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Billionaire philanthropist says need for clean energy is ‘dire’ and reactors fit the bill Bill Gates: ‘I hope people will be open-minded’. Courtesy Bill Gates/Facebook. Nuclear energy will “absolutely” be politically palatable but needs to overcome a baneful reputation garnered by association with the atomic bomb and radioactive accidents, billionaire philanthropist and climate change evangelist Bill Gates told CNBC.

Gates said it is “a necessary, worthy and surmountable challenge to correct the naysayers”.

He said the need for clean energy is dire and the operation of nuclear power plants produces no greenhouse gas emissions. Innovations in nuclear technology are making nuclear energy safer and more affordable, and countries around the world are starting to adopt nuclear power, Gates said.

“Nuclear is actually safer than any other source of [power] generation,” Gates said. “You know, coal plants, coal particulate, natural gas pipelines blowing up. The deaths per unit of power on these other approaches are far higher.”

“There’s a new generation [of nuclear power] that solves the economics, which has been the big, big problem,” he said, referring to the fact that the power plants are very expensive to build. “At the same time, it revolutionises the safety.”

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/we-need-to-correct-the-naysayers-on-nuclear-2-5-2021

A revised mixed oxide (MOX) fuel utilisation plan, based on the latest operational plan for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant, has been released by Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC). While only four Japanese reactors have so far been restarted using MOX fuel, FEPC envisages at least 12 units running on the fuel by FY2030. FEPC represents the 11 power companies, comprising nine utilities (excluding Okinawa Electric Power), Japan Atomic Power Company and the Electric Power Development Company (J-Power).

Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Japanese-utilities-revise-MOX-utilisation-plan

The first full refuelling of Russia’s BN-800 fast reactor at unit 4 of the Beloyarsk NPP with only uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (mox) fuel was completed during the recent scheduled maintenance outage, fuel company TVEL (part of Rosatom) announced on 24 February. The unit, which was shut down on 8 January, has been reconnected to the grid and has resumed electricity production. The first 18 serial mox fuel assemblies were loaded into the reactor in January 2020, and another 160 fuel assemblies have now been added to them. Thus, the BN-800 core is now one-third filled with innovative fuel and in future only mox fuel will be loaded into the reactor.

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsrussias-bn-800-refuelled-with-mox-full-mox-core-planned-for-2022-8547796

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNCC) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) on 23 February signed contracts for the conversion and enrichment of natural uranium (the Natural Uranium Conversion and Enrichment Processing Service Contract) and for fuel supply (the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Plant Refuelling Fuel Assembly Supply Contract). CNNC said the signing of the contracts will "further strengthen the in-depth cooperation between the two parties in medium and long-term nuclear fuel supply, and effectively promote exchanges and cooperation between the two parties in related fields". CNNC added that the development had "far-reaching significance for promoting the sustained and stable development of China's nuclear fuel industry and consolidating the independent nuclear industry chain".

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newscnnc-and-cgn-sign-fuel-contracts-and-pledge-greater-co-operation-8547818

Russia has loaded about one-third of the reactor core of the BN-800 fast neutron reactor at Beloyarsk-4 with commercial mixed oxide uranium-plutonium (MOX) fuel, state nuclear operator Rosenergoatom said.

Rosenergoatom said the move to MOX fuel at Beloyarsk-4 brings the Russian nuclear industry “one step closer” to its goal of closing the fuel cycle.

It said that for the first time during a planned outrage, which began on 8 January 2021 and concluded this week, only MOX fuel was loaded into the reactor.

Staff loaded 160 MOX fuel assemblies to complement the first 18 which were loaded in January 2020. There are now 178 MOX assemblies from a total of 565 in the reactor core.

Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/russia-one-step-closer-to-goal-of-closing-nuclear-fuel-cycle-2-4-2021

Unit 4 of the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant, Russia's BN-800 reactor, has been connected to the grid and resumed operations upon completion of scheduled maintenance. For the first time the refuelling has been carried out with uranium-plutonium fuel only.

Date: Thursday, 25 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/BN-800-fast-reactor-fully-loaded-with-MOX-fuel

Commercial satellite imagery obtained by International Panel on Fissile Material (IPFM) shows significant new construction at the Dimona site in Israel, officially known as the Negev Nuclear Research Centre. IPFM said on 18 February. The imagery was acquired by the SuperView-1 (SV-1) satellite on 4 January. The construction site is located in the immediate vicinity of the buildings that house the nuclear reactor and the reprocessing plant (to the south-west from the buildings.

Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssatellite-images-show-significant-new-construction-at-israels-dimona-reactor-site-8542583

The E3 - France, Germany and the UK - has welcomed the prospect of a US and Iranian return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The E3 foreign ministers and the US secretary of state held a virtual meeting yesterday to discuss Iran and other pressing issues. It was the second time in this format since Secretary Antony Blinken took office.

Date: Saturday, 20 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/E3,-USA-reopen-door-to-diplomacy-with-Iran

A new publication by the US Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Space Nuclear Propulsion for Human Mars Exploration (2021)” seeks to identify primary technical and programmatic challenges, merits, and risks for maturing space nuclear propulsion technologies of interest to a future human Mars exploration mission. The study, undertaken by the Space Nuclear Propulsion Technologies Committee, was sponsored by NASA.

Date: Friday, 19 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-report-looks-at-space-nuclear-propulsion-for-mars-exploration-8532029

A computer-generated image of the Brest-OD-300 nuclear power plant. Courtesy Tvel/Rosatom. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has signed key contracts related to the manufacturing and supply of equipment for the Brest-OD-300 pilot demonstration power unit in Russia.

One contract, signed between the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) and CKBM, both Rosatom subsidiaries, was for manufacturing and supply of equipment for the refuelling complex. Rosatom also signed a contract with subsidiary Zio-Podolsk Machine-Building for the production, supply and installation of steam generators.

Production of the equipment is scheduled to take from three to five years with installation completed in 2025.

The Brest unit, a Generation IV lead-cooled fast reactor, is being built at SCC, near the city of Seversk in central Russia, and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2026.

Date: Friday, 19 February 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/rosatom-signs-key-contracts-for-generation-iv-brest-od-300-reactor-2-4-2021