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Policymakers who ignore nuclear energy are not serious about meeting climate goals, delegates said at an Atlantic Council webinar last week. The first in the Raising Ambitions series, the event highlighted the attributes of this clean source of electricity and heat ahead of the Leaders’ Climate Summit, which the US Administration is hosting on 22-23 April.

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021
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Russia’s nuclear tug, Nuklon, will be able to deliver 10 tons of cargo to the Moon in 200 days, according to documents from Roskosmos, published on the government procurement website.

Date: Saturday, 19 December 2020
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US president Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency in the mining industry, aimed at boosting domestic production of rare earth minerals critical for military technologies, including uranium, while reducing the country’s dependence on China.

Mr Trump ordered his Cabinet secretaries to study the matter, with an eye toward government grants for production equipment, as well as tariffs, quotas or other import restrictions against China and other non-market foreign adversaries.

The order states that the county’s “undue reliance on critical minerals, in processed or unprocessed form, from foreign adversaries constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

Date: Saturday, 03 October 2020
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A design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars has exceeded key performance parameters and optimised the reactor for manufacturability, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced. The reactor's features include a compact core thanks to the use of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
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Milestones achieved within a recent two-week period demonstrate what nuclear technology is all about, what it is doing and can do for humanity, Agneta Rising, World Nuclear Association director general, said ahead of the Association's Strategic eForum 2020.

Date: Wednesday, 09 September 2020
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In order to secure the economic and security benefits of a true 'all-of-the-above' energy agenda, the United States must be at the forefront of nuclear innovation, writes Dan Brouillette. The following is the US secretary of energy's 21 August blog for the Department of Energy (DOE).

Date: Tuesday, 25 August 2020
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The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced a change to its Environmental and Social Policy and Procedures (ESPP) to enable support for nuclear power projects and align the definition of renewable energy with the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA’s) definition.

Date: Tuesday, 28 July 2020
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DFC says move will help make US technology available to developing countries US energy secretary Dan Brouillette . Courtesy DOE. The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) officially announced it will lift its legacy prohibition on funding nuclear energy projects, recognising the vast energy needs of developing countries and the potential of new and advanced technologies such as small modular reactors and microreactors in these markets.

The DFC, a federal agency, said in a statement that modernising DFC’s nuclear energy policy will help deliver a zero-emission, reliable, and secure power source to developing countries in order to promote economic growth and affordable energy access in underserved communities.

“This change will also offer an alternative to the financing of authoritarian regimes while advancing US nonproliferation safeguards and supporting U.S. nuclear competitiveness,” the statement said.

The DFC had been restricted from nuclear power plant financing under its environment and social policy statement, which included specific restrictions on nuclear power. It prohibited support for trade in radioactive materials, “including nuclear reactors and components thereof”.

Date: Tuesday, 28 July 2020
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New fuel type is seen as crucial for next generation reactors US energy secretary Dan Brouillette . Courtesy DOE. The US Department of Energy is working to end US reliance on Russia for nuclear fuel and plans to begin processing US uranium into high-grade fuel at a DOE facility in Portsmouth, Ohio, as early as next year, energy secretary Dan Brouillette told members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy.

The “high-assay low-enriched uranium”, or Haleu fuel, is particularly important for new and smaller commercial reactors that the DOE considers critical to grid stability as renewables replace aging fossil fuel power plants, Mr Brouillette said.

He told lawmakers the DOE has moved centrifuges from its Oak Ridge laboratories to a mothballed uranium processing plant built in the 1950s at Portsmouth, Ohio, and expects to begin processing to produce Haleu next year.

In addition, the DOE is working on legislation authorising the creation of a uranium reserve.

Date: Friday, 24 July 2020
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New policies ‘will increase American competitiveness’ in nuclear industry The Vogtle-3 and -4 nuclear plants are the only reactors under construction in the US. Photo courtesy Georgia Power. The US intends to rewrite foreign policy relationships and increase competitiveness in new markets as it attempts to regain its position as a leader in nuclear technology and regain ground it has lost to China and Russia, energy secretary Dan Brouillette said in an article in Defense One.

Mr Brouilette said many countries of geopolitical importance are pursuing nuclear energy for their domestic electricity needs. Those countries are largely turning to Chinese and Russian state-owned enterprises for the technological support needed to build reactors, while the US sits on the sidelines.

“In effect, China and Russia are gaining geopolitical leverage by exporting nuclear expertise and building 100-year bilateral relationships.

“Our strategy calls for increasing American competitiveness in new markets by making it easier to export civil nuclear technologies, equipment, and fuel.”

Date: Wednesday, 03 June 2020
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