead with developing a commercial nuclear programme, it is keeping the door open for the creation of nuclear weapons.

Press reports said the Saudi energy ministry has “categorically denied” that it has built a uranium ore facility in the area described by the western officials. However, the reports quoted Saudi officials as saying that the extraction of uranium is a key component of the kingdom's economic diversification strategy, which looks to move away from its dependence on oil exports.

The energy ministry confirmed Saudi Arabia has a contract with China on uranium exploration in certain areas.

Date: Thursday, 06 August 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/saudi-arabia-press-report-claims-kingdom-has-built-uranium-processing-facility-8-3-2020

US energy secretary Rick Perry. US energy secretary Rick Perry confirmed that talks are continuing with Riyadh about supporting Saudi Arabia’s planned civilian nuclear programme.

Mr Perry told an energy forum that Saudi Arabia wants to sign a ‘123 agreement’ with the US.

A 123 agreement sets out rules governing US nuclear cooperation with other nations.

Under the terms of a 123 agreement, Riyadh must sign an accord with Washington committing to the peaceful use of nuclear technology before US companies can compete for its nuclear energy projects in Saudi Arabia.

Date: Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Original article: nucnet.org/news/talks-continuing-with-us-about-new-nuclear-says-perry-11-2-2019

The share of nuclear energy in world total primary energy supply (TPES) grew from 0.5% to 4.9% between 1971 and 2017, figures from the International Energy Agency show.

Electricity generation by nuclear has remained almost flat in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries (OECD) in recent years, ranging from 1,952 TWh in 2012 to 1,976 TWh in 2018. Data beginning in 1990 shows it peaked at 2,370 TWh in 2006.

The US, which has 97 nuclear reactors in commercial operation, and France, which has 58, produced almost 50% of all nuclear between them in 2017.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are 451 nuclear reactors in commercial operation worldwide.

Date: Monday, 12 August 2019
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nuclear-share-of-tpes-grows-from-0-5-to-4-9-8-1-2019